SLC_LogoHow do we as a landscaping company use landscapes to actually improve our environment? We all can make a difference if we think about landscapes in a different way than we may have in the past.

As a person who alters the land on a regular basis, my thinking over the years has gravitated to frequently as myself, “How do I provide landscaping solutions to impact our environment in the best possible way?”

This routine question led me to obtain a Sustainable Landscape Certification from the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA).

What Does Sustainable Landscape Certified Mean?

sustainable landscape rain gardenThe certification prepares a landscape professional to look at how we can integrate natural and created landscapes to meet the needs of our community in the short term and long term.

For example, instead of channeling excess water on a property to the street you might consider a bio-swale or rain garden to slow down the water flow and filter out any pollutants.

This would improve water quality for the long term and reduce erosion in the short term.

stepping stones in your landscapingIn general landscape professionals like myself tend to use plants based upon aesthetics focusing on flower bloom time , color, and texture.

Sustainable landscaping changes the criteria by focusing upon, biodiversity,  and the usage of native  and pollinator plants. Native plants can be better adapted to different soils, drought, heat, and cold.

The result is we begin using more plants that have natural resistance to pests requiring less pesticides to maintain them. Therefore, the benefits go beyond aesthetics by preserving the environment.

The inclusion of plants that attract pollinators helps to increase the population of honey bees and other beneficial animals that can help sustain the surrounding environment.

Why the Change to Sustainable Landscaping?

trees in fieldA traditional approach to landscape renovation has typically been to remove everything on site and start over without regard to the impact of the disturbance.

Sustainable landscaping minimizes the impact on the environment and works with the existing vegetation as a base for landscape design plans. By following this guideline we reduce the “ecological footprint” or human impact on the environment.

How Can We Work Together to Improve the Environment with a Sustainable Landscape?

We as individuals need to look at everything we do in our landscape design plans and consider how it affects long term, environmental, economic, and social needs of our world. Are we doing everything we can to create a healthy environment for our children?

This certification has helped our company to give us even more perspective to consider those needs. The next time you have a landscape project in mind, challenge your thinking of starting from scratch. Perhaps all it needs is the addition of some well-adapted native plants.

Each one of us has the ability to make a difference. If you’re concerned about the environment and would like those concerns to be taken into consideration for your next landscape project, we would be happy to talk to you.


Bob Kandratavich - bio

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