Now more than ever, people recognize the importance of sustainability. From the types of products we buy to the food we eat, choosing to live more sustainably means considering the natural environment around us first. For MedTech executive Tim Murawski, sustainability extends to the landscaping he uses around his family’s home. Situated on a lake, Murawski’s house provides the perfect spot for water sports like barefoot skiing.
“I think it’s the exhilaration of [the feeling that] there’s nothing between your feet and the water,” Murawski says of barefoot skiing on his beloved lake. “So I’d say it’s exhilarating, and it’s very peaceful for me as well.”
But when it comes to landscaping, the lakeside location needs a little more attention to detail. With the help of local landscape architects from Hursthouse, Murawski has been able to design the look he wants while protecting the setting.
The Importance of Sustainable Landscaping
At its core, sustainable landscaping is about working with nature instead of against it. Where traditional landscaping methods focus on just creating beauty for beauty’s sake, sustainable landscaping tries to give value back to the environment. These benefits could include improving air and water quality, conserving energy, and providing shelter and habitat to wildlife. What’s more, this type of landscaping gives back to property owners in the form of time and money saved in the long run.
Landscaping To Protect Tim Murawski’s Lakeside Property
Owning a lakeside home is an incredible privilege and as Tim Murawski knows, one that also comes with great responsibility. In general, it’s more of a challenge to make lakeside properties environmentally friendly, but it’s also much more important. Landscaping choices can have a direct effect on the water, which in turn affects plants, animals, and other people who use that water. Here are a few practices Murawski and others in similar situations have made to make their lakeside properties as sustainable as possible.
Preventing Soil Erosion
As an avid water sportsman, Tim Murawski enjoys spending time on the water when he’s not at work. This has led him to cultivate a deep appreciation and respect for the lake itself. To help keep it healthy for years to come, Murawski and his wife have invested in landscaping practices to prevent soil erosion. One of the biggest focuses for Murawski has been planting and maintaining native plants and species to stop this erosion.
Along with helping prevent soil erosion around the shoreline, utilizing native plants in landscaping can bring benefits. Unlike non-native flowers and plants, local species need less watering to thrive. They also rely less on harmful pesticides and herbicides because they’ve already adapted to that environment. Additionally, they can provide shelter and food for birds, fish, and other wildlife.
Reconsidering the Traditional Lawn Mower
Unlike traditional landlocked lawns, shoreside properties are recommended to reconsider lawn mowers. Gas-powered mowing tools discharge harmful emissions that can float into the air and lake as vapor. Property owners like Tim Murawski looking to reduce these emissions have a few options. One is to use more hand tools if possible. You can also make the switch to an electric mower, which will not only cut emissions but cut noise pollution.
A Deeper Dive Into the Native Plants Tim Murawski Uses
One of Tim Murawski’s primary focuses has been introducing more native plants to his property. With the help of Hursthouse Landscaping Architects, the Murawski family has identified a variety of regional species to plant in their landscaping projects. Since they’re all native to the area, these plants can help stop shoreline erosion. Additionally, they can tolerate fluctuations in moisture level and heat during the growing season.
Here are a few examples of species that Hursthouse has recommended for use around the lake Murawski lives on.
Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
A beautiful ornamental bunchgrass, little bluestem shows off its signature blue color in the spring, turning a deep reddish hue once autumn hits. Capable of growing to 12 feet tall, it’s one of the eastern United States’ most crucial native prairie grasses.
Brown Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea)
These fine-textured tussocks bear fuzzy fruiting heads, not unlike a foxtail. They’re great for attracting native birds.
Common Rush (Juncus effuses)
A wetland plant commonly found in wet soil or water, the common rush’s stems provide shelter for birds. Additionally, they’re an important nutritional source for local fauna like muskrats.
Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
A beautiful addition to a perennial garden, the Ohio spiderwort is much prettier than its name suggests. With blue, branched stems and delicate clusters of bluish-purple flowers, this plant blooms from spring till the last weeks of summer.
Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
One of the more unusual perennials in Tim Murawski’s collection is the rattlesnake master. Perfect for moist soil environments, this flowering plant features a stiff stem, tough blue-green leaves, and small flower heads of white florets.
For a driven medtech exec, a little tranquility near the water is priceless. Says Murawski, “It’s absolutely a Zen peaceful experience for me. I think that I’m fortunate in that we live on the lake, and as busy and as hectic as my work is, when I’m able to do it, I’m on vacation for that time.
“So if I’m out for an hour, two hours, during that time, it’s a complete zen experience.”
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