Sustainable Landscape Design

Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) & ALCC’s Certificate Program

June 2, 2023

As Coloradans, we take pride in our state’s abundant natural beauty. We know first-hand the restorative and rejuvenating effects of spending time outdoors and hold a deep passion for preserving it, ensuring that future generations can also cherish and enjoy it. That’s why many of us at Environmental Designs are interested in sustainable landscape management (SLM), to ensure that we preserve our environment and enjoy the rewards of it responsibly. From soil health improvements and drought tolerance to carbon sequestration, SLM’s benefits are plentiful, making it an exciting option for those who want their outdoor living spaces to become healthier and more vibrant with sustainability in mind. If you want to discover more about sustainable landscaping and its applications for your surroundings, this post is tailored for you!

Spring Flowers

What Is Sustainable Landscaping? 

Sustainable landscaping involves the design and upkeep of outdoor spaces in an environmentally conscious manner to minimize the negative environmental impact while conserving natural resources. It’s about working with nature rather than against it. There are many ways to achieve this. For instance, you can use native evergreen plants that require less water, implement drip irrigation systems, add features such as rain barrels or compost bins, and use permeable paving instead of concrete.

Sustainable landscaping also plays a crucial role in dealing with environmental issues such as air pollution, soil erosion, and water pollution. Starting with landscaping is essential because it is the first thing people notice about your property sets the tone for its environment. Adopting sustainable gardening practices can make your outdoor spaces greener while contributing to a environmentally-conscious future for our planet.

Elements of Sustainable Landscape Management 

In sustainable landscape management, multiple elements are vital in creating and maintaining an environmentally-friendly space.

  • Proper soil management, including composting and reducing chemical usage, is crucial for healthy plant growth and reducing pollution.
  • Water management techniques like rain gardens and drip irrigation can conserve water resources and prevent runoff.
  • Choosing native plants and implementing sustainable plant maintenance practices helps reduce the need for harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Integrated pest management strategies prioritize natural solutions to pest problems, minimizing chemical usage.
  • Energy conservation practices like solar-powered lighting and tools can power the landscape without relying on fossil fuels.
  • Properly managing waste through recycling and responsible disposal helps reduce waste entering landfills.

Challenges and Solutions to Sustainable Landscape Management 

Considering the persistent challenge of climate change, sustainable landscape management has become more critical than ever. However, maintaining a sustainable landscape while preserving its natural beauty can be challenging. Still, with careful planning and practical solutions, creating an eco-conscious and beautiful ecosystem is possible. For example, many cities and municipalities have implemented stormwater management systems that channel water runoff toward green spaces and public gardens, reducing erosion and improving water quality. Additionally, using native plants in landscaping designs can help reduce water usage and provide a natural habitat for local wildlife. By implementing sustainable practices, individuals can work towards creating a beautiful, functional landscape that will have long-term benefits for both people and the planet in the long run.

EDI Truck

ALCC’s Sustainable Landscape Management Certification 

At Environmental Designs, sustainable practices are top of mind. That is why many of our designers are certified through ALCC’s Sustainable Landscape Management Initiative Certification. ALCC’s program aims to equip professionals in the landscaping industry with knowledge and skills that promote environmental sustainability. This training program covers various aspects of sustainable landscape management, including water conservation, plant health care, and pest management. Program participants undergo classes and training to implement sustainable principles and practices in their work. Upon completing the program, recipients earn a certificate recognizing their commitment to sustainable landscape practices. This certificate affirms that they have the knowledge and skills to design and maintain landscapes that are not only beautiful but also sustainable. With this certification, recipients can position themselves as individuals emphasizing environmental stewardship and sustainable landscaping practices.

ALCC’s Sustainable Landscape Community Initiative 

The goal of ALCC’s sustainable landscape community initiative is to enhance our living environment through sustainable landscape design and maintenance practices. To do so, ALCC actively promotes sustainable landscape practices such as reducing water usage, improving soil health, and reducing the use of pesticides. The initiative also educates communities about the importance of sustainable landscape practices and encourages adopting these practices in residential and commercial settings. ALCC recognizes the vital role that landscaping plays in the overall well-being of our environment and aims to create aesthetically pleasing and environmentally responsible landscapes. Through this initiative, ALCC seeks to encourage community members to participate in building a more sustainable and resilient future.

Sustainable Landscape Management Certified Landscapers

SLM Training and ALCC Membership Information 

This educational program is only available to ALCC members, and to participate in the training class and obtain the SLM certificate, individuals must be employed by a company that holds membership in ALCC. Before the class, the purchase of the SLM manual is required. With Northern Water Conservancy District subsidies, registration fees have been lowered for a limited time. The training classes are for four hours and are scheduled from 8 am to noon unless specified otherwise. Upon course completion, you’ll receive a link to an open-book electronic exam consisting of 50 timed questions. A certificate is required every two years via a certification exam and payment of a renewal fee.

Two Sustainable Landscape Management Certified Landscapers

Benefits of the SLM Certification 

Choosing a landscaping company that is certified comes with numerous benefits. Companies that have obtained certification have undergone thorough training and gained extensive knowledge in sustainable landscape management. By hiring such companies, you can ensure that your landscape design will be environmentally conscious. You can be reassured knowing that the company you choose for your landscaping needs recognizes the significance of working harmoniously with nature, rather than opposing it. Additionally, certified professional landscapers possess various skills and knowledge that enable them to create and maintain outdoor spaces that are aesthetically pleasing but also functional and sustainable. With a certified landscaping company, you can be confident that your outdoor space will be well-maintained and with the environment in mind.

At Environmental Designs, we view ourselves as stewards of the environment. We are dedicated to sustainability and actively work towards minimizing our environmental footprint. Our goal is to provide exceptional landscaping services that will distinguish your property from that of your neighbors and contribute to a more sustainable landscape. We have almost every member of our leadership SLM certified! From our President to our account managers, we understand the importance of this certification. Our residential landscape services are designed around you and how you want to use your outdoor spaces. For commercial customers looking for an outdoor space refresh, our ALCC Sustainable Landscape Management certification offers comprehensive professional solutions for businesses or organizations. No matter what project you’re tackling or the scale or complexity, we’ve got you covered with sustainable practices and modern solutions. If you’re looking for help with a landscape project, we invite you to contact us today and learn more about how we can contribute to making your vision a reality!