Landscapes play an important role in shaping the environmental quality of urban and suburban areas. These landscapes are living ecosystems in a network of impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, roads, and parking lots. Landscaping practices can positively or negatively affect local environments and human health through the use of:
- Water for irrigation
- Fertilizers and amendments for improving soil conditions
- Pesticides for controlling weeds, insects, and fungal disease
Negative impacts occur when there are high pesticide concentrations in urban areas, pesticide exposure incidents, limited consumer knowledge, and public health pests .
An initiative of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP), the Landscaping Initiative partners with businesses, lawn care professionals, government agencies, and community organizations. The Initiative seeks to enhance the environmental, human health, and economic benefits associated with landscaping while reducing the need for pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, and energy inputs by working in concert with nature.
Individuals can also take part in the Landscaping Initiative by:
- Educating themselves on responsible lawn care and landscaping practices
- Applying these practices to their own lawns and gardens
Taking action where you live is an important step in protecting human health and the environment.