Green Landscaping Helps Us Help the Environment

This is the final installment of our 3-part series on the AVMA’s efforts to “go green” for the environment. If you haven’t already read the other posts, be sure to check out part 1, Building Renovations Help AVMA Go Green, and part 2, Going Green at the AVMA Offices.

There might still be a few weeks to go before Spring finally comes to our Schaumburg, Ill., headquarters (Well, “months” might be more accurate, but we can always hope, right?). But this seems like a good time to think about ways to be eco-friendly when the warm weather finally arrives. Since we own our headquarters building, one place where AVMA focuses its environmental efforts is with landscaping.

Among her many other duties, AVMA Budget Director Kim Michael-Lee is in charge of our facilities. Here are some of the things that she and her team do to ensure that our landscaping is not just eye-catching but also environmentally friendly. If you own your own business, or even a home, you might find some tips you can use.

  • Fertilizer: We conduct soil testing every year to make sure that we use exactly the right amount of fertilizer, only where and when needed.
  • Herbicides: We no longer use full-site weed control spraying; now weed control is done by hand, with spot spraying only as needed.
  • Plants: We emphasize the use of more native and drought-tolerant plants than in years past. We also plant fewer annuals, which generally require more watering, and focus more on perennial plantings instead.
  • Pond: Part of the AVMA property includes a retention pond. It’s necessary for flood prevention and provides a nice place for staff and visitors to get some fresh air at lunchtime. But algae can always create a challenge for pond owners. At the AVMA, we’ve eliminated the need for chemicals to control algae, according to Michael-Lee. Our solution? We use an aerator/fountain in the pond, and we add fish as needed to help with algae.

Do you have any other tips for green landscaping? We’d love to read your suggestions in the comments section.