When a neighborhood needs a breath of green for residents to enjoy, parks offer them just that. Paradoxically, though, parks can harm the ecosystem around them because of the various forms of human intervention that their construction and maintenance entail. If you’re concerned about these negative consequences, here’s how to make parks more sustainable.
Reduce Chemical Use
Although chemicals may help significantly in the park’s maintenance, they can negatively impact the environment. When certain pesticides get into nearby bodies of water, for instance, they may harm animals and plants living there and kill populations of these organisms. Likewise, chemical fertilizers have the potential to cause algal blooms, which overrun other local species. By minimizing the use of these chemicals in the park, you can prevent irreversible damage to the surroundings.
Don’t Compact Soil
When heavy construction machinery, average vehicles, and multitudes of people tread along the earth, it’s pressed down tighter and tighter. Though this only makes a small difference in the ground’s appearance at first, it’s not healthy for the soil and plants. Compacted ground has no space for water to pass through, so it instead collects near the surface. Furthermore, plants cannot spread their roots because of the resistance that compacted soil presents. As the soil becomes barer, erosion happens more easily. You can work against this by lessening your use of construction equipment at the park, as well as by occasionally tilling the soil encourage plant growth.
Use Green Materials
Making parts of your park from eco-friendly materials is a simple yet productive way to increase its sustainability. Familiar materials such as wood often need chemical treating, which can get into the environment. As an alternative, look to a material like plastic lumber, which does not require any surface compound to make it durable against natural forces, such as decay and rot. Plastic lumber is also made of recycled HDPE, which saves used bottles and jugs from contributing to pollution in dumping grounds.