I recently received a great email from Tim at DWY Landscape Architects, and I wanted to share it with y’all. It’s an auspicious way to start off the new year, and this shows that the message and practice of cypress sustainability is becoming commonplace throughout the Gulf.”Dan, was just listening to Joe Murphy on WSLR and found your website. I wanted to give you some good news, as it may be few and far between now-a-days. I work at a small landscape architecture firm, and one of my roles is to enforce and modify the landscape guidelines for a large upscale community in Manatee county called The Concession. We have devised an extremely florida friendly palate of plants as well as mulch types that can be used by developers. We are eliminating Cypress mulch completely. Much of what we have enforced was the use of pine straw mulch in all buffer areas. We are talking about very large lots and tons of mulch per home. Some homeowners are complaining that the pine straw is fading in just a couple of months and needs to be replaced frequently, so I have looked at some alternates that have a darker richer color, lasting longer, which will appeal to this type of clientele. We have found some nice blends at Forestry Resources in Ft Myers ( I would be open to any suggestions. Our firm is also responsible for the guidelines at The Founder’s Club here in Sarasota which has developed a similar sustainable approach to landscape design.So some good news! I wish you all luck on your mission, it’s a noble effort.”Thanks Tim! It’s exciting to see that people are truly exploring sustainable alternatives to cypress mulch, and this shows that different mulching needs can be met with various options, none of which deplete our natural wetlands. Cypress swamps provide valuable habitat for wildlife, important water filtration, and protection from storms and flooding.As gardening season starts up again here in the Gulf South, it’s important that landscape architects, landscapers, homeowners, gardeners, and consumers everywhere avoid cypress mulch. The quickest way to accomplish that goal nationwide will be to convince Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart to stop selling unsustainable cypress mulch. The best place to start making a difference is in your own yard. So, if anyone has suggestions about good alternatives to cypress, great mulching advice, or anything else you’d like to share, please leave us a comment.Dan Favre is the GRN Campaign Organizer.

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