•   Sustain Header


    Pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers accumulate in natural systems, water supplies, soil, food, animals, and humans. In landscape design and maintenance of parks and open spaces, we will consider alternative approaches to reduce consumptive water use and pest control alternatives that can help reduce toxicity in ecosystems, water, and food.

    Objective: Reduce Mowed Turf on Highway Medians and Roadsides
    Create highway median and roadside horticultural plantings to replace grassy areas. This will reduce the amount of mowing required for medians thus reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions while also reducing the maintenance costs for the mowing equipment.

    Performance Measure
    Cost to maintain selected median is 90% less than control sections. Median maintenance cost (2007) is $2,200/acre/year. Reduce maintenance cost on selected medians by 90%.

    Objective: Reduce Mowed Turf in Parks
    Reduce lawn mower fuel consumption by reducing the acres of currently mowed turf and replace with more naturalized plantings or tall grass areas. This will reduce exhaust emissions and equipment maintenance costs while providing improved wildlife habitat.

    Performance Measure
    A 10% reduction of acreage mowed in year 2007. This will also provide an opportunity (in years 2-3 as the un-mowed areas are established) for staff to refocus on natural management / invasive species control which will protect our high quality natural areas and improve degraded areas. (Per site and total system)  

    Objective: Use Native Plants and Xeri-scaping
    Continue to use native species in naturalized planting plans instead of horticultural or non-native species in formal (higher maintenance) plantings while exploring more opportunities for xeri-scaping (landscaping with slow-growing, drought tolerant plants to conserve water and reduce mowings) in new or replacement plantings within all developed areas of the park and County facilities.

    Past successes include eliminating all use of annuals in bed plantings, except the Courthouse and Expo entrances.  In addition, park entrance booths, parking lot islands at Nashotah and Mukwonago Parks and flagpole beds have already been converted to naturalized perennial plantings.

    Performance Measure
    Through use of native plantings, eliminate daily watering and maintenance.  Native plantings require less water and maintenance than horticultural plantings.  A planting that may have required daily watering (annuals) may go without water other than natural rainfall for the entire year with the exception of extreme drought.  Most established native plantings only require annual cutting back of past years dead growth, unless in a high profile area where occasional deadheading or weeding may be needed.

    Objective: Improve Storm Water Management Practices
    Improve storm water management practices on all county facilities to reduce runoff, increase infiltration/evapotranspiration, improve water quality and protect the adjacent natural resources. For more information, visit Storm Water Management.

    Performance Measure
    Reduce storm water runoff from impervious areas at County facilities, which adversely affect water quality. Achieve a reduction of 80% of the sediment load carried in runoff on an average annual basis as compared with no sediment or erosion controls.

    Objective: Pursue SITE and Green Tier Certifications
    Pursue SITE and Green Tier Certifications for exterior site design and construction for Waukesha County facilities. Investment in the development of a new SITE certification standard may provide a model for communities and assist in future sustainable site development. For more information, visit SITE and Green Tier.

    Performance Measure
    Complete the SITE certification process on a pilot project.

    Objective: Reduce Salt Use
    Reduce in the amount salt used to de-ice pavement at the Government Center and park facilities in order to reduce costs and the impact of dissolved chlorides on the environment.

    Performance Measure
    Determine the average amount of salt used in a “normal” snow event and reduce that amount by 10% on roads, 10% on parking lots, and 10% on sidewalks and stairs.

    Objective: Conserve Energy Used in Lighting
    Reduce light pollution and conserve energy by controlling interior and exterior lighting levels. Examples would be:

    • Time-based controls such as in parking lot areas where lighting is programmed to go on and off with daylight;
    • Occupancy-based controls such as heat sensing, motion-sensing, or sound-sensing, which are most commonly found in areas such as offices, conference rooms, and bathrooms;
    • Lighting level-based controls, or photocells, that utilize available daylight first (also known as “daylighting”) and supply only the necessary amount of electric light to achieve the appropriate target light level, and
    • Zoned lighting controls to light only areas that are occupied afterhours and on weekends. 

    Performance Measure
    In a selected group of buildings, reduce combined electric and natural gas consumption by 10% or qualify for Energy Star certification by 2010.

  • What we’re doing...
    Creating highway median and roadside horticultural plantings to replace grassy areas. Replacing mowed areas in the parks with naturalized plantings or tall grass areas. This will reduce fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and equipment maintenance costs while providing improved wildlife habitat.

    What you can do...
    Choose xeriscape perennials and native plants to reduce watering needs. Established lawns only need 1 inch of water per week and can go dormant without harm. Raise your lawn mower blade to at least three inches to discourage weed growth and retain soil moisture.

    What we’re doing...
    Improving storm water management practices on all county facilities to reduce runoff and increase infiltration.

    What you can do...
    Redirect your downspouts to lawn areas, rain barrels or rain gardens instead of driveways. Wash the car on the lawn to infiltrate the water and keep dirty, soapy water from running down the street into the storm drain and into our waterways.