Kids, adults, and pets all need rec spaces. Generally, these facilities should be on level ground, with safe surfaces, and should be located away from quiet spaces or fragile plantings. Lawn is the traditional recreational surface, and there's no denying its safety, durability and usefulness. But meadows made of yarrow, sedges, or native grasses can stand up to a decent amount of play activity too, so consider them for a more sustainable alternative.
Informal lawn sports like volleyball and badminton require pretty large areas (80 x 45 feet and 60 x 30 feet, respectively). Formal recreation courts (tennis, racquetball, and so on) aren't terribly sustainable; they use up lots of resources, and they require impervious surfaces and regular maintenance. Similarly, swimming pools are pretty over the top, with their immense demands for energy and water. Why not save yourself big bucks by enjoying the local public facilities and use your yard to grow food instead?
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