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Jordan schools superintendent Matt Helgerson recently went to the City Council with this request: to plant native prairie grass on 2 acres alongside the renovated middle school that is opening this fall.

Sod first was proposed, but after working with a consultant to make the building environmentally friendly, Helgerson said prairie grass is a better choice. “We feel like the prairie grass is a complement” to the various features, he said. “It’s designed to be an outdoor classroom for students.”

But the council said no in a 4-3 vote. Among concerns it raised was the prospect of controlled prairie burns required every few years. Helgerson said that, while disappointed, he’ll return Monday with a revised plan for sodded areas amid native plantings.