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Please note: This summary is provided to help you understand the regulations. Consult the references provided for links to the full text of the regulations.

LandscapingLandscaping

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Overview

Many transportation facilities perform landscaping activities to improve the appearance of their property. For many, landscaping is an art, and the visual results are open to opinion — "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But whether your preferences incline toward highly manicured grounds, a natural appearance, or something in between, your landscaping activities will unavoidably affect the environment. Those effects can range from harmful (e.g., erosion, discharge of excess nutrients and herbicides), to beneficial (e.g., soil retention, carbon dioxide sink).

In addition to the environmental effects, landscaping can be expensive, requiring continual outlays for labor and materials to maintain appearance and vigor. But by implementing sustainable practices, the costs can be minimized without compromising the results.

Landscaping can also produce prodigious quantities of waste. Millions of tons of waste materials are hauled away, buried, or burned each day from landscaping and groundskeeping operations—trees, shrubs, brush, lumber, asphalt, and concrete, just to name a few. Consider also the millions of gallons of water, pesticides, fuels, and oils that landscaping activities consume each day. Updated landscaping methods can substantially mitigate the amount of materials used and waste generated, and the costs—both economic and environmental—associated with them.

The purpose of this section is to explore ways a transportation facility can implement cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping. The information presented here follows the system promoted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) GreenScapes program. Designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution, GreenScapes encourages companies to make more holistic decisions regarding waste generation and disposal and the associated impacts on land, water, air, and energy use.

Other applicable sections of this website include:

Why GreenScapes?

EPA's GreenScapes program is an approach to cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping. Designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution, GreenScapes encourages companies, government agencies, other entities, and homeowners to make more holistic decisions regarding waste generation and disposal and the associated impacts on land, water, air, and energy use.

See GreenScapes success stories.

More Resources

P2RX Topic Hubs—Landscaping. This primer is intended as a quick guide to the essential P2 information on landscaping, as well as a compilation of pertinent on-line resources.

Water Efficient Landscaping. This booklet describes the benefits of water efficient landscaping. It includes several examples of successful projects and programs, as well as contacts, references, and a short bibliography.

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