How does Landscaping contribute to a Sustainable Site?
The choice of Landscaping features dramatically impacts how the building integrates with its site. Choosing native species that have adapted to the Canadian climate means less maintenance is required in water, chemicals and maintenance. These choices need not compromise aesthetics, as there are many native species that flower throughout the growing season.
How do we landscape?
We use black-eyed susans, dogwoods, junipers, karlfoerster ornamental grasses and a variety of local tree species to provide shade, ground cover and colourful flowers on our grounds. Diluted horticultural vinegar is used to help abate weeds, along with traditional removal. All debris that is removed from the site (weeds, trimmings, dead plant matter) is composted and used for mulch and new plantings. We also use chipped wood from project iRestore as mulch on the gardens.
How does it make us more sustainable?
Fertilizers and pesticides are carried in stormwater into waterways and local bodies of water, degrading water quality and adversely effecting biodiversity in these ecosystems. Invasive species planted in landscaping can displace native species, altering ecosystems that took millennia to develop. Using natural Landscaping integrates the building into its surroundings and minimizes the side effects of changing the land from its natural state. Maintaining open, natural spaces, like the grounds surrounding the ERC, provides habitat for plants and animals that provide vital ecosystem services.