Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

June 6, 2013

Another View

What's wrong with this picture?

Knoxville — Ah, beautiful June in Iowa.  Come drive with me.  See beautiful land and wide spreading lawns.  See our towns and cities with well-trimmed lawns.  See the expanse of low-mowed lawn around large suburban homes.  And the activity!  Retired farmers happily ride their lawnmowers over lawns, grader ditches, and everything but the corn field.  Well-paid lawn keepers guide elegant little mowers to shear all the growing green at just the right height.  

Meanwhile, we’ve read:  “Floodwaters filling Saylorville like a tub” or “Storms put Iowans in saturated state.”  And we’ve noticed that White Breast “Creek” and Teter “Creek” are now White Breast Lake and Teter Lake. 

What’s wrong with this picture?

Is there a connection?  Remember stories of the native people?  They allowed grasses to grow five or six feet both above ground and below ground, and they did not even have a word for “flood” – they didn’t need it.   Notice that in today’s fields where farmers want to protect the land, they have grassy strips called “waterways” so water can infiltrate rather than create gullies of fast-flowing rain water.   

I know there’s a connection between lawns and floods.  It should be obvious:  Taller, healthier grass absorbs more water.  In fact, I’ve read that a low-mowed lawn is second only to sheer concrete in the rate it sends water flowing down the grade.  But I Googled and Googled to get a handy statistic – vast resources on watering your lawn, repairing your lawn after a flood, and floods in Oak Lawn and Fair Lawn – but nothing clear on growing lawns to hold water.   Finally, one brave web site from Lake George, New York, put it in print:  “Large lawns that extend to the lakefront increase … stormwater runoff from developed sites and uplands.” 

Text Only
Opinion
  • Another View Charlotte mug Another View

    Last week on TV – remember?  Pictures of the D-Day landing when Allied troops waded through cold waves, June 6, 1944, to face Nazi guns and land on the beaches of Normandy, France.  

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • In the House of Wood

    I sometimes worry about what little regard is shown for human life these days. 

    June 18, 2014

  • Heisman winner's legacy wasn't about football
    If you've heard of Nile Kinnick, you’ve never forgotten his story. If you haven't, it’s a relatively short one with a sad ending.
     

    June 5, 2014

  • The Rules of the Road By Jill Pertler I do not consider myself an excellent driver. I am good, or maybe just okay - around a B-minus to a C-plus if I were giving out grades. I am not great at maneuvering into tight parking spaces or knowing when it is my turn at a four-wa

    March 21, 2014

  • Steve mug Creativity rules! I've noticed as a married man that there are times in our marriages when it is just nice to be right. Take for instance Monday night. By the time I got home from the council meeting, I was pretty hungry. I didn't grab anything to eat before my evenin

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frankford mug Acute Temporary Comfort Rejection Syndrome By Phillip Frankford Acute Temporary Comfort Rejection Syndrome

    March 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shivvers pic 21st century overwhelm, beginning with shampoo I was in a hurry and needed only one more item at the grocery store. Shampoo. I wanted shampoo to wash my hair. But I found a hazard course - and couldn't remember how I got through the last time. What should I do? Would it be simple "anti-itch liqui

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Next time ... To the Editor: While surfing my Facebook page, I came across this message: "I Shall Continue To Do What I think Is Right Whether Anybody Likes It Or Not." -Harry S. Truman. After reading this quote, I decided to tell my experience. I was walking to m

    March 21, 2014

  • Protecting Iowa's children A topic that most Iowans prefer not to acknowledge nor discuss is human trafficking. However, it is a serious matter in our society that we can no longer afford to ignore. With the I-80 and I-35 corridors that crisscross our state - and the I-29 corr

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter: Disagrees with Shivvers To the Editor: I read, with interest, Ms. Shivvers' comments in her opinion piece "Another View-Breaking Bad in Iowa" in the Feb. 14, 2014, edition of the Knoxville Journal-Express. It is the first time I have heard today's agriculture compared to th

    March 6, 2014

Features
AP Video
Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Biden Talks Economy and Civil Rights Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results