The Town of Arlington recently created a Sustainable Landscape Handbook -- a comprehensive guide to shaping and maintaining an environmentally friendly landscape. Town officials say that whether the reader is a seasoned gardener or novice homeowner, this handbook provides valuable tips and strategies for transforming property into a beautiful and sustainable haven.

It can be be downloaded for free from the Planning Department website.

A town news release states that "The Sustainable Landscape Handbook caters to a wide range of landscaping projects, from small garden updates to large-scale transformations. Detailed instructions, practical advice and inspirational designs are presented in a clear and easy-to-follow format, making it an indispensable resource for both beginners and experienced landscapers."

The handbook promotes sustainable landscaping practices that conserve resources, protect the environment, and enhance the overall health of our ecosystem. Topics covered include:

  • Lawn alternatives: Explore eco-friendly alternatives to traditional lawns, such as native groundcovers and wildflower meadows.
  • Native plant selection: Discover the benefits of incorporating native plants into a landscape, promoting biodiversity and reducing maintenance needs.
  • Water conservation strategies: Learn effective techniques to conserve water, including rainwater harvesting and efficient irrigation systems.
  • Pest management: Implement natural pest control methods to maintain a healthy and thriving landscape without relying on harmful chemicals.
  • Organic fertilization: Discover the advantages of using organic fertilizers to nourish plants while safeguarding the environment.

The Sustainable Landscape Handbook is the culmination of a regional collaboration between the towns of Arlington, Stoneham and Winchester, funded by an Accelerating Climate Resilience Grant from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. This collaborative effort emphasizes the importance of regional cooperation in addressing environmental challenges and promoting sustainable practices, a town news release said.

Community engagement, education

The town, though the Department of Planning and Community Development, earlier in the year hosted a series of public events on sustainable landscaping, providing residents with hands-on experience and expert insights. Recordings and summaries of these events are available online, offering ongoing learning opportunities for those interested in adopting sustainable landscaping practices.

In line with Arlington's commitment to environmental justice, the Sustainable Landscape Handbook will be translated into Simplified Chinese to make this resource accessible to a wider audience and to help foster a sustainable and inclusive community.

This news item was published Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, based on a news release from Joan Roman, public information officer for the Town of Arlington.