Greenscaping - improving your yard and the environment

Greenscaping refers to a practice of planting environmentally friendly plants in a home or business, so as to reduce pollution, preserve natural resources, and prevent damage from storm water runoff, flooding, and other potential disasters. You might wonder - aren’t all plants “green?’ Don’t all plants make the community more environmentally friendly? If you asked those questions, you’d certainly be right - but there’s much more to greenscaping.

Greenscaping is best understood as using plants to make a positive impact on the environment. One great example are rain gardens. Rain gardens utilize native plants to collect and re-use storm water run-off created by our ever expanding use of concrete and other impervious surfaces. When a home or business owner plants a rain garden - they make a significant investment in the environment. They capture storm water that could damage their, or their neighbor’s, homes and businesses. They prevent erosion. They add beauty to the environment. They require fewer chemicals and water. And, most importantly, they have a positive impact on your property and on the environment.

Similarly, home and business owners can make a positive impact on the environment when choosing the trees and shrubs they plant around their property. Certain types of trees not only reduce the risk of flooding, stop erosion, and collect run off, but they can also trap pollutants and excess fertilizer, prevent water loss, control winds, and protect animals on land and water. By doing so, those same trees and shrubs impact much more than our yards - they also impact our lakes, rivers, streams, animals, and our entire community. The impacts are far reaching and unexpected.

There are many ways to incorporate “green” thinking into your next landscape project - from the plants that you choose to the layout of the landscape to composting your yard waste. If you’d like to learn more, please visit the City of Avon Lake Environmental Affairs Advisory Board website at www.avonlake.org/eaab for more information and upcoming events.


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