At James River Nurseries, we strive to be good stewards of the environment. Below are a few ways in which we give back.
A rain garden is typically planted with wildflowers and natural vegetation. It is visually attractive and offers many unseen benefits. These benefits include:
- Capturing and filtering storm water
- Reducing drainage problems
- Offering wildlife habitats for birds and butterflies
- Protecting rivers and streams
- Recharging ground water
Man-made ponds are an efficient way to help capture and store rainwater as well as surface runoff. Once captured, we are then able to pump the water, via an irrigation system, to plants on the property. Ponds provide many benefits including both water and energy conservation as well as making the best use of a natural resource. We have three such ponds on our property and a fourth pond is in the works. These ponds allow us to keep a constant source of irrigation for our plants without stressing a water system. This independent water supply is particularly beneficial during extreme dry conditions. Rainwater is a great source of water for plants because it does not contain flouride or chlorine.
Bio-Filters and BMPs
Developers often use Bio-Filters and BMPs (Best Management Practices) in order to control storm water runoff. Developing land, laying pavement and new construction all increase the volume and speed of storm water runoff. This can lead to flooding, as well as damage to property and habitats. It can also decrease water quality because of the flow of pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment. This all leads to the pollution of lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands. Bio-filters capture and biologically degrade pollutants. Landscaping is a critical component in this process, improving function as well as appearance.
Landscapers use mulch on their projects in order to reduce soil erosion, provide nutrients to the plants as it decays, help retain moisture and is aesthetically pleasing. At James River Nurseries making the best use of this resource is another way for us to be good stewards of the environment.
At the end of each day all plant material debris and cuttings are collected and brought back to the nursery. Our mulch supplier then picks up the debris and takes it to their processing facility. The recycled wood and plant material products are chipped into mulch and treated for insecticides and fungicides to remove all foreign pathogens. The mulch is then dyed to the color of our liking and brought back to our facility to go out to another jobsite. All of our mulch is 100% recycled and is another example of how materials that would typically be lost to burning or land filling can be transformed into a usable product!
Green Roof Systems
At James River Nurseries we have the skill and knowledge to install green roof systems. In addition to being an aesthetic improvement, green roof systems offer many other benefits. A few of these benefits include:
- Prolonging the life of HVAC systems through decreased use
- Act as natural filters for water runoff
- Reduce the volume of storm water runoff helping to decrease the stress on sewer systems at peak flow
- UHI (Urban Heat Island) is reduced by covering one of the hottest surfaces in the environment – black rooftops
- Reduce the distribution of dust & particle matter throughout the city. They also can play a role in reducing greenhouse emissions
A well-designed landscaping plan can help block the summer sun and heat, ultimately lowering energy costs. Shading is one of the most effective ways to reduce solar heat. Deciduous plants in full leaf are great interceptors of direct solar radiation. During the winter, they shed their leaves to let in welcomed sunlight. Shrubs and trees can also save on energy costs by acting as a form of insulation. The EPA suggests that trees planted along the south side of your home could cut costs by as much as 20% during the summer.