Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Legacy Department

Landscape Architecture


Powers, Matthew Neal

Committee Member

Ford , Daniel

Committee Member

Pearson , David



This was an exploratory study examining the processes and underlying concepts of design nature, and culture necessary to discussing sustainable design solutions for the American lawn. A review of the literature identifies historical perceptions of the lawn and contemporary research that links lawns to sustainability. Research data was collected by conducting personal interviews with green industry professionals and administering a survey instrument to administrators and residents of planned urban development communities. Recommended guidelines for the sustainable American lawn are identified and include native plant usage to increase habitat and biodiversity, permeable paving and ground cover as an alternative to lawn and hierarchical maintenance zones depending on levels of importance or use. These design recommendations form a foundation for further exploration of the sustainability of the American lawn.