Spending time outdoors is a way of life for Jeff and Eric Sebert, father and son who share a love - the landscape as nature intended it. Their appreciation stems from growing up enjoying trees, plants and animals. And, that passion has grown into a progressive business venture that is a product of two generations of family sharing a vision for a greener world.
The Natural Prairie & Community Garden at Advocate Sherman Hospital produces a bounty of benefits.
When Advocate Sherman Hospital constructed its new location in Elgin, Ill., an expanse of land on the property was a blank canvas. Master Gardener Patsy Hirsch, a regular volunteer at the hospital, saw more than empty space. She asked then CEO Rick Floyd, “Wouldn’t this be a great place to put in a community garden?”
That conversation seven years ago planted the seed for Advocate Sherman Community Garden. “We make people healthy here through our services in the hospital, but it really starts with what we ‘put in’ and ‘take out’ of our bodies through food and exercise,” Hirsch relates.
There’s much more to a playground than exciting equipment that begs kids to slide, climb and swing.
The surface beneath a playground is actually the most important factor for a number of reasons, including safety, accessibility and sustainability.
Keeping up a playground surface can get expensive if you’re adding yards of new wood chips every year—we’re talking thousands of dollars, depending on the surface area. And you can count on replenishing wood chips or mulch annually.
Sustainable playground surfaces are safer and eliminate that annual expense. Plus, the sustainable playground surfaces today are aesthetically appealing—rubber can include logos and cool designs.
Water runoff picks up all sorts of harmful substances from surfaces—gasoline, debris, salt, excess fertilizers—forming an unsavory mixture for the environment that’s carried into sewer systems, potentially impacting the health of our water supply.
Some run-off is important to keep water away from foundations and areas where water can cause damage. But it’s usually best if water can enter the earth at the point in which it falls. Then, it will soak into the ground rather than rolling down a surface and collecting pollution.
How can you reduce surface water run-off and still have attractive hardscape on your Chicago commercial property?
The answer is: permeable pavers.
Green roofs in Chicago are gradually changing the texture and color of the skyline, improving downtown’s aesthetic and delivering sustainable benefits that are measurable.
Green roofs can lower energy usage for heating and air-conditioning, and reduce rainwater run-off. They even extend the life of a roof by protecting it from the elements. And, green roofs can help offset the urban heat island effect in cities where man-made surfaces—roads, parking lots, buildings, sidewalks—take over the landscape and squelch natural habitats. (There’s nothing natural about a concrete jungle.)
Construction can leave behind a wake of drainage issues, and after a hard rain it’s not unusual for property managers to notice standing water.
This is especially the case when land was recently developed. But sometimes water collecting on a site’s landscape is only discovered long after a building’s completion.
Many factors influence the way water runs off your Illinois property: land grade, impermeable surfaces, and even weather conditions.
Is your commercial landscaper investing in clean, efficient equipment that will tread lightly on your Chicago property? Gasoline is no longer the sole choice for fueling lawn mowers, and alternatives like propane can burn up to 35 percent cleaner than gas while reducing carbon emissions by 50 to 70 percent. With weekly landscape maintenance on your grounds, how your landscape provider fuels mowers really does make a difference. Are the mowers cutting your commercial property’s turf supporting your sustainability goals?
Green roofs are more than a way to deck the skyline of a city with green and provide a patch of nature for urban dwellers. Green roof technology is a solution for reducing energy consumption, mitigating rainwater runoff, filtering pollutants and fighting against the urban heat island effect.
Chicago is in the international spotlight for its green roof initiative and former Mayor Richard Daley's vow to make it "the greenest city in America."
When it comes to pests, you want effective control that will protect insects from invading and destroying your landscape while protecting your Chicago property from future infestations. Preserving the health of your green space is a top priority, and doing so secures your investment in the land.
Recycling, composting and generally dealing with waste in a smart, sustainable way is so important for Chicagoland commercial businesses for so many reasons.