Landscapers Discuss Hillsboro’s Environmental Sustainability Plan

October 07, 2015

Hillsvoro Landscaping Basalt Border WallThe Portland area is world-renowned for its Eco-friendliness, but surrounding areas are also taking huge steps to protect the environment. In this post we discuss Hillsboro’s 2035 community plan. This plan takes proactive steps to protect natural resources, minimize greenhouse emissions and pollution; and to recover, reuse, and renew resources. We will be taking a closer look at the 2035 community plan and discussing how some of the ideas presented in the plan can be implemented by homeowners who are looking for green garden and landscape practices. As Hillsboro landscape contractors, we are also committed to Eco-friendly practices.

The 2035 Community Plan. According to the Goal Statement of Hillsboro’s 2035 Community Plan, Hillsboro sees itself as an ecologically friendly and responsible community. The ideals and concepts in the Hillsboro plan can serve as a model for any community. The plan emphasizes the connection between economic prosperity and environmental health. Hillsboro’s Community Plan also focuses on collaborative work. The idea here is that to develop and grow the thriving communities of the future we have to work together as a community.

Hillsboro’s 2035 Community Plan also includes an Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP). The Implementation Stewards of this plan are also community based and include Clean Energy Works, Hillsboro School District, Northwest Natural Gas, Oregon DEQ, Portland General Electric, Portland Community College, Washington County Recycling, and others. The objectives of the ESP address Energy, Resource Conservation, Resource Recovery and Renewal.

We invite homeowners and HOAs to follow the City of Hillsboro’s lead and take steps to “green up” everyday gardening and landscaping practice. As Hillsboro landscapers, we are always looking to improve the sustainability of our practices. Here are a few approaches we’ve found for eco-friendly Hillsboro landscaping.

rain gardenRainwater Harvest/Rain Garden. There’s no denying the wetness of the Pacific Northwest. The key is not saving water for later use, as is critical in drier areas, but instead keeping it out of storm run-off drains. This slows down drainage, and allows the water to filter through soil, rather than dumping directly into the river. This is crucial, as storm-water contains toxic pollutants that taint downstream ecosystems. If you disconnect your downspouts, and route runoff into a rain garden, the water will be filtered by the soil for cleaner watersheds. Using rain barrels and rain gardens to accept water as it runs off the roof eases the pressure on city infrastructure.

Organics. Chemical fertilizers degrade the soil and pesticides often contain toxic chemicals that can threaten wildlife. One good idea is to make your own organic compost from your grass clippings, leaves, and non-meat or dairy kitchen scraps (coffee grinds, used tea bags, fruit peels, egg shells, veggie discards, etc.). We would be happy to set up a composting system in your Hillsboro yard—just give us a call!

Working with Nature. By working with nature you can reduce energy costs. Usually this involves the strategic placement of shrubs and trees to cool your home in the summer and keep it warmer in winter. This might also be extended to the use of solar energy and other forms of alternative energy.

Using Natives. Native plants are a great choice for our area because they are typically better adapted to our dry summers and wet winters. This means that they require fewer resources and are more likely to thrive if planted in the right location.

Stream Bed with French Drains on Slope aboveSustainable Maintenance. We suggest favoring hand-pruning techniques, organic care, natural pest control using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, and choose electric, or hand tools over gas-powered. These are all steps that our company takes to make our landscaping work environmentally friendly.

Lawn reduction. Lawns are water hogs, so reducing your yard in favor of plants or hardscaping makes good ecological sense. In addition, you will require less mowing, which is also harmful for the environment (unless you use a hand mower). Having a smaller lawn also makes it easier to hand mow, provided you keep the blade of your hand-mower sharp. Finally, the use of groundcovers, moss, or cover crops such as clover will reduce the environmental impact of your lawn.

Sustainability at Landscape East & West. Here at Landscape East & West we are committed to sustainable landscape practices, and we enjoy helping our clients become more sustainable as well. Our whole team is properly trained in environmentally friendly practices, including:

  • Using mulching mowers
  • Promoting and using organic fertilizers
  • Hand weeding to avoid excess chemical use
  • Organic tree and shrub care that includes organic soap to deter pests
  • Irrigation and watering techniques that save water
  • For residential sites we can use battery powered equipment over gas powered

Call Landscape East & West today if you would like to learn more about how you can implement more sustainable practices in your own outdoor space. We are also happy to schedule a one-on-one consultation about our Eco-friendly, sustainable services.

Hillsboro Landscaper Matt O'CallaghanAuthor bio: Matt O’Callaghan is a Residential Account Manager at Landscape East & West who enjoys helping our clients create Eco-friendly outdoor spaces. When homeowners and HOAs work with the team at Landscape East & West, they receive hands-on attention and work with trusted and award-winning contractors who are dedicated to enhancing the beauty of outdoor spaces as well as nurturing plant health.