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Developing Healthy Landscapes

An unhealthy environment should not be the price of a beautiful landscape. Inappropriate plant choices and inadequate soil preparation can lead to a reliance on excessive use of water and on toxic chemicals to resolve problems. Ecological landscaping encourages practices that promote a healthy environment through conservation of resources, respect for biodiversity, and ecologically-sound techniques.


ClearWater Conservancy: Restoration in Practice

By Jennifer Chesworth In Central Pennsylvania, a local grassroots organization has made restoration the centerpiece of watershed protection. The ridges, valleys, farms and forests of Centre County, Pennsylvania share a truly unique “karst” topography of limestone and shale, underground streams, numerous caves, springs, and sinkholes, and a rare outcropping of quartz crystal that cuts across…

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What is a rain garden?

by Ed Himlan A rain garden is a small natural area that helps to cleanse stormwater before it flows into brooks and ponds. Rain gardens, also called bioretention areas, allow stormwater from impervious surfaces, such as streets and driveways, to soak into the ground.

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Pest Control Basics

When pest problems occur in the landscape, an understanding of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can help to reduce the use of harmful chemicals that can be harmful to beneficial insects. Watch the following Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) video to learn more. This video is an excerpt from an interview with ELA’s past Vice President, Kathy…

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Lawns – A Short Primer

Spring – Gypsum is used in areas where snow has been piled, where salt has been used and where people or vehicles may have cut corners or parked on the lawn during winter. Gypsum relieves soil compaction and the effects of salt by chemical binding it. It is better to use calcium chloride rather than…

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Mulch – A Short Primer

In the “original” natural systems of prairies and forests, what we would refer to as mulch is the accumulation of system litter – grass and plant stems, leaves and sticks, etc. The slow breakdown and eventual decay of this material is an essential part of these ecosystems and is crucial to their health and continued…

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Watering Your Landscapes – A Short Primer

Proper watering techniques are essential to the health of plants in the garden as well as in containers. In general, it is far better to water less frequently for longer durations. Frequent drenches can result in root-rot and attract moisture-loving insects. Frequent, shallow waterings are deceiving, as the deep roots will die and leave the…

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Watering Your Landscapes

Water use awareness and conservation in the landscape is becoming an increasing priority. Watch the following Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) video to learn more. This video is an excerpt from an interview with ELA’s past Vice President, Kathy Sargent-O’Neill. The complete interview aired on Plymouth, Massachusetts PACTV ( on the program, Seniority, which is produced…

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Soil Amendments and Soil Management

by M.L. Altobelli, owner of M.L.’s Greenery in Motion in Westminster, MA The goal in healthy landscapes is to develop healthy soils that persist beyond the current owner and landscaper soils that help to maintain diversity at all levels of the living community. Read complete article (PDF).

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