Archive for the ‘Green Roofs’ Category

Putting Green to Work by American Rivers

Economic Recovery Investments for Clean and Reliable WaterPutting Green to Work by American Rivers

As many of you who have heard me speak, you know my passion for developing sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions to our nation’s water infrastructure. Stormwater from rainfall events are the biggest source of pollution in America. The civil engineers call it non-point source pollution.

In 2006, the American Society of Civil Engineers graded our nation’s water infrastructure D-. The lowest grade of all the infrastructure categories examined. Although this grade is unacceptably low, the next  lowest grade is F – Failure. An “F” is simply unacceptable. Without access to clean, sanitary water supplies people perish. Click here to see the 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

American Rivers, funded by the Park Foundation, the Kresege Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, Keith Campbel Foundation, and the Turner Foundation, has created report which examines the efforts of nineteen states with “bright green” projects. Here are some key findings:

  • The demand for funding is far, far greater than currently provided on both the Federal and state level.
  • Future funding should be targeted to “bright green” projects. “Bright green” project types includes:
    • Bioswales
    • Green Roofs
    • Permeable Paving
    • Rain Gardens
    • Riparian Habitate Resotoration
    • Wetlands Restoration
  • States must act quickly to remove barriers, eg. statutes, regulation, and policies, that are roadblocks to integrated approaches to our communities’ implementation of infrastructure improvements.
  • An integrated approach is necessary to understand the complete benefit of green infrastructure.

For me, the most important elements are the job creation and economic output.

A $10 billion investment in water efficient projects would produce a total economic output of $25-28 billion and create 150,000 to 220,000 jobs.

For every dollar invested the return is $2.65. It doesn’t take a financial wizard to understand this concept. Investing in green infrastructure is good for the economy, the environment and the communities in which we live.

There is a tremendous opportunity to combine our existing gray infrastructure with newer green infrastructure creating sustainable communities.

Click here to download the report, “Putting Green to Work.”





Brave New World: Trends & Opportunities in the Emerging Green Environment


Recently, I spoke to the Independent Turf and Ornamental Distributors Association in Nashville, Tennessee

I created two presentations for this group of landscape industry professionals.


Brave New World: Trends & Opportunities in the Emerging Green Environment(ITODA)


Over the last two and half years we have experienced some of the greatest changes in the history of this country. The economy is only part of it. Every organization has the power and the talent when unleashed will create dramatic change. Here are the key points:
  • Excess Capacity: Competition is increasing and margins are shrinking
  • The Impact of Local Businesses on the Economy
  • The EPA: Friend or Foe
  • The Impact of Downsizing on Employee Engagement
  • The Dramatically Increasing Presence of Women in Work
  • Transforming Your Business by Creating Value

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.
The current state and trends of the Landscape, golf Course, and Sports Turf Industry. How we stand out, where we rank, and how we are heard. You will be challenged in this provocative and sometimes controversial presentation to do things differently.  Tom Barrett is a national speaker and author. His presentations empower people to become masters of change. Learn how to grow your business without busting the bank. Here are the key points:

  • Business is rapidly changing
  • Opportunities exist in areas unavailable five years ago
  • Customers have different needs and require a new approach
  • Companies investing in marketing are growing

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

I feel the presentations were incredibly helpful to the folks in the audience. Based on conversations I had with audience members, some of the points they found most interesting were:

  • The dramatically changing social environment, especially women in the workforce.
  • Getting sales people to make more sales calls.
  • Emerging opportunities in green infrastructure and the role landscaping will play in remediating our environment.

I truly enjoyed speaking for an energetic and enthusiastic crowd at Independent Turf and Ornamental Distributors Association. I hope I can return soon, and I look forward to my next speaking engagement on January 12, 2012 at the Green Industry Expo in Indianapolis. I will be leading a panel of experts on landscape industry trends.

Tenbarge Seed & Turfgrass Supplies 2011 Education Session Presentation – Trends in Landscaping: Growing Sales in a Down Economy

March 1, 2011

Evansville, Indiana

I presented my talk, “Trends in Landscaping: Growing Sales in a Down Economy” at the 2011 Tenbarge Seed & Turfgrass Supplies Education and Trade Show.

We had a great turnout and a lot of great questions from the audience. The most enjoyable part for me was the diversity of the audience. We had seasoned stormwater professionals to homeowners.

I am look forward to my next speaking engagement at The Chicago Center for Green Technology on March 31, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. when I will speak about “Rain Gardens and Bioswales.”

Here is a copy of the presentation:

Great Presentation! I did exactly as you said, I looked for new business in places I never thought of before, it works!”

— Keith Fisher, Growing Green Lawn Care, LLC


Sustainable Landscapes Presentation from the Indiana Green Expo

Indianapolis, IndianaPlant Trees

January 18, 2011

Developing Sustainable Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

Recognizing sustainability as merely reducing energy waste, recycling, or conserving water is a common misconception. In truth, the greatest impact on the environment you can make is right in your own backyard.

The landscape industry was “green” before green became fashionable. The focus of this presentation is how the landscape transcends beauty into functionality. The landscape is one of the only site improvement that can be made that enhances and remediates our environment.

Most aspects of environmental consciousness focuses on how we minimize human impact. We save energy. We save heat. We reduce trash. We reuse. A well designed landscape will truly in improve our environment.

Trees and plants cleanse the air, sequester carbon, and can reduce a building’s heating and cooling needs by 20%. A well designed landscape makes for a healthier, happy environment.

In “Sustainable Landscapes” you will learn that by combining green technology with existing gray technology, combining new technology with old technology, we can create a healthier, more satisfying environment.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States.
  • Sustainability starts with the landscape. Developing a functional landscape is the most effective and efficient means of remediating the environment.
  • Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

The wastewater facts are eye opening. Thanks for a very informative presentation!”

—Jacob O’Neal

The speaker, Tom Barrett, is motivational and knowledgeable.”

—Kristi J. Clark Snyder

A positive message for change. THANKS!”

—Abigail Surles

Aqualand Green Roof – St. Charles, Illinois

Subsurface Drip Irrigation System

Subsurface Drip Irrigation System-Header/Footer

Extensive green roof utilizing native prairie grass

Aqualand - St. Charles, Illinois


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