NEW FACT SHEETS REVEAL GREEN SPACE BENEFITS
There is new evidence linking green space to important environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits. In a series of fact sheets compiled from university and government research, Project EverGreen has uncovered important hidden values in the trees, turf and landscaping many urban dwellers take for granted.
“It's important for homeowners to realize that green is much more than just a pleasing color,” says Den Gardner, executive director of Project EverGreen. “In looking at university and government research, we found strong support for the practical advantages of maintaining and enhancing green spaces.” For example, the fact sheets describe:
- More value, less time on the market
A study cited in Smart Money magazine indicated that consumers value a landscaped home up to 11.3 percent higher than its base price. A second study by Aspen Environmental Companies found that landscaping investments are nearly always recovered and can help reduce time on the market.
- Views of plants increase job satisfaction
Employees with an outside view of plants experience less job pressure and greater job satisfaction than workers viewing man-made objects or having no outside view, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. They also report fewer headaches and other ailments than workers without the view.
- Water quality protection
Proper landscaping reduces nitrate leaching from the soil into the water supply and reduces surface water runoff, keeping phosphorus and other pollutants out of our waterways and preventing septic system overload.
- Reduced heat buildup
Trees in a parking lot can reduce on-site heat buildup, decrease runoff and enhance nighttime cool-downs. Tests in a mall parking lot in Huntsville, Ala. showed a 31-degree difference between shaded and unshaded areas.
- Reduced soil erosion
A dense cover of plants and mulch holds soil in place, keeping sediment out of lakes, streams, storm drains, and roads and reducing flooding, mudslides and dust storms.
- Lower crime and enhanced self esteem
Studies over a 30-year period in communities, neighborhoods, housing projects and prisons show that when landscaping projects are promoted, there is a definite increase in self esteem and a decrease in vandalism.
- Stress reduction
A study published in Environment and Behavior (Vol. 35:311.330) indicates that “̷by boosting children's attentional resources, green spaces may enable them to think more clearly and cope more effectively with life's stress.”
- Good landscaping increases community appeal
Parks and street trees have been found to be second only to education in residents' perceived value of municipal services offered. Psychologist Rachel Kaplan found trees, well-landscaped grounds and places for taking walks to be among the most important factors considered when individuals chose a place to live.
The new fact sheets, including complete source information, are now accessible at http://www.projectevergreen.com/resources/index.html.
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