Smaller American Lawns Today

Smaller American Lawns Today, SALT, is a movement introduced in June of 1997 by Dr. William A. Niering, professor of botany at Connecticut College. The SALT mission is to decrease the size of lawns in America by restoring home grounds to more harmonious, productive, ecologically sound and naturalistic landscapes. SALT offers an alternative vision of the monocultured lawn. As Dr. Niering wrote, “There’s nothing wrong with dandelions, there’s something wrong with people.”

Natural beauty can abound in one's own yard. In our annual SALT seminar, participants learn how to cut back on the size of their lawns and also to have beautiful, sustainable, and friendly home grounds as well. Once established, you will never want to go back to a boring, monocultural lawn!


2016 SALT Seminar 

Saturday, November 19, 8:30 a.m to 4 p.m.

Blaustein Humanities Center, Connecticut College

Members* $65 before Nov. 1/$80 after *(Arboretum, NEWFS, CT Master Gardener, Wild Ones)

General Public $75 before Nov. 1/$90 after 

Co-sponsored by the New England Wild Flower Society.

Gardening with native plants is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Professional landscapers, designers and home gardeners are choosing to use native plants because they are beautiful and hardy, they provide essential food and shelter for wildlife, they require less maintenance, and because they help to maintain a unique sense of place. Join us for this day-long symposium to discuss the demise of the American lawn, the role of native plants in the built landscape, how native is defined, and the future of native plants in our built landscapes.

The New England Wild Flower Society will be presenting the Regional Impact Award to New Directions in the American Landscape.

The Future of Native Plants in the Built Landscape
Larry Weaner, Principal, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates and founder of New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL) Conference

Ecological Functions of Native Plants
Claudia West, Author and Ecological Sales Manager, North Creek Nurseries

Low-maintenance Plants
Dan Jaffe, Propagator and Stock Bed Grower, New England Wildflower Society

The Evolving American Lawn
Judy Preston, Long Island Sound Outreach Coordinator

Roundtable Discussion: Defining Native
moderated by Mark Richardson, Director of Horticulture, New England Wild Flower Society 


Past SALT Seminars:

2015 - Kill Your Lawn 

2013 - The Joy of Creating a Beautiful and Bountiful Garden‌. Homeowners often think in terms of planting an ornamental garden and a vegetable garden as two separate endeavors. It is possible, however, to have a garden that is both beautiful and bountiful. 

2012 - Gardening in a Changing Environment‌. Experts shared what they are doing now to maintain the sustainability of their land and what they have done when disaster has struck. ‌

2011 - The ABCs of Creating Your Own "Garden of Eden" provided an opportunity for homeowners to learn tips from topnotch speakers in the field of naturalistic landscaping. 

2010 - Designing Your Home Grounds for Beauty and Sustainability. A seminar on naturalistic landscaping. Download the brochure.‌‌2009 - Going Native in New England with featured speaker Douglas W. Tallamy was most informative on the subject of using native plants to promote backyard biodiversity. 

‌2009 - Going Native in New England with featured speaker Douglas W. Tallamy was most informative on the subject of using native plants to promote backyard biodiversity.

2008 - SALT meets Wild Ones!‌‌ This article by Kathy T. Dame appeared in the Wild Ones Journal, September/October, 2008.