Native plants may be able to survive on less water than grass, but they produce fewer environmental benefits. All plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis. The rate at which this conversion takes place is a function of leaf surface area and growth rate. Lawn grasses have far higher leaf densities and growth rates than native California plants. Hence, lawns such as genuine Marathon Sod absorb more greenhouse gas and cool the surroundings better than native plants.
Lawns also provide fire protection and erosion control better than native plants do. Native plants also provide little or no aesthetic improvement or habitat enhancement for people, while grass provides numerous advantages.
Grass also provides an attractive recreational surface. If grass lawns removed, will children and pets be forced to play on a patch of native shrubs and bark?