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 Conference, 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!

2018 SALT Conference

Grow Native: Gardening for the Environment

Saturday, November 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration required; $60 by Nov. 1 / $75 after

Members (Arboretum, CT Master Gardener, Wild Ones) $45 by Nov. 1 / $60 after

Registration fee includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Register Now - Please write "SALT" in "Item(s) Purchased" line."

Making the transition to using native plants and relying more on ecological processes in the landscape is one of the most rewarding conversions a gardener can make. But how best to do it? This year’s SALT Conference will focus on this theme with three presentations followed by a panel discussion.

Using her urban Cambridge, Massachusetts garden as a case study, founder of Grow Native Massachusetts, Claudia Thompson will illustrate the tremendous transformation that is possible resulting in a landscape that is a haven for birds and pollinators, and that contributes to increased biodiversity.

Botanist for the Rhode Island Natural History Survey and founder of Rhody Native™, Hope Leeson will present ways gardeners can increase diversity of restored plant communities by planting native plants grown from seed and be more connected to the landscapes they create.

Landscape Designer and owner of Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery, Lisa Turoczi creates ecologically friendly designs that fits the client and property. She will share design techniques from her experiences with native plants.

Past SALT Seminars:

2017 - A Down to Earth Look at Soils

2016 - Deconstructing the American Landscape

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.

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.