Grasses and Greenspace: Growing Beyond Company Walls

August 7, 2023

Creating a Secure Habitat

Evergreen Tool Company sits on approximately ten acres of land, two of which are occupied by the building’s footprint and the remaining eight have become the ideal location for our environmental give-back initiative.  Step one of our initiative roll-out was to allow grasses on five of the eight vacant acres to grow long: creating hospitable habitats for pollinators, lowering ground temperatures, and creating a drought resistant ecosystem.  This decision to allow grasses to grow long has brought about the return of wildlife such as Common Grackles, European Starlings, red foxes, skunks, and white-tailed deer—all creatures that have had their habitats threatened in previous years due to rapid industrialization.

Un-mowed grasses when enabled to grow, produce flowers which provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, beetles, and more.  The longer grasses in our location also allow shelter for frogs, lizards, other amphibians, reptiles, and small to mid-sized wildlife.

In addition to creating a secure habitat for said species, the long grasses serve further efforts in processing emitted CO2 through photosynthesis by sequestering carbon in the soil and turning it to organic carbon (Nature Journal).

Per a University of Nebraska study on the influence of heat waves on plant life, when ground temperatures rise, plants experience stress which reduces “plant photosynthetic efficiencies and negatively impact plant root development.”  To combat this stress, plants begin to draw more water out of the soil, reducing already low water levels and creating a competition for low water resources, essentially raising ground temperatures by removing moisture.  Tall grasses have longer roots which means that as top soil dries, the long grasses can survive temperature increases better than short grasses, reducing the competition for water.

While our grass and greenspace initiative is only part one of our currently three-part environmental give-back, we have seen immediate success and impact on our local climate.  Wildlife has returned and is thriving, ground temperatures are cooling off, and precious natural resources are being protected for years to come.