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WIU Prof Writes the Book on Sustainable Landscaping

The past few years have brought an explosion in the amount of information available on sustainability. Though just because there is a lot of information out there, doesn’t mean that there are not areas that still need further study.

Mari Loehrlein is a Horticulture and Landscaping Professor at Western Illinois University and author of "Sustainable Landscaping: Principles and Practices" by CRC press.

She said the original inspiration for the book came from just thinking about her personal life and her own impact on the planet and on climate change. She then realized that no one had really collected similar guidelines for those in her profession.

She said that vacuum of information was made especially evident when she went to  prepare the materials for a sustainable landscaping class she teaches every other year.

"But there was no book, there was no book!" she said.

Loehrlein said that doesn't mean the information wasn't out there, it was just scattered.

"There was lots of information out there from the EPA and other websites and even from states. Colorado has a really good website about sustainable landscaping. So I was collecting all of this information but I wanted it to be available in one place for my students," Loehrlein said.

Author Marietta Loehrlein, of Sustainable Landscaping: Principles and Practices

One of the guidelines for environmentally friendly landscaping she mentions in her book is planting species of flowers and grasses that provide food  for pollinators.

Loehrlein said her book is available in both E-book and paper book form, though she thinks actual physical textbooks will be around for some time.

"When you have to turn off your electronics on the airplane, its nice to actually be able to read a book while everybody else is waiting to turn their technology back on," she said.

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.