EPA's Region 6 Office
Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations
Beautiful landscapes that protect our water
Greenscapes are full of color and interest, and require very little water and chemicals to maintain. Greenscaping is a compilation of landscape practices that drastically reduce water usage, encourage groundwater recharge, protect our water supply and reduce stormwater pollution. The goal of Greenscapes is to let nature provide the landscapes’ water and nutrient needs. In our Region 6 states, soils, climate and water supply make it unrealistic to have lawns that resemble golf greens, even if we had all the time and money in the world. Established Greenscapes have plants and turf with deep roots, which are naturally resistant to drought, weeds and disease. Greenscapes are good for you, your wallet and your environment in many ways.
- Increase your property values;
- Save money on your water bills;
- Nurture a safe environment for your family;
- Create more habitat for wildlife;
- Enjoy more free time by doing less landscape
- Reduce stormwater pollution; and
- Protect your community’s water resources.
Why should I Greenscape?
We need to make sure there is enough clean water for people and the environment. There are two major threats facing the water resources of our Region 6 states. First, like many urbanized areas in the U.S., we are running out of drinkable water sources and there is less and less water available to sustain our rivers, streams and wetlands. Second, water quality of our ponds, lakes, rivers, creeks, arroyos and bayous is impaired, and improvements are difficult and expensive. These two inter-related problems are partially due to maintainance of our landscapes. Consider the amount of drinkable water that is being used to irrigate our landscapes. During the summer season, many communities are faced with water demands that are 2-3 times more than the winter season. Not only does this place a stress on the environment, but our water supply systems cannot keep up with demand. This can result in a loss of pressure and potentially cause safety concerns for fire fighting. In addition, the more water we use, the more sources of water we will have to find and develop. The cost of developing new sources of water is large and those costs are transferred to consumers and citizens. Now consider the fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides being used on our landscapes. Chemicals that are not immediately absorbed by plants in our landscapes can end up polluting our water through stormwater runoff. Excess nutrients either leach through the soil to the groundwater, or they are washed by rain into stormdrains that lead to the nearest waterbody, contaminating our drinking water and causing rapid algae growth in waterways and lakes.