Sustainable Design for Your Yard

Sustainable Design

 

DESIGN WITH NATURE IN MIND

Take cues from nature. Even if you choose not to convert your home habitat to a completely naturalized landscape, such as a prairie or woodland, there are ways to design home landscapes that make spaces more environmentally healthy and family friendly.

Sustainable landscape design should be:

Functional

Allow for ease of movement, work, recreation and leisure that occur in and around the landscape.

Maintainable

Reduce maintenance to a particular level or condition, lowering labor costs and easing maintenance operations. A maintainable landscape also reduces the need for inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, equipment and water.

Environmentally Sound

A philosophy of “right plant, right place” as well as “right plant, right purpose” should dictate the amount of environmental, disease, and insect stress that a plant can tolerate.

Cost Effective

Cost effectiveness is impacted by the inputs, maintenance, plants and hard goods used in the implementation of the landscape, and by the quality of each.

Visually Pleasing

Beautiful yards are sustainable yards because we are inspired to care for them year after year!

INCLUDE MORE GROUND COVER, LIMIT GRASS/TURF

Minimize time spent mowing. Ground cover does more to capture rain water and runoff. It shades the ground, cools soil, promotes growth, and improves soil quality. Environmental standards for homes encourages homeowners to reduce lawn cover to less than 50% of landscape in a region with rainfall like Northern Ohio.

Incorporate Shade Trees

Urban trees limit the stress placed on stormwater management systems, provide cooling shade (which limits the need for air conditioning), provide a buffer between the street and lawn, absorb urban pollution, lower ozone, reduce blood pressure, add value to homes and provide homes to wildlife.

Think about Rain Gardens

Do you have areas where water accumulates in your yard? Consider making the spot more useful by incorporating a rain garden. Rain gardens capture water before it can collect in low places. Rain is collected and filtered before it enters the stormwater system.

Attract Wildlife

Most homeowners enjoy some wildlife. Consider what types of birds, animals or insects you might want to attract, and choose the types of plants that will provide food and shelter for those species. For example, cardinal flower does well in wet soils and attracts ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Plant one tree or four 5-gallon shrubs per 500 square feet of land disturbed by construction (including the area of the home footprint).

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