Trendspotting: Sustainable Gardening

By Teresa Woodard

Hi, folks. My fellow bloggers asked me to scour the gardening world in search of trends. So, to kick things off, I’m starting with a biggie for 2012– sustainability. Thankfully, I was encouraged to find the Midwest is a pioneer in the movement. Take a look:
Super Bowl Street – Debuting during Super Bowl XLVI, a three block stretch in downtown Indianapolis has been overhauled into a ‘green street’ trading two traffic lines for a central median complete with plantings, kiosks, street furniture, a sophisticated stormwater system and climate control panels.
Chicago rooftops – The birthplace of the skyscraper is now home to over 200 green roofs, covering 2.5 million square feet, more than any other U.S. city. They sit atop Mayor Daley’s City Hall, Target, the Apple store, and even a McDonalds.
• Community Gardens – The growing number of community gardens nationally can thank conferences in Chicago and St. Louis for the founding of American Association of Community Gardens, based today in Columbus, Ohio.
• Kansas City rain gardens – The city’s 10,000 Rain Gardens initiative is recruiting homeowners to plant rain gardens and educating thousands on the benefits of reducing stormwater runoff.
Sustainable Sites Initiative – The Midwest is home to an impressive 21 of 34 pilot programs for this powerhouse effort in sustainable landscape design.
Fellow heartland gardeners, keep up your sustainable gardening in 2012 and check out the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s seventh annual sustainability symposium, “Eat Your Yard” on Feb. 4.

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