Click picture above to read the article on Gary Roberts
"Going Green is more than a saying to us. We put it into practice”, Gary Roberts.
Ways we are Green:
Wholesale Nursery “Green” Practices:
- Since 2005 GRNL has achieved Best Management Practice (BMP) Awards from the state of Florida for our soil mixing pad and pot up barn, and for our irrigation, drainage development and over flow collection pond.
- GRNL uses a venturi aerator system and natural algae feeding fish to control algae in our irrigation source pond instead of treating the pond chemically.
- GRNL uses spacing of plants to allow more air flow, and mechanical method in place of spraying pesticides as much as possible, and when we have to spray we use the safest products we can find for the targeted pest, most often insecticidal soaps and oils.
- In addition, we have allied with a leading Biological pest control company in Pennsylvania that provides us with beneficial preditors to help control our pests in a Green manner.
- GRNL uses 8-9 month time released fertilizers when potting up our nursery stock to grow out, so that very little nitrogen goes unused and unleached out of the nursery container, thus preventing nitrogen from reaching the ground and groundwater.
- We use low volume irrigation on our 15, 25, 45, 65, 90, and 200 gallon containers, and on all the field grown plant production.
- We re-cycle and re-use nursery pots as many times as possible, and buy back used pots from other nurseries and landscapers.
- We recapture irrigation runoff and rain water in water run-off reclamation pond
Landscape and Lawn Maintenance:
- GRNL has been a leader in landscape design and installation for a Green Home before being Green became popular. We achieve a Green design by giving attention to: shade tree placement, shading window light and A/C units, low volume irrigation for planter beds, rain sensors, separate irrigation zones for planter beds and turf, and by integrating mass planting concepts, contiguous bedlines, utilizing “Green Roofs”, and utilizing the “right plant for the right place”.
- We are Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute (ICPI) brick paver and retaining wall certified installers. Brick Pavers or more porous than concrete.
- All of our diesel trucks and equipment are running on 100% BioDiesel, which is clean, re-usable and domestic.
- We use Amsoil in ALL of our equipment, extending the life of an oil change by 5 fold and using less; oil, filters, etc.. and gereating less refuse while extending the life of the engines.
- Our custom fertilizer blend has no phosphorus and less nitrogen for a healthier environment, meeting future proposed fertilize legislation NOW! We do not wait to be mandated to do what is right.
- We offer a 21 time per year cut package to customers with non-retail commercial accounts, Bahia sod, and residential customers who may request it.
- We use STIHL equipment that is produced to the ISO 14001 Environmental Standards of environmental management.
- We have a daily check of air pressure in all tires in fleet for best fuel economy
- We utilize most efficient air filters on all trucks yielding increases of fuel economy approx 2%
- Diesel Stanadyne additives are used when petrol diesel must be used increasing fuel economy approx 8%
OFFICE AND MAINTENANCE:
- GRNL’s office recycles plastic, paper, aluminum, etc., and have the crews separate their recyclables and put them in the collection bins at days end as well.
- We have changed out our T-12 over head fluorescent lights for the more Eco-friendly T-8’s in our office and shop
- We send all our used printer cartridges to be re-cycled.
- We have replaced sending envelopes to using e-mail at every opportunity to save paper.
- Beside our many professional industry association affiliations, we are members of the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) and the Sustainable Landscape Council (SLC).
- We are changing over our old cleaners to Eco-friendly Green cleaners in all company applications.
- We are experimenting with growing vegatables organically along with our trees in the tree's containers, which already get fertilizer and water, thus helping our employees save money and eat pesticide free food.
- In addition to the traditional trade associations, GRNL also holds active memberships in the Florida Sustainable Landscape Council (SLC) and the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).
“Yes our plant industry is NATURALLY GREEN, but GRNL is committed to being GREEN in every department, not just our plants”.
Personal Green Leadership, local and state wide, GARY ROBERTS has been committed to, even before it was popular.
- In 1991 Gary was the first, and so far only, Nurseryman to win the coveted St Lucie County Conservationist of the Year Award by the St Lucie Water Conservation District for his cutting edge water conservation practices and promotion of Xeriscape, as well as, other energy efficient landscape and nursery production practices.He also served on the Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
- As state president of the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) in 1992-1993, the only nurseryman from St Lucie County to hold that position, Gary became affectionately know as the 'Environmental President', initiating among other programs the Environmental Stewardship Award for the outstanding nursery who shows a commitment to recycling, conservation, IPM's, BMP's, etc.... Also, Gary single handedly came up with idea to change the name of the then called "Ornamental Horticulture Industry" to the current "Environmental Horticulture Industry". Immediately after the concept was adopted by the FNGLA, the University of Florida was approached with our name change and they also changed their entire Ornamental Horticulture nomenclature to Environmental Horticulture, to better describe what our industry does and our commitment to the environmentally positive influences our industry can and does have on our surroundings. Gary has always taken pride in being known as the Environmental President.
- As President of the St. Lucie Chamber of Commerce in 1997-1998, Gary used his position to dedicate his monthly "Presidents Column" in the Chamber's Pacer Newsletter, for every month for the entire year, to show businesses how they can be Environmentally friendly and reap cost saving benefits in the process.
- In the 1980's Gary taught Xeriscape classes at Indian River Community College and promoted Energy Efficient/Common Sense Landscaping at Garden Clubs, South Florida Water Management functions, Civic Groups, Botanical Gardens, as well as in his own landscape business. He became a local authority on the subject, resulting in his appointment as Chairman of the St Lucie County Board of County Commissioners Xeriscape Advisory Committee, Environmental Advisory Committee, Vegetative Ordinance Advisory Committee, and the Landscape Advisory Committee. More recently Gary was appointed to the very controversial Towns, Villages and Countryside (TVC) Steering Committee and the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Advisory Committee. Both of which have been tapped for close watch by state officials as a model for future planned community development across the state and elsewhere.
- Gary was also appointed to the Commissioner of Agriculture, Charles Bronson's, 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future special panel, as well as the St Lucie County Commissioner's Agricultural Steering Committee on the future of developing Ag Lands.
- In 2007, Gary won the Wendell Butler Award from the FNGLA, which is the Lifetime Achievement Award for industry service and commitment to the Environmental Horticulture Industry.