I don’t want to sound like a used car salesman, but I’ve got a great offer for you and I think you’ll want to stick around to hear more. I have a whole variety of landscaping amenities for your home, including trees, shrubs, raingardens and more, and these things are going at rock-bottom prices. Can’t you just see yourself driving away with a new bundle of seedling trees this spring? How would you like a bright colorful raingarden for the front yard, just in time for the Fourth of July? Just drop me a line and I’m sure we’ll find something that can work for you.
What’s that you said? Your lawn looks fine the way it is? What would you say, then, if I told you that landscaping can increase the value of your residential or commercial property from 5% to as much as 20%? In fact, a study conducted by Clemson University and the University of Michigan found that consumers value a landscaped home up to 11.3% higher than its base price. A Society of Real Estate Appraisers survey revealed that 95% of appraisers believed landscaping added to the dollar value of residential real estate, while 99% of them said it enhanced the sales appeal of a home. In addition to adding value, these things are just downright pretty. There are dozens of trees and shrubs that will add texture and layers to your yard and bring birds to your kitchen window. Better yet, plant a raingarden to have colorful blooms from May until October, along with fluttering butterflies and fuzzy yellow bees.
“Why would I want a raingarden?” you might be asking yourself. “There’s no water in my yard. It all rolls right off and into the street.” Well, I’m here to tell you that a raingarden can work for just about any yard. Raingardens come in all shapes and sizes, and can be easily designed to complement existing landscaping, with styles ranging from wild and wooly to highly manicured. A raingarden catches runoff from your rooftop, driveway or street and soaks it into the ground before the water can wash dirt and pollutants into nearby waterways. You can plant a raingarden in that unsightly patch in your yard where nothing seems to grow or even use one to fix that hillside that’s starting to erode. Best of all, raingardens help keep our lakes and rivers clean.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “This all sounds great, but how much will it cost?” The answer, my friend, is a lot less than you think. I can start you out with a bundle of bare-root saplings that’s just $32.50 for 25 trees. What a great investment! According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000. I’ve also got a special bird package for only $50 that includes five each of bur oak, white oak, black cherry, white pine, nannyberry and wild plum, all of which are known to provide habitat for birds. The USDA Forest Service says that trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and can save 20–50% in energy used for heating. I’m telling you that these trees are practically a giveaway! See for yourself at www.mnwcd.org/land_trees.
As for the raingardens, I’ve got some great deals on those as well. You see, there are some places where raingardens are so beneficial; we’ll actually pay you to plant one in your yard. If you live within a few blocks of one of these great lakes – Forest, Sand, Long, the other Long, Square, White Bear, Elmo, Colby…come to think of it, there are more than 80 lakes in Washington County alone, so why don’t you check out the map on our website and see what’s available for you: www.mnwcd.org/cleanwater. That’s not all! If you live in Washington County, you can get a free site visit at your home with one of our natural resource landscape specialists. These folks will help you figure out where to put a raingarden and even if you don’t live in a high priority area for a raingarden grant, they’ll get you a basic garden design and connect you with resources to get the job done. In addition to raingardens, they’re also great with shoreline and streambank plantings and projects for woods and farmland too. Visit www.mnwcd.org/cleanwater to find out whom to contact for site visits in your neighborhood.
By now I hope I’ve convinced you that planting for clean water is the right thing to do. It’ll raise your property values, add beauty to your yard and attract birds and butterflies. With all of our great programs, it’s not that expensive to do, and we have plenty of highly trained professionals standing by ready to answer your questions, give you advice and help you get started on your planting project today. If you still aren’t convinced, then do it for the kids. Planting today will mean clean water tomorrow. You can have your garden and enjoy the lakes too. Now, who can say no to clean water and happy kids?