Mowing Less = Reducing Pollution
Control Landscaping Cost While Reducing Pollution
by Nancy Schumm, Schumm Consulting LLC
One way for business owners to reduce pollution adjacent to waterways like streams, rivers, detention basins and lakes, is to replace traditional landscaping with native landscaping buffers. Similar to the USDA programs for reducing run-off from farms, businesses may qualify for federal or local grants for protecting and improving water quality by adding native landscaping features to their property.
Native Plants Assist in Reducing Pollution
Native plants are identified by their heritage, as they were indigenous to the region prior to European settlement. These plants require less maintenance than non-native plants because they have deep-roots adapted to our clay soils and our climate. Native plants, once established, don’t require constant irrigation, pruning, or mowing. They also naturally filter nutrients and act like sponges in our soils. As a consequence they reduce pollution and in some cases flooding by absorbing more water at the site rather than allowing it to flow off-site. Using native landscaping as a buffer to waterways can reduce pollution by as much as 95%.
Native landscaping, installed by competent companies who specialize in this work reduces traditional landscaping bills significantly. Imagine not having weekly maintenance expenses or significant water bills for irrigation systems that will no longer be needed? Other advantages to native landscaping are that they provide opportunities to form new community partnerships, gain good publicity in the green marketplace for the company, and improve community aesthetics.
An excellent example of a recently completed project is the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center who recently received a Conservation Award for their corporate campus in Schaumburg from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness.
The bottom line is that native landscaping looks better, costs less over time, and improves the environment; a win-win for business and the planet.
Nancy Schumm is the owner of Schumm Consulting LLC. She specializes in managing water protection projects with over 20 years of experience in grant writing and project management for a wide variety of landowners both private and public helping by reducing pollution. www.schummconsulting.com