skip to Main Content

What’s a Grow Zone?

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks protects natural resources and actively stewards our impact on and relationship with the environment. One way our staff are improving natural habitats, improving stormwater management and providing some climate conscious benefits is by maintaining more park areas as Grow Zones. These are areas that are NOT mowed on a regular basis and left to grow taller. Grow Zones may occasionally be mowed during the winter on an annual basis to minimize establishment of shrubs and non-native plants. It can take one or two full growing seasons for a grow zone to be converted from mowed turf grass to pollinator habitat. During that time, those areas can have an unkept appearance, and we appreciate visitors remaining patient for the long-term benefits these areas hold. We are still experimenting and learning the best way to convert turf to native plants, and hope to improve that process over time.

The Metroparks follow a board approved Mowing Plan that lays out best practices of both mowed and Grow Zones or No-Mow Zones, but in addition, the benefits of Grow Zones include:

  • Areas left to grow provide habitat for pollinators and native and migratory birds.
  • Provides visual interest when native flowering plants become fully established over time
  • Helps absorb, filter, and distribute rainwater which reduces pollution entering the watershed, Lake St. Clair and ultimately the great lakes.
    • Areas of taller established plants slows down the travel of rain and water runoff and allows more of it to be absorbed by the plants’ roots, therefor also reducing pollution into the watershed. This also helps reduce flooding of neighboring recreation areas in the park and can have positive impacts on water quality at the beach and other areas of the park.
  • Reduces costs and pollution associated with mowing and maintaining areas which are not used for active recreation. Less mowing means less emissions from lawn mowers entering the air, and that benefits air quality.
  • Helps connect natural habitats by providing wildlife corridors, where animals can move between habitats safely.


If you’re interested in learning more about other ways the Metroparks improve stormwater management and how you can make changes personally to benefit stormwater management and our environment, we encourage you to check out these blog posts and be a part of the effort.

What is a Bioswale?! Click here to read more

Managing Stormwater at Home. Click here to read more.

Green Infrastructure Supports Wildlife and Water Quality Goals. Click here to read more.

Native Plants in the Metroparks. Click here to read more.

Back To Top