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Number of reasons why grass is important
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin;

In your (Dennis Wyatt’s) opinion column of June 6 you state that front yard grass “is merely a green area to look at and to keep dust down.”  While I often agree with your position on many issues, those instances when you make a statement as though it were the absolute truth frustrates me because it is often not the full truth; and, unfortunately based on your personal impact on the peoples of Manteca, many of them like me depend on you for the accuracy of the news.

 While the two reasons you give are actually good reasons in my opinion for having front yard grass, there are far more important reasons for having front yard grass that impact all of us.  First, landscaping around a home that includes both trees and a lot of grass helps to keep the temperature down not only around a home but throughout an entire neighborhood.  Grass keeps reflective heat from concrete, landscape rocks, asphalt, etc., off the exterior walls of a home.  It reduces the need for electricity generation and there is nothing that creates greater wear and tear on the exterior of a home than the reflective heat and sunlight.  Secondly, taken from  “A 650-square-foot area of grass produces enough oxygen to sustain an average human adult’s needs.  It also improves the condition of the environment by removing pollutants from the air.  Grass removes a large amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air while producing large quantities of oxygen.  It produces more oxygen at a quicker rate than native plants due to its dense foliage and fast growth rate.  Grass absorbs water and pollutants from the air and filters them through its blades and roots, effectively cleaning the air and ground water.  It also helps prevent erosion with its roots by acting as a binder for the soil.” 

So, while we all agree that the drought is a problem that needs to be addressed, let’s make sure we make decisions based on accurate and complete information so that we all know the tradeoffs that will be necessary.  By taking advantage of the City offer to pay for removal of up to 500 square feet of grass, in doing so people will be removing nearly all the oxygen from the environment that a Manteca resident needs to stay alive.  Enough said!

 Dennis, in the future please abstain from making absolute remarks unless you are absolutely sure you have all the facts and they’ve been double checked and confirmed which is what I thought was taught in journalism class anyway.  Sometimes I think you error purposefully just to generate a discussion but that can be accomplished simply by reporting all sides of an issue. Thank you for your continued hard work and commitment to your profession, I know that many more than just myself appreciate your sincere dedication to the Manteca community.


Bill Barnhart