4 Ways to Build a More Sustainable Park
Parks do more than beautify and enhance a community, they are vital for preserving the health of the environment.
Most parks and green spaces are a huge improvement over parking lots or other development from an ecological perspective, but they may not be as sustainable as they can be—and need to be. That’s because many were designed with an eye toward their aesthetics first and foremost. Aesthetics are certainly important when designing parks, but they shouldn’t be the only consideration. The impact a park will have on the planet needs to be a top priority.
Building an eco-friendly, sustainable park does more than provide a beautiful gathering place for people. A sustainable park promotes the health of the environment and promotes the quality of life for the people enjoying it.
Here are four must-haves when designing and building a sustainable park:
1. Plant Native Plants
Planting trees, bushes, and perennials that are indigenous to the area will encourage the growth of healthy ecosystems. Native plants also help strengthen the environment by bolstering the area’s native flora and fauna. For example, when it is designed with as many native plantings as possible, it creates a habitat for wildlife and encourages it to proliferate.
2. Use Sustainable Building Materials
Use recycled and/or long-lasting materials for park structures, such as benches, bike parking, and pavilions. Bamboo and reclaimed or recycled wood and metal are among some of the most sustainable building materials that can be seamlessly integrated into any park.
3. Implement Recycling and Compost Bins
Instead of just having trash bins scattered across the park, go for the trifecta. Some of the most sustainable parks in the country have trash, recycling, and compost bins available and they even outline which materials can go where to further promote use.
4. Install Artificial Grass
It’s no secret that artificial turf offers a lush, beautiful, low maintenance alternative to natural grass. But what many people don’t realize is that artificial grass is the responsible landscaping option with numerous environmental benefits:
- In 2012, the Synthetic Turf Council estimated that the use of artificial grass resulted in the conservation of six billion gallons of water. Because artificial grass does not require water to stay green, lush, and beautiful all year long, it is an easy solution to water conservation.
- Artificial grass reduces the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers while significantly decreasing runoff—a main cause of water pollution. In most cases, maintaining a park with natural grass means using an arsenal of fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killing chemicals to keep the park looking its best. Artificial grass eliminates the need for these chemicals and keeps them out of the environment entirely.
- Artificial grass reduces noxious emissions from the fleet of lawn maintenance equipment needed to maintain a park with natural grass. The exhaust from this kind of gas-powered equipment contributes to environmental pollution and creates high levels of ozone. By installing artificial grass, it decreases the amount of gas pollution that goes into the air, which will significantly reduce the park’s carbon footprint.
As the population continues to grow and environmental concerns move increasingly to the forefront of public knowledge, more and more communities are looking for outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and sustainable. That’s why sustainable parks are such a big trend in the public design space today.
Artificial turf has a measurable, positive impact on the environment and is the first step towards designing and building a sustainable park. To request a quote or if you have any questions, contact Turfix today!