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Water World: Sustainable ‘scapes

January 14, 2020 -  By

Company: Pacific Landscape Management
Location: Tigard, Ore.

The Village at Summer Creek, a 125-unit homeowners’ association (HOA), needed a facelift for its turf areas and irrigation system in the name of sustainability. Pacific Landscape Management (PLM) started by reducing the small turf panels throughout the community.

Over the course of three weeks, team members worked on the project, converting half of the lawn areas into garden beds, rejuvenating the remaining turf and planting easy-care plants. The team members noticed the irrigation system was damaged during turf removal.

“We found so many items that were broken that the community didn’t even know about,” said Octavio Gonzalez, HOA account manager for PLM. “The community just thought they had a big water bill each season.”

The team also discovered the irrigation system was a mix of dripline irrigation and sprayheads. Plus, plants were being overwatered, and sprinklers were overshooting their targets.

“We had to make dedicated garden bed zones with their own watering times, and separate the grass zones and have them watered appropriately,” Gonzalez said. The next phase will take place over a three-year period and will involve boring new wire and connecting individual zones and valves; wiring all the valves together; and installing a Weathermatic controller as the central irrigation controller.

Tree in unsightly lawn (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Because it was not properly managed, many of the turf areas prior to the renovation were in bad condition.

Damaged turf area (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Many of the prior turf areas faced extensive damage.

Front areas of houses (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Before PLM undertook the project, many of the sprayheads missed their targets, such as the turf pictured here, and instead sprayed sidewalks and driveways.

Sustainable landscape bed (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Sustainable beds such as this one help minimize the amount of turf areas that need to be maintained.

Tree on damaged lawn (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Before the renovation, trees and turf areas were both unhealthy and unsightly.

Sustainable plant bed (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Easy-to-maintain plants replaced large portions of the turf areas.

Renovated turf areas (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Following the renovation, many of the community’s turf areas are smaller and more manageable.

Park area (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

A playground in the HOA boasts healthy turf after sustainable practices were employed by Pacific Landscape Management.

Sustainable bed (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

Pacific Landscape Mangagement took on the project at The Village at Summer Creek with the goals of sustainability and conservation top of mind.

Renovated turf areas (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

An after shot of the renovated turf areas.

Renovated front lawns (Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management)

Photo: Octavio Gonzalez, Pacific Landscape Management

An after shot of rejuvenated front lawn areas.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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