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How the drought in the West affects everyone

July 7, 2015 -  By
Sabeena Hickman

Sabeena Hickman

Even if you don’t live in the Western states, you’ve heard by now about the severe drought and the historic water restrictions ordered by California’s governor.

So why should you care if your area is doing just fine? Well, most regions suffer drought at one time or another. Many clients are more in tune to these types of issues now and want expert advice on how to save water in their landscapes and how to choose the plants that will survive more severe climate swings. As stewards of the environment, it’s important that we as an industry offer clients wise counsel. Talk to them about water-saving techniques and smart irrigation, talk to them about choosing the best plants for their climate and the importance of planting them in the most suitable sites in their yard so they need less watering. Educate them about how grass and plants react to short-term droughts and how they bounce back afterward. It’s also important to stress the benefits that grass, plants and trees provide by decomposing pollutants, dissipating heat, lowering allergy-related problems, reducing home cooling costs and acting as a fire barrier.

Also, pay attention to environmental issues at the local and state level. When officials discuss regulations that affect your care of the landscape, get involved, help educate them or contact your state or national association for assistance. Your work plays an vital role in the environmental health of your community. You have an important role as an educator to help get the word out that landscape professionals are making a difference when it comes to smart, sustainable landscapes.

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About the Author:

Hickman is CEO of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

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