By Sabeena Hickman
Spring is the best time to celebrate our nation’s lawns and landscapes, and to educate customers and the general public about the benefits of healthy green spaces. On average, throughout the year, four million people a month Google the term “landscaping,” and nine million people Google the term “lawn.” That search traffic peaks from mid-March through mid-May, meaning that is the time when people are most interested in getting information about caring for their lawns, putting in new plants and trees, and so on.
There are so many great opportunities to connect with clients and the community during the spring. Take advantage of Earth Day and PLANET Day of Service on April 22, or Arbor Day on April 27, to create events in your community, share tips with customers, or provide education for school children about plants.
Spring is also the time of year when media write the most stories about lawn and landscape topics, so it is a great time to send the editor of your local newspaper a letter about the shared responsibility we all have to create and maintain healthy green spaces.
Our industry plays a large role in helping people feel proud about their homes and yards. A recent PLANET survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, revealed that the main reason Americans maintain their yards is to show pride in their home, and the No. 1 reason they use their yards is for relaxation (for more survey results, and to see helpful consumer information that you can share with clients, visit www.loveyourlandscape.com.). National Lawn Care Month in April is a great time to highlight the benefits of a healthy lawn and landscape with your clients.
There are more than 30 million acres of lawns in the United States that remove 5 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and provide oxygen. Lawns trap more than 12 million tons of dust and dirt annually, trap and filter rainwater, prevent soil erosion, provide a cooling effect in summer months, and help with energy efficiency.
Healthy lawns also provide financial and emotional benefits. Studies show that a good-looking lawn can increase property values by 15 to 20 percent, and homeowners often see returns of 200 to 300 percent on their landscape investments.
Throughout the month of April, PLANET will celebrate National Lawn Care Month by posting on our social media outlets (facebook.com/professionallandcarenetwork and Twitter @PLANET2005 #lawncaremonth) interesting facts for you to share with your clients.
Let’s all band together and shed light on the impact we make on people’s lives and communities. Landscape companies have completed more than 1,000 volunteer service projects over the years during PLANET Day of Service at Boys & Girls clubs, elementary schools, group homes, cemeteries, memorials, community parks, hospitals, etc. Those projects impact tens of thousands of people; and that number doesn’t include all the pro bono projects many companies do throughout the year.
Spring is the right time to use social media and media outlets to make your voices heard; and to ensure your communities understand the importance of caring for their backyards, parks and community green spaces, and are reminded about the positive impact our industry makes.
Sabeena Hickman is CEO of the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). For more information, visit www.landcarenetwork.org