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When I was a boy, we moved a lot. Back then, when professionals got promoted in a large company, they were often moved to another city. This practice was greatly reduced when women joined the workplace. They weren't happy to leave jobs because their husbands were being relocated, and if they balked, it led to unhappy domestic situations. Another factor was, housing costs varied greatly in the United States, and being relocated from, say Des Moines to, say, San Francisco, could be more than a little shocking; sometimes a family sold a very nice house for $32,000 and found they needed to spend $112,000 to duplicate it. More domestic turmoil! The relocation of families, which had been a prevailing way of doing business, slowed greatly.

Anyway, I lived in many houses growing up, which I did before women moved into the workplace in the numbers they have today. Usually these houses were in middle-income suburbs of large cities. And usually, they had front lawns, then a sidewalk, them a small strip of lawn, then the curb and the street.

What I'd like to know is, what was the small strip of lawn called? I know the name that was used where I lived, but when I moved, it was generally called something else at the new location. I lived mostly in the Midwest, but even there different names were applied to it. I have no idea what it was called in the many other locations that exist in the country.

I'd like it if people could let me know what it was, or is, called where you live. I wonder how many variations there are?

Foreigners are welcome too. Except I don't believe they have front yards in England. Don't they call them gardens, there? And Australia, well, who knows what they have there, being full of criminal elements and all.

Cole

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Criminals? At least our convicts weren't revolting. :icon_geek:

As for your question Cole, locally in South Australia, that section of lawn, between the footpath (sidewalk) and the curb, we call the "nature strip."

It doesn't always have a lawn, but most councils have planted at least one tree in the strip, and many house owners have planted flower gardens in the strip as well, where that is permitted by the council.

I can well imagine that the nature strip is known by other names in other parts of Australia. It is the kind of thing that becomes a local issue, but I only know the local reference for it. There has been a tendency for some more expensive areas to pave the area with paving bricks, but this is by no means anything other than a whim in those areas. Most people prefer the area to be greened with lawn or left with nature's grass, (weeds).

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In my neck of the woods that strip is called 'frontage' and it has an interesting legal relationship to the homeowner. It is actually part of the municipal right-of-way, as is the sidewalk itself. Thus, altough as homeowner your deed includes it, you have somewhat limited rights over it. You cannot, for example, plant your own choice of tree upon it: that right is reserved to the city and they choose species and spacing and undertake the planting. You must rake its leaves, however; in fact, you must maintain the strip in a neat and comely fashion, or the city inspectors may fine you for neglect (as they can for neglect of your property). In general, you cannot exploit your frontage strip in a private manner; you cannot create a zen garden on it, or open up a car park.

As for the sidewalk in front of your property, don't get me started. It must be shoveled clear of snow within hours of snowfall, and kept generally clean and safe for pedestrian traffic. Dog poop? Your problem.

James

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I can well imagine that the nature strip is known by other names in other parts of Australia.

Possibly, but we've always called it the nature strip.

Wiktionary has nature strip as being an Australian term, and refers to the tree lawn entry for the US midwest, as well as providing alternatives for other places (devil's strip, parking strip, planting strip, sidewalk buffer and utility strip, with berm, boulevard, parkway and verge being alternative terms that have other meanings)

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According to my grandad who's always lived in Southern California and my grandpa who's always lived in Northern California, in California the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb is usually called a "parkway strip". The strip of grass that's in the middle of a road, whether it's by itself or separated from the road by curbs, is called a "median".

According to Steve (who was born and grew up in the Minneapolis, MN area) the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb is usually called a "buffer" or a "buffer strip".

According to Chris (who was born and grew up in the Seattle, WA area) the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb is usually call a "parking strip" even though you're not allowed to park on it.

The only official governmental document I could find through a cursory look via Google (what's the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb called in California?) was "parkway strip" in a document from the City of Santa Cruz:

SANTA CRUZ

Sidewalk Parkway Strip

Maintenance Program

Property Owner Responsibilities

Department of Parks and Recreation

Department of Public Works

This document also says (along with a lot of other stuff):

The property owner is responsible for properly maintaining this area (see Santa Cruz Municipal Code Section 15.20.210). This responsibility includes maintenance of damaged or displaced concrete, abatement of weeds or debris, and the maintenance of trees and shrubs whether on private or public property. Replacement and trimming of street trees and shrubs is further governed by Chapter 13 of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code.

