MICRO-COURSE: Why the Grower Program?

What's in this course.

  1. The modern landscaping paradigm & landscapers.

  2. Landscaping trends are shifting.

  3. SHARE THIS: Did you know?

  4. How modern landscaping affects workers.

  5. Tools and machinery.

  6. Chemical exposure.

  7. The Grower Program.

  8. SHARE THIS: Did you know?

  9. Growers: the next generation of land stewards.

  10. 5 ways Roots Down is growing green jobs.

  11. How to talk to your landscaper.

  12. Ecologically-friendly landscaping.

  13. Talk with Your Landscaper.

  14. DO THIS: How you can help.

  15. Additional notes.

The modern landscaping paradigm & landscapers.

America is covered in lawns. So much so that there are almost 50 million acres of turf from sea to shining sea. Since the 1970’s, the landscaping and lawn care industry has grown into a $128.8b behemoth, with over 600k companies vying to mow and blow all 50 million acres of American lawn. It employs millions of people and has become as ubiquitous in the US as its culinary counterpart, the fast food joint. Landscaping and lawn care is a juggernaut, chugging across America’s golf courses, apartment buildings, corporate developments, and yards and leaving a growing, but hidden suite of ecological and societal problems in its wake.

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Landscaping trends are shifting.

After decades of mow and blow, people are starting to catch on to the detrimental effects of existing landscaping practices.

Multiple news sources, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, and The New York Times, to name a few, are releasing articles about the negative effects of lawns. Drought-stricken states out west are creating programs to financially reimburse those that reimagine their landscapes to minimize their water consumption. The pandemic skyrocketed demand for ecological landscaping as more and more Americans took up gardening and became more climate conscious. These evolving trends are leading to a larger landscaping market shift. People are beginning to realize they can achieve net zero emissions, conserve water, reduce air pollution, and grow food by simply changing their landscaping practices. All without increasing their existing landscaping budget.

While the demand for ecological landscapes, or Productive Urban Landscapes as we like to call them, is high, the pool of landscapers and landscaping companies that can meet this demand is less than 3%. As proven previously, this gap in the industry is not for lack of consumer demand but rather for lack of educational tools and knowledge available for landscapers to implement desired ecological solutions.

How modern landscaping affects workers.

Since the 1600s, American landscapes have evolved from no-nonsense productive home gardens to carefully manicured lawns and decoratively trimmed hedges. Modern landscaping takes on a more aesthetic approach, where the focus is on cleanliness, simplicity, and complimenting shapes, rather than on productivity. However, this “cleanliness” of modern landscapes is a driving force for America’s alarming destruction of biodiversity, soil erosion, environmental pollution, and greenhouse gasses. And who is looking after all these mowed lawns and trimmed hedges? You guessed it - landscape workers. Maintaining these “mow and blow” environmentally degrading lots is not only extremely labor-intensive, but it also puts workers in harms’ way as they encounter a variety of hazards in a typical days’ work.