Natural Playground, Codman Academy, Dorchester, MA

Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester, MA occupies a storefront in one of Boston’s low-income neighborhoods, sandwiched between units of affordable apartment housing. Their “playground” was a packed dirt yard abutting a parking lot. The school, which uses trauma-informed design to help at-risk students feel more grounded and safe, looked to the Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design (COGDesign) to create a more appropriate play space. Designer David McCoy of Geographia Landscape Design developed a beautiful plan for a…

Porous paving solves storm water problems

Which of these photos shows permeable interlocking concrete paving? Both! A concrete grid system (left) was once the only permeable option.  As municipalities have increased pressure on developers to minimize storm water runoff, a number of attractive permeable pavers like Permea (right) have come on the market.  These concrete pavers look like cobblestone, brick, or traditional pavers, but spacers allow water to flow between them, when filled with a fine, clean aggregate. Much of the flooding in urban and…

Beautiful permeable driveway option

This peastone driveway is dressed up by a granite cobble apron. We used a new product, a polymeric stone dust, in the joints of the cobbles. I’m very happy with how it is holding up after the winter, with no wash-out that we would see in such wide joints filled only with stone dust. The whole drive is permeable, making it a great option for sites needing to offset the impervious area of an addition…

Asian Longhorned Beetle Update

If you’re in the Boston area, you’ve already heard about the discovery at Faulkner Hospital of six trees infested with the Asian Longhorned Beetle.  Yesterday, our managers and crew leaders attended a briefing by the USDA to learn about how the problem is being addressed in the landcare industry. What Can We Do? Our crews will be monitoring the properties we serve throughout the Boston area, and will be contacting the USDA if we see…

Carbon-Reducing Landscapes

This week, the Senate Committee on  Environment and Public Works considers  new “cap and trade” legislation, which would limit carbon emissions by industry, and allow the purchase of carbon credits to offset excess emissions.  This potentially places a new value on green space, above its acknowledged benefits for our physical and mental health.  In time, carbon-sequestering green space may have a value on the open market. In an article in October’s Lawn & Landscape, scientists…