October 20, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
55°F

Wadsworth school board: No more ‘no mow’ in front of buildings

Areas of tall grass and wild flowers in front of Wadsworth High School and the district’s other new schools will be replaced by more conventional landscaping. The school board agreed to the change last week in response to complaints from residents. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Areas of tall grass and wild flowers in front of Wadsworth High School and the district’s other new schools will be replaced by more conventional landscaping. The school board agreed to the change last week in response to complaints from residents. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Responding to complaints from residents, the Wadsworth school board has agreed to eliminate the “no mow” areas in front of the high school and other new school buildings.

Tall shrubs, grass and wild flowers that haven’t been cut in 2½ years eventually will be replaced with a more conventional grass landscaping.

“It just is not the appearance that you want people to see,” Superintendent Andrew Hill said. “It comes across as the district not keeping up with the grounds, but that’s just not true.”

The overgrown “no mow” and “low mow” areas were part of the architecture plan for the high school and three elementary schools, which opened in 2012.

The overgrowth was included in the plan because it was more environmentally friendly and also to cut mowing costs, school officials said.

“It was a decision of the prior administration,” board member Amanda Gordon said.

The “no mow” and “low mow” areas also helped meet a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for the buildings.

The buildings exceeded expectations and achieved a Gold LEED status thanks to other energy-saving strategies, like automatic dimming light fixtures and computer-monitored air conditioning, included in the architecture and design, board member Dave White said.

“At the time, the ‘no mow’ areas seemed like a good idea,” White said. “But it looked like an eyesore.”

The board received comments and concerns from community members about the property looking unkempt, Gordon said.

Monday’s vote to replace the “no mow” areas was close, with only three of the five-member board in agreement.

Julie Batey was one of the two members who voted against mowing the areas. She said the architecture plan suggested the “no mow” areas would take three to five years to completely develop.

“I wanted it to fully mature before we made a decision, so we could see what they’re really going to look like in three to five years,” she said.

Batey also said the removal and replacement of the landscape will “have a cost factor.” She said because of the way the “no mow” areas initially were planted, the grounds crew can’t simply mow over them. She said the weeds and other growth need to be dug up before traditional grass can be planted.

The board has not made a decision on when or how to get rid of the overgrowth, but members are looking into cost estimates.

Hill said the board conducted a community meeting last September seeking feedback on whether to keep the overgrowth, but opinions were split.

“Rarely do you have a decision that everyone in the community agrees on,” he said.

Hill said there may be an opportunity to relocate a “no mow” area to one of the elementary schools, but “it’s a future discussion” that the board has not yet scheduled.

Contact reporter Katie Anderson at (330) 721-4012 or kanderson@medina-gazette.com.


  • Eva Smith Buhite

    Sorry , I don’t want to look at that mess for another 2 to four years. Should never have been put in plan to do that to begin with, especially in town and in a residential area. Want to see one grow, plant it in your yard. It is not rocket science on how to get rid of the mess in the yards at the High School, mow it down, you don’t have to dig up all the crap there , spray it with WEED killer than in the spring plant grass. To easy for you? Cost? Really, there are so many cost savers from the last few years, the school can afford a couple hundred dollars a year in gas to keep that crap mowed down. If not, some administration cuts could be made and the city can help mow it down for telling me they were trying to grow a wet land. Let them take care of it.

  • Bob

    Sounds like you need to move to AZ, where everyone has fake lawns. Rain gardens and native wild gardens are essential to support the bee and hummingbird populations.

  • lookingallaroundme

    Oh my,the poor Wadsorthians cannot be expected to endure this outrage. Spry the area fully with chemical–then let your kids and dogs ply there.

  • xartisticloverx

    I love seeing the complaints because it’s an ‘eye sore’. The reason why wildflowers are planted and are ‘do not mow’ areas, TO KEEP OUR BEES HEALTHY. if you are too ignorant to notice, our honeybees are in dire need. The more natural flowers that are there, without the pesticides that Monsanto decides to use on their crop, the better off our honeybees are. Want me to call the ‘waaaahhhmbulance’ about your eyes being too sore to look at some wild flowers? HA!

  • xartisticloverx

    Please go to a state where artificial lawns are the norm. Lord help you when the honeybees stop producing honey and you go hungry.