The Preserve, a resort-style apartment complex in south Florida, is a comfortable community for nearly 600 residents. One attractive aspect is the landscaping, which uses many Florida native plants to provide privacy, filter road noise, enhance the atmosphere, and delight the eye.
Now, however, the Chicago-based management has decided that this landscaping must be replaced with non-native Bermuda grass. Bulldozers are uprooting healthy, well-established native plants as you read this. Diverse mini-ecologies that support ferns, palm trees, birds, lizards, and small mammals are being destroyed.
It makes no sense to replace low maintenance native landscaping with high maintenance grass. Native plants thrive with no care. Grass requires irrigation, fertilizer, and mowing. Residents will pay the cost of these services as higher rents, even as their quality of life declines.
Mr. Neithercut, we ask that you:
Stop the destruction of existing vegetation at the Preserve immediately.
Employ a South Florida-based landscape architect to develop a cost-saving, low maintenance landscape design that maximizes use of native plants and minimizes non-native Bermuda grass.
Implement that plan as quickly as possible.
Encourage the use of native landscaping in all Equity properties.
Native landscaping makes fiscal sense because it costs less to maintain. It makes marketing sense because residents want to see healthy greenery around their homes and don't like the dust, dirt, and noise that comes with lawn maintenance. It makes planetary sense because native plants thrive without wasteful irrigation and invasive chemicals.
It's a win for everyone. Mr. Neithercut, please do the right thing.