The 217 Today Podcast

217 Today: Grass lawns are a landscape staple, but an environmental reckoning may change that

A variety of purple, yellow and red flowers grow out of a person's front yard in Michigan.

Denise Whitebread Fanning's yard tends to stick out among the rows of yards in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Fanning said it's always been her dream to have an elaborate flower garden, and the space allows her to be "in communion" with nature. Provided By Denise Whitebread Fanning

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Today's headlines:

  • State police closed some interstate highways in central Illinois on Tuesday as gusty winds and dry soil combined to create dust storms.
  • About 25 people came to Champaign’s city council meeting last night to urge city council members to divest from institutions involved in the war in Gaza.
  • Some employees at the Illinois capitol are turning up the heat as they try to unionize.
  • Illinois lawmakers have passed some updates to the state’s child labor laws.
  • Illinoisans could soon be allowed to carry an electronic driver's license or state ID in addition to a physical card.

In today's deep dive, we’ll learn about how lawns became the default in American communities and the ongoing debate over the traditional turfgrass yard in the United States.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mae Antar, Jim Meadows, Alex Degman and Teresa Homsi.