April is Earth Month, a time to honor and celebrate our planet. Did you know that April is also World Landscaping Month and National Stress Awareness Month? It’s not surprising that these topics share focus during the same month. Numerous studies have shown that spending time outdoors can significantly reduce stress levels, as well as provide additional health benefits.
In honor of this month, we are highlighting some of nature's benefits and ways to make your outdoor space more sustainable through native plant selection and environmentally friendly landscape products. Through awareness, choice and action, you can help make a difference in your next landscape project, and aid in the environmental stewardship of our planet.
Beneficial Effects of Nature
Did you know? In addition to reducing stress, spending time in nature can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Studies show that nature can also benefit children with learning difficulties & aid in cognitive thinking in adults. We are intrinsically connected to nature. As we take care of our planet, it takes care of us.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has links to hundreds of free research studies, news articles, and case studies, organized by adult and children health topics. Click here to view >
Sustainable landscapes are responsive to the environment, re-generative, and can actively contribute to the development of healthy communities. Sustainable landscapes sequester carbon, clean the air and water, increase energy efficiency, restore habitats, and create value through significant economic, social and environmental benefits. 
An important part of sustainable landscaping is plant selection. Native plants reduce storm water runoff, provide ecosystems for pollinators and offer many other benefits. Once established, native plants save time and money by reducing the need for fertilizers, pesticides, water, and maintenance.
Native Plants & Pollinators
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is one of the country’s most credible research institutions and effective advocates for native plants. The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to conserve, restore and create healthy landscapes. Their website offers a free Native Plants Database where you can explore the 8,573 native plants in North America.
The Pollinator Partnership is the largest non-profit organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. They offer over 30 beautiful ecoregional planting guides tailored to specific areas of the United States. A mobile app guide is also available to download.
Sustainable Landscape Products
When it comes to materials, making a conscientious choice in selecting earth-friendly products is good for the planet. As awareness increases, so will the demand increase for the incorporation of earth-friendly materials. For landscape architects, incorporating green materials into your landscape design can also earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits from the United States Green Building Council. John Rocco Sales represents top-tier manufactures of quality eco-friendly products for your landscape architectural needs.
Never before have WPC applications looked so modern, natural and wood-like. Geolam® is a sustainable wood-plastic composite used primarily for decking and cladding. Geolam profiles present a thoroughly convincing premium surface structure reminiscent of hardwoods and timbers. The entire range of Geolam composite products contains no chlorine, CFC’s, PVC’s, formaldehyde glues or solvents.
Thanks to the combination of wood plastic composite with aluminum, Geolam’s wood hybrid systems maintain their carbon footprint to a minimum. In addition, because Geolam is manufactured with 90% recycled materials, the products themselves are 100% recyclable, a perfect example of ecological stewardship.
Green Security Fence - Omega II Eco
If you are looking for security while utilizing vertical space, consider the Omega II Eco, a true green security fence system. The Eco fencing is an innovative way to add security & additional privacy from vertical growing vines and plants.
The ECO consists of an assembly of two welded wire panels that protects plants and foliage. The innovative bracket system allows easy access for plant maintenance.
Omega II Fence Systems is committed to producing state of the art fencing and not a polluted planet. All of the Omega II products are either recyclable or reusable, and most are made with an estimated 60-80% recycled steel.
Download the Omega II Fence Systems plant guideline for the Eco >
(requires Adobe Acrobat to view)
Pool & Water Features
We offer sustainable decorative product solutions for perimeter drainage in and around swimming pools, water features and aquatic facilities. Our grating products are environmentally friendly and fully comply with the ADA’s standards.
Emulating the natural look of stone, our engineered stone grating is the perfect choice for a finish which is both luxurious and natural to the touch. Slip resistant, it is safe for both children and adults, especially in frequently wet areas.
Our stone grating is available in a wide range of standard colors. Custom colors are also possible for creating almost any hue or shade desired.
Our metal wedgewire & profile bar products are a popular choice for use in trench grating, foot grilles, fountain covers, and pool drains. Profile bar grating can be curved or designed to match trench body shapes or air vents.
Available in a variety of finishes and SlipNOT coating for added slip resistance, the interlocking design produces an extremely flat surface, with excellent stability and strength.
Make A Difference
Little changes can make a huge difference in taking care of our planet and protecting our future. Sustainable landscaping is good for our air, our water, pollinators and us.
Help the planet by choosing materials that are earth-friendly, and together we can help to make a difference.
 American Society of Landscape Architects