Lush green grass tickles our toes … flowers treat our eyes to bold, vibrant colors … and fragrant shrubs delight us using their sweet perfumes. It’s easy to appreciate the sights and smells afforded by lawns and landscapes, but do you realize their real value is a lot bigger than pleasing aesthetics and aromas? That’s right, well-managed landscapes offer tremendous benefits for individuals and for the environment. Let’s explore some of the tiny understood, but vitally significant, benefits associated with landscapes.
Environmental Benefits of Managed Landscapes
Natural Coolants – Grass is a lot cooler than asphalt or cement. It acts as an “air conditioning equipment” for the encompassing area. Actually, lawns can be 31 degrees cooler than asphalt and 20 degrees cooler than bare soil. But wait, there’s more. Trees shading homes can reduce attic temperatures by as much as 40 degrees.
Environmental Cleaners – Grass plays a essential role in capturing dust, smoke particles and other pollutants, and it produces oxygen.
Water Protectors – Healthy lawns absorb unhealthy runoff that may otherwise filter into bodies of water.
Air Cleaners – Grasses absorb skin tightening and and break it down into oxygen and carbon. Actually, a 50’x50’ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family group of four.
Noise Minimizers – Lawns and plants significantly reduce noise pollution; they can reduce noise levels by 20 percent to thirty percent over hard surfaces like concrete and pavement.
Turfgrass slows down and absorbs runoff into bodies of water.
Even in areas that contain water restrictions and are experiencing drought, it is important that lawns and landscapes remain a viable element of healthy communities. There are a variety of sustainable practices that will allow managed lawns and landscapes to lessen water usage but nonetheless provide important environmental benefits.
Benefits of Urban landscaping services
A growing body of research is demonstrating how important it is to incorporate tree canopies and parks into cities and towns. They provide an array of lifestyle benefits that increase the quality of life for residents.
Parks and tree canopies lessen noise.
A recently available study by the U.S. Forest Service found that neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and larger yard trees have reduced crime rates.
Studies also show that just considering plants and trees, even via a window, can reduce stressand lower blood circulation pressure (Housley and Wolf).
Walking in an all natural environment with plants and trees, even though located in the center of a city, has been proven to improve attention and memory, according to a study by Marc Berman of the University of Michigan.
Neighborhoods that incorporate community green spaces have lower incidences of stress, have lower health care costs, and have an improved standard of living (Housley and Wolf).
Great things about Commercial Landscapes
Businesses are more lucrative when they offer clients with landscaped areas around buildings and plants inside buildings.
A report found seven percent higher rental rates for commercial offices having high-quality landscapes*.
Shoppers claim they’ll spend nine to 12 percent more for goods and services in central business districts which have high quality tree canopies.*
Shoppers indicate they will travel a larger distance and a longer period to visit an area with a high-quality tree canopy, and spend additional time there once they arrive.*
Physical and Psychological Benefits
The benefits associated with human interaction with plants, trees, and grass are also well studied and documented. Research has found that people find stress relief and healing when getting together with nature or even viewing it through a window. Children with ADHD seem to be to focus better after being outdoors (Harvard Health Publications). Workers tend to be more productive as well when employed in environments with plants, and cognitive function is improved.
But, perhaps more important than what science tells us, is what folks instinctively experience the plants and green spaces in their lives-that the connection makes their lives better, and they want to try to incorporate it to their lives.
Research from the Husqvarna Global Garden Report 2012 showed that “63% of respondents reported being willing to pay more for a flat or house if it was found in an area with good green spaces, compared with, for instance, 34% willing to pay more for an area with good shopping and 33% for good cultural venues.”
There are various organizations researching and documenting the affect of plants and green spaces on the surroundings and on our lives including:
University of Washington, Center for Urban Forestry
Green Plants for Green Buildings
American Society of Landscape Architects
The Lawn Institute
Nebraska Agricultural Extension Station Research Bulletin
Department of Interior
National Park Service