Native Landscaping

After establishment, native landscaping is can be less expensive and less time-consuming to maintain than a traditional landscape.  Native Landscaping can include a mix of native and perennial plants as well as soft and hardscaping features to enhance the beauty of your landscape.

Our native Iowa plants can enhance the landscapes visually, and also its ability to manage stormwater. Native plants and grasses with deep root systems allow rainfall to percolate into the soil below, instead of rushing off causing erosion and polluting our streams and rivers. 

Native plants are adapted to our Iowa climate and tolerant of our ever-so-often weather extremes in Iowa.  They create a diverse habitat that attracts birds, butterflies, pollinators and other wildlife.  


Rain Gardens

Rain gardens, both beautiful and practical, are used to help collect rainwater that is shed from impervious surfaces including rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, patios, compacted lawns and soils and more.

Rain gardens are typically a constructed depression that water flows into, which allows a variety of perennial natives with deep roots to filter and clean the water while slowing and mitigating the water from entering our stormwater and sewers.

Rain gardens come in many different shapes and sizes.  They are constructed to suit the best needs of each individual property based on location, water runoff, and soil profile.  


Rain Barrels and

Rainwater Harvesting

Rain barrels capture runoff from downspouts that collect rainfall from the roof.  

Rain barrels can be stored and used to water garden plants whenever it is convenient for you.

Rain barrels come in many different styles and sizes and setup, giving you an opportunity to make it the perfect fit for your personal home or business setting.


Bioswales &

Bioretention Cells

Bioswales are landscape designs that help to remove silt and pollution from runoff water.  They have a design that incorporates a swale to help divert the running water in a specific targeted direction for many reason; avoiding erosion, cleaning the water before it hits our streams and rivers and slowing the watershed which can harm the stream banks from remaining stable.  

Bioswales are often filled with deep-rooted vegetation, native grasses and beautiful native forbs which have the functionality of slowing and cleaning the water runoff.

Bioretention cells are very similar in the characteristics and intent of Bioswales, except they do not have slope or diverted direction to move the runoff to.  They act as a holding area for the water to also be cleaned and sent to our stormwater and streams as clean and slowly as possible.

Permeable Pavers

Permeable Pavers are a great way to have a beautiful hardscape, while being environmentally-minded.  Hard surfaces in urban areas account for the majority stormwater runoff in urban areas.  

Pervious pavement allows water to infiltrate between pavers into layers of rock chambers below the pavement, then into surrounding soils.  Perforated drain pipe is installed to ensure water does not collect for an extended period of time underneath the pavers.  Water that moves through rock and soil helps to filter our pollutants and mitigates flood potential.

Permeable Pavers come in many different beautiful designs and forms.  They are ideal for patios, walkways, driveways and parking pads.  Each permeable paver design will be constructed based on every site's specific needs.


Prairies

Prairies are beautiful, large areas of land that contain a wide variety of native grasses and plants that are seldom found in other habitats and environments.  

Examples of prairie grasses include Big Bluestem and Indian Grass.  There are MANY flowers (or forbs) that can be found in prairies.  Some common ones are known as Purple Coneflower, Black Eyed Susans, Blazing Star, Rattlesnake Master, and many, many more.  These native grasses and flowers  have deep roots, allowing for rain water to percolate and be cleaned by these grasses and flowers before running off into our streams and rivers.  

Developing a prairie can take many years, and maintenance is needed to ensure proper success.  Once a prairie is developed though, mature grasses and flowers will out-compete invasive weeds and plants, allowing the prairie to self-sustain itself.  Common maintenance practices include well-timed mowing, burning and targeted treatment to minimize non-native, invasives.  


Wetlands

Wetlands are habitats that commonly have water covering the soils for the vast majority of the year.  Wetlands support both aquatic and terrestrial species. The extended presence of water favors the growth of specific plants (hydrophytes) that have adapted to, and supplement the characteristics of a (hydric) wetland soil.

Wetlands take years to develop and require ongoing maintenance to compete with invasives that also enjoy the hydric kind of ecosystem that a wetland provides. Maintenance includes mowing in selective, dry areas, as well as burning and treating invasives where available.