It’s easy to look at a freshly mowed lawn, pruned shrubs, and vibrantly colored flowers and think that commercial landscaping is just about making properties look beautiful. But as Landscape Professionals, we know there’s so much more going on in your landscape than what you can see. Professionally designed, installed, and managed landscapes do so much more than just add beauty to the places where we live, work, and play. In this post, we’ll explore 4 important environmental benefits of commercial landscapes that you may not have considered before.
1. Improved Air Quality
Do you remember that one science fair as a kid, when you did a project on photosynthesis? In case you forgot, photosynthesis is “the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water…and generates oxygen as a byproduct.” Plants are absolutely essential to carbon sequestration. They capture significant amounts of carbon from the air and release oxygen. In urban areas and places near industrial and manufacturing facilities, trees and plants also capture particulates and other microscopic pollutants, helping to clean the air we breathe.
2. Reducing Soil Erosion
Did you know that the root systems of plants and trees allow for 20 times greater water absorption than tilled soil? That also means that areas with healthy turf, trees and plants are far less likely to experience flash flooding and areas of standing water after a hard rain. Soil erosion isn’t just an aesthetic issue. Area of exposed dirt on a hillside indicate that the soil is weak. If not corrected, this can lead to mudslides after heavy rains. Reducing soil erosion in these areas can involve decorative plantings of shrubs and other groundcovers, meeting the functional and aesthetic needs of the landscape.
3. Reducing Noise Pollution
When most people think about a bustling, urban city, the soundtrack typically includes honking car horns, exhausts of trucks and buses passing by, and maybe even a jackhammer. The constant assault on the ears is part of the reason some city dwellers eventually flee to find peace and quiet in the suburbs. Modern urban developments are increasingly looking to commercial landscape designers and commercial landscape management companies to bring nature back to the city. Turf, plants, and trees are much better at absorbing sound than pavement and concrete walls. Dampening even a small amount the city’s noise makes the environment just a little more pleasant for its residents.
4. Regulating Temperature
In the South, we’re always looking for ways to keep ourselves just a little cooler. Whether adding more trees to create a natural canopy of shade, or installing a hedgerow to block the setting sun from a westward facing window, landscapes can have a big impact on temperature regulation. With more shade from trees, your home or office’s air conditioning system won’t have to work as hard to keep you cool, saving money on your electric bill. Studies have also shown that turf keeps the ground 10-15 degrees cooler in the summer and 10-15 degrees warmer in the winter than a paved surface. Another advantage that grass has over pavement – it doesn’t crack. Pavement expands and contracts as temperatures change, leading to cracks which become safety hazards. Replacing large paved areas with healthy turf reduces the amount of pavement that will need to be repaired or replaced, and better regulates temperature in the area.
These examples are just a few of the many ways that your landscape is working to help make your environment a little healthier and a little safer. The aesthetic appeal of a great commercial landscape project is hard to overlook, but just remember that there’s a functional purpose behind all that beauty, too.