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Maintaining our landscapes to death

The key to any successful landscape is maintenance, and yet current "mow and blow" techniques tend to create more problems than they solve. The average landscape needs to be replaced or updated every 3-5 years. Which means, all those amazing landscapes you installed at your latest project will be gone within 5 years.

It's not your landscaper's fault, though! The goal behind modern landscaping is to remain exactly the same year over year, yet the natural world is always changing. So landscape maintenance has turned into a never-ending battle against the natural growth of the landscape. What if we stopped fighting our landscapes and started helping them thrive instead?

Roots Down helps developers, local governments, HOA's, and property managers reimagine landscapes as places of beauty, abundance, and sustainability. We work with your designers and landscape architects to ensure designs encourage soil health, biodiversity, and community.

Our work goes far beyond the design stage, though. We help ensure the long-term success of every project by offering targeted education and training tools for the contractors responsible for installing and maintaining the landscapes. We also offer community engagement strategies that grow a culture of stewardship among residents and visitors.

Taken together, a Roots Down provides a proven pathway to landscape development that is sustainable, cost-effective, and provides a wide range of of benefits for your residents, your contractors, and your profitability.

Beautiful, abundant, & sustainable.

Productive Urban Landscapes (PUL's) are the perfect integrated sustainability solution for projects and communities of all sizes. From backyard garden space to wildflower meadows, PUL's provide a beautiful and cost-effective way to reach your sustainability goals, while addingamenities that only get better with age.

The fiscal impacts.

Thoughtfully integrated PUL's can have several positive fiscal impacts. For starters, PUL's are generally more cost-effective to install, since they make up for their slightly higher price tag with higher sales prices (sometimes as much as TEN percent!). But what makes PUL's truly dynamic is that they can also cost less over time, since properly installed and maintained PUL's can last years longer than traditionally maintained landscapes, and require less water, pruning, and chemicals to thrive.

The social impacts.

Study after study shows that not only will people pay a premium for access to green space, but that mental and emotional health is also strongly correlated with access to natural spaces. PUL's provide a design pathway to reimagine every part of a development as a chance to create meaningful connections among residents. There's no space too small that can't be made more joyful by a little bit of nature.

The environmental impacts.

The most important benefit of PUL's is that they provide a wide range of environmental and health benefits to residents. From increased access to nature and cleaner air, to healthier soil and quieter neighborhoods, PUL's are a strong step toward environmental sustainability. They require less carbon to maintain and sequester more over time, all while decreasing erosion and increasing biodiversity.

What's a Productive Urban Landscape?

While every Productive Urban Landscape is different, they generally share key characteristics:

  • Minimize work and inputs (like gas-powered equipment, or pesticide/herbicide use)

  • Incorporate native pollinator plants

  • Include food-producing trees and shrubs

  • Encourage ecological soil health practices

PUL’s are dynamic places that use elements of traditional landscaping (like organized planting patterns and areas to sit, eat, and play) but bring in the natural world (like biodiversity, pollinator habitats, etc.), and plants that provide food. They use the natural desires of plants and animals in order to create gorgeous, and useful places that can be enjoyed year round.

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