Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar titled, “Green Strategies for Colorado Landscapes.” presented by the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC). Designed for green industry personnel, it was a great way for attendees to learn how to share practical sustainable ideas with their clients. The speaker, Tony Koski, Ph.D., is an Extension Turf Specialist with Colorado State University, and is well-recognized throughout the country as a leading horticulturist. Tony delivered a terrific talk full of researched-based information on how to cope with the challenging landscape conditions in Colorado in environmentally sensitive ways.
Adopting one definition from the University of Minnesota, Tony defined a sustainable landscape as one that is “functional, maintainable, environmentally sound, and aesthetically pleasing.” The important principles that he included were:
Landscaping in harmony with the natural conditions in Colorado
Reducing waste and recycling materials
Nurturing healthy soils
Conserving water, energy and topsoil
Using integrated pest management
Reducing stormwater runoff
Creating and preserving wildlife habitats
Many of these topics can be adapted to the home, and backyard environment. Every gardener can create a “sustainable” landscape, incorporating some of these principles. As we head into the gardening season, look for more posts on this important topic!