313. Sustainability in the Garden

Bartholdi Park’s 2016 renovation demonstrates how to use and reuse materials that sustain—rather than stress—the environment. 

Using locally-sourced materials reduces energy consumption and helps limit air and water pollution. Showcasing native plants provides greater resources to native insects and other animals. Reuse of materials cuts down on waste that must be taken to landfills.

The benches you sit on in the park are made of wood from a white oak tree that fell during a storm in Virginia. The flagstone paths you walk on have been repurposed instead of discarded. 

The sidewalks may look new, but they, too, are partly made from repurposed materials. During renovation, the existing sidewalks were broken up, crushed, and spread as a base for pouring new concrete. The stone in the Kitchen Garden walls and many bricks were also reused.

Even the paving stones have a positive impact on the environment. The use of permeable materials allows water to drain through into the soil instead of running off.

Are you building or renovating a garden? Materials that are locally produced and certified green are increasingly available. Read the labels, request products that are local and non-toxic, and look for wood products that are certified sustainable, indicating that the trees used to make them were harvested sustainably. 

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