Landscape Logic: How hard does your landscape work?
Even though we usually think about the sweat equity we, as busy weed-pulling and lawn-mowing humans invest in them, our landscapes do labor for us.
This holiday weekend as we get a break from our own labors — and perhaps spend more time outdoors — it’s a good time to appreciate the outdoor areas surrounding us.
There is a lot going on in the plant world and most of that activity comes right back to help us live healthier and better lives.
Peaceful ambiance: When our world caves in with bad news or loss, our instinct is often to head outdoors to find peace within green spaces and fresh air.
Places to celebrate: Whether we’re just glad it’s finally the weekend or celebrating a big event, we want to be outside on the backyard patio or at a large outdoor venue.
Cleaner air: Trees absorb carbon dioxide — an average of about 26 pounds of carbon dioxide per tree per year. Trees also produce oxygen and their shade helps mitigate high city temps.
Cleaner water: When water is allowed to run through, rather than over, landscapes, it typically exits cleaner than when it entered, sends less run-off down the drain and keeps pollutants out of ground water.
Hard-working lawns: Did you know a lawn absorbs rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field? On a hot day, lawns are 30 degrees cooler than asphalt and 14 degrees cooler than bare soil. Lawns labor for us, too.
These are tremendous environmental benefits that help maintain our urban ecosystem.
As Colorado continues its path of more development, increased industry and a rising population, our outdoor environments will become more critical to keeping our environment clean and for providing habitat for displaced wildlife.
As you enjoy the end of summer, also celebrate the labor of all our landscapes.
Richardson has shot for the magazine since 1984, and his work is up for public viewing at multiple locations in the area.