Sustainable Landscapes

Photo Credit: Larry Weaner

A sustainable landscape

  • Is designed to benefit the environment and function efficiently and aesthetically for human use and well being
  • Uses locally native plants that are appropriate for site conditions
  • Institutes a management plan for the removal of existing invasive plants and the prevention of future nonnative plant invasions
  • Provides habitat for wildlife and increases biodiversity
  • Promotes healthy air quality and minimizes air pollution
  • Conserves and cleans water
  • Promotes healthy soils
  • Is managed to conserve energy, reduce waste, and eliminate or minimize the use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Conservation Landscaping Guidelines developed by the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council
Photo Credit: Larry Weaner
Photo Credit: Larry Weaner

Complex environmental, economic, and human challenges are driving the need to implement sustainable landscapes. They require consideration of short and long-term needs of the environment and community. Sustainable landscapes can also be referred to as functional landscapes because they serve numerous purposes and provide multiple benefits within the built environment.

Source: Sustainable Landscapes Certification Manual – PLNA
Photo Credit: LandStudies, Inc.

A sustainable landscape…makes you feel good!

It is designed to benefit the environment, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and beautify the surroundings.

  • Provides nectar and habitat for thousands of native pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and hummingbirds, which are responsible for pollinating 75% of food crops worldwide!
  • Creates a sensory experience, allowing humans to engage in sight, smell, touch, taste and sound.
  • Replaces high maintenance, shallow rooted turf grass with low maintenance, deep rooted native plants.
  • Offsets environmental challenges such as water and air pollution, including climate change.
Photo Credit: LandStudies, Inc.
Photo Credit: Scott Kreider - Courtesy of LandStudies, Inc.

NRCS Native Pollinators 

Sustainable landscapes reduce mowing, watering, and yard maintenance while enhancing aesthetics and providing food and habitat for native pollinators. They also filter out pollutants to provide cleaner drinking water and air to breathe.