Despite the above, my guess is that there's no universally accepted definition in the English Language for the space between a sidewalk and a curb (or whichever terms are appropriate for other English dialects). Doesn't that mean that we, the cohorts of The Dude of His Regal Awesomeness, can invent our own term and begin proclaiming it nigh and yon? Or hither and thither? Or whatever?

Colin :icon_geek:

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Despite the above, my guess is that there's no universally accepted definition in the English Language for the space between a sidewalk and a curb (or whichever terms are appropriate for other English dialects). Doesn't that mean that we, the cohorts of The Dude of His Regal Awesomeness, can invent our own term and begin proclaiming it nigh and yon? Or hither and thither? Or whatever?

Colin :icon_geek:

So we should call it, the AwesomeDude's nature strip? I'm not sure if he would be okay with that. Perhaps his Dudeness doesn't want us to party on his nature strip, or perhaps he does? Anyone brave enough to ask him?

:wave:

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1. It would follow, I'd think, that anyone partying on the Dude's Nature Strip would do so au naturel. I doubt His Dudeness would object to that, and in fact might insist upon it.

Civil Code 7.016: Anyone venturing upon the Nature Strip shall strip to so venture.

Yeah, that works for me.

2. As for a name for that strip of land that appears to be a minor fiefdom of sorts--the owner must keep it up, but to the city's dictates and demands--I think the term 'Municipal Margin' would be appropriate.

C

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In my municipality, I can plant flowers and bushes so long as they do not grower higher then the regulations allow. I cannot plant a tree without permission which will likely be refused because the council has its own tree planting program, with no charge to the property owner.

Upkeep of the nature strip and the trees, are councils responsibility, all covered by our yearly council rates and taxes. Those of us who have the standard lawn or grass in the strip, don't have to do a thing, the council arranges for the lawn to be weeded, cut and trimmed. You want it done differently, then you hire someone to do it at your expense, or do it yourself. Not many people bother with that.

Of course not all councils are as good as ours, and some have quite draconian requirements. These are particularly onerous when you want to alter something, like a new driveway to your property, or when council has declared a covenant or regulation that prevents you from having a certain style and height of fence around your property, or indeed having a fence at all in some districts.

So there is a wide variation on control and contribution by councils, here, and it varies from district to district, even within the same municipality.

Basically most councils accept responsibility on the public side of the property boundary, without further charges.

Most Australians I know, have a nature to strip at the first sign of hot weather, except those in Melbourne. :icon_geek:

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Where I grew up, straddling the US/Canada border, or more accurately bouncing back and forth across it, it was also called

the boulevard. On both sides of the bridge. And of course, that is what it is, the boulevard. :icon_geek:

Tracy

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In the UK where I have always lived that strip of green grass usually about a metre deep is known as the Grass Verge or simply 'The Verge' its directly before the kerb and the street then there is the pavement ( sidewalk? ) which is at least another meter and a half ifnot two metres and then house borders fences front walls whatever borders the house from the pavement.

Verges

"The majority of grass verges adjacent to roads are within the public highway. The local authority is required to keep these safe and unobstructed.

Grass verges:- The Highway Authority is responsible for maintaining grass verges as they are classed as part of the highway. We aim to keep verges safe and visible to motorists and pedestrians especially at road junctions.

The Borough council is responsible for highway matters within the urban area

This is the situation in the United Kingdom

post-8252-1263146785_thumb.jpg

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Legally, my partner tells me this strip of land is an "easement": a piece of property that the city could legally claim (without payment) if they needed to widen the road. I've seen cases where this strip of grass was ripped up and paved over in cases like this.

But we never called it anything when I was a kid growing up. I mowed lawns for many years to earn money as a kid, and I just considered it an extra part of the lawn. No special words for it in Florida, to my knowledge.

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"curb strip" in southern Connecticut, although only big cities like Bridgeport or New Haven had them--not suburban towns like the one where I grew up, which was quite devoid of sidewalks.

--Rigel

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