Tired of the Winter Weather Blues? Think Spring!

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Courtesy of 4028mdk09 via Wikimedia Commons

As the Midwest and other parts of the US suffer through some of the worst winter weather in decades, it’s not too early to begin planning your Spring planting.

Planting flowers, landscaping public areas and other beautification projects not only can make your facility look better, it can also increase your workers’ productivity, improve the work environment, and result in economic benefits as well, according to Project Evergreen, a US-based green industry group.

Improvements to landscaping — such as planting trees, flowers and shrubs — offers social, environmental and economic benefits.

Among the social benefits of creating green spaces are:

  • Privacy and Tranquility — Well-placed plantings can provide privacy by creating barriers between busy streets, loud noises and the workplace.
  • Stress Reduction — Scientific studies have shown that green spaces can help boost people’s attentional resources, making them think more clearly and cop more effectively with stress.
  • Promoting Community — ¬†One study conducted by the Human Environment Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois indicated that “green spaces are gathering places that create close-knit communities and improve well-being … and in doing so, they increase safety.”

Environmental benefits of landscaping include:

  • Improved Water Quality — Proper landscaping helps reduce the amounts of nitrates that are leached into the soil and, consequently, the water supply, via surface runoff, keeping phosphorus and other pollutants out of waterways and preventing septic system overload.
  • Reduced Heat Buildup — Trees that are planted in open parking areas can reduce the amount of on-site heat buildup, decrease runoff and enhance nighttime cool down periods.
  • Better Air Quality — A single tree can scrub about 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. That’s the same as 11,000 miles of car emissions. One scientific study showed that an acre of trees can remove 13 tons of particles and gases from the atmosphere annually.
  • Conserves Natural Resources — When trees are used to modify temperatures, the amount of fossil fuels for heating and cooling are reduced. Properly placed deciduous trees can reduce temperatures in the summer, allowing air conditioning units to increase efficiency between 2 and 4 percent.

Finally, there are the economic benefits of landscaping:

  • Improves Property Value — The Aspen Environmental Companies recently reported that a landscaping investment can almost always be recovered and can help reduce time on the market when a property is put up for sale.
  • Better Visibility — A study conducted by the University of Washington indicated that drivers could find retail businesses more easily when they were framed with trees and vegetation, compared to businesses that had their green material removed.
  • Improved Worker Satisfaction — According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, employees with an outside view of plants experienced less job pressure and greater job satisfaction than workers who had to look at man-made objects or who had no outside view at all. Workers with a window overlooking greenery also reported fewer headaches and other ailments than workers without a view.
  • Perceived Value — A University of Washington study concluded that consumers are willing to pay an average of 12 percent more for goods purchased in stores that have high-quality landscaping.

While the temperatures are still sub-freezing and many areas continue to have snow on the ground, check out Barns complete supply of landscaping equipment and outdoor products so that you are better prepared to launch your Spring projects.