What is a Sustainable Landscape?

Bright flowers blooming in a field with natural, native plants near New Buffalo, MI.

A sustainable landscape differs from a traditional landscape in that it provides a benefit to the environment as well as requires less maintenance, little to no fertilizers or chemical inputs and it retains a more natural look. It uses natural elements to create a healthy habitat for wildlife and provides stormwater management using green infrastructure. Sustainable landscapes are rain gardens, bioswales and native plant gardens as well as entire landscapes designed to be in harmony with the environment.

Good Ecology Is Beautiful: When designed and managed properly sustainable landscape are every bit as beautiful as traditional landscape. The added benefit is that they work with the natural systems not against them.


We take a practical approach to sustainable landscape projects by prioritizing the outward appearance while improving the environment.

The sustainable landscape process begins as a design consultation with a professional landscape architect and ends with an installation by trained crew members. Proper design is the foundation of any element of a sustainable landscape.

If you have land in Lake Forest, IL, Barrington, IL, Naperville, IL, or nearby cities, give us a call at (815) 495-2300 to transform your property into a sustainable landscape.

Sustainable landscapes reduce pollution, restore wildlife habitats and ecosystems, provide clean air and water, and bring about other significant environmental benefits.


LEED & Sustainable Sites Initiative

Many points in the LEED and Sustainable Sites Initiative can be garnered with well-designed and executed sustainable landscapes and natural areas restoration.


Sustainable landscapes are low maintenance.

Mowing, irrigation, and fertilizers are all labor and carbon intensive activities that sustainable landscape don’t require. In doing this, we maintain natural growth while reducing harmful environmental effects. By incorporating green infrastructure into sustainable landscape designs, we create long-term ecological solutions using natural elements and infrastructure that mimic natural processes. This process happens in these three stages:

Design & Consultation

Our system is successful because our field staff receives feedback from landscape architects, ecological consultants, and design professionals who consult to develop a blueprint as well as provide construction management. We look to be part of the collaborative design process that may include the owner, manager, architect, civil engineer, and regulators. The more open communication is between the parties the better the outcome.

We have created an internal system of feedback between our landscape architects and field staff that aids in the success of our projects. The feedback we receive helps us construct landscapes that are as functional as they are beautiful. Sustainable landscapes can have the same look and feel as traditional landscapes, but they function as a habitat and provide natural stormwater management. Our landscape design professionals consult with knowledgeable ecologists to successfully create these natural processes. During the design consultation, we will discuss locally grown and sourced native plants that you can include in your landscape design as well as green infrastructure ideas.

Green infrastructure absorbs and filters runoff from parking lots and roofs, improves water quality, and creates beautiful and functional spaces.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure simply means building with nature to improve water quality and create functional spaces such as rain gardens and bioswales. It seeks to allow stormwater to be acted upon by the sustainable landscapes. This allows the stormwater to be absorbed by the plants, nutrients degraded by the soil flora and fauna as well as some to infiltrate the ground. The more water treated in a sustainable landscape the less flooding downstream. Green infrastructure is the opposite of grey infrastructure. Grey infrastructure is guiding all the stormwater into grey concrete pipes that are designed to move the water offsite as fast as possible.

  • Rain Gardens - These versatile, vegetated basins can be installed in just about anywhere in a landscape. Their purpose is to collect and absorb runoff water from lawns, rooftops, sidewalks, and streets.
  • Bioswales - These are vegetated swales or channels that redirect stormwater from one place to another. Their linear design makes them well-suited along streets and parking lots.
  • Rainwater Harvesting Systems - A rainwater harvesting system is a structure that collects rainwater and saves it for later. This is an ideal structure for regions with limited or restricted water supply.
  • Green Roofs - Covered in vegetation, these green roofs provide stormwater management by enabling rainfall infiltration while reducing energy consumption for cooling. They are ideal atop office and industrial buildings.

Sustainable landscapes reduce pollution, restore wildlife habitats and ecosystems, provide clean air and water, and bring about other significant environmental benefits.

The Installation Process

The Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. team installing a natural area landscape in Lake Geneva, WI.

We aim to improve the appeal of your property while implementing as many sustainable solutions as possible. During the installation process, we carefully inspect the plants and implement construction management that oversees the proper installation of green infrastructure.



If you're ready for a beautiful and sustainable landscape, call us to set up a consultation today.

For over 30 years, our company has specialized in transforming traditional landscapes into sustainable ones. We understand that the outward appearance of your property has a direct impact on your curb appeal and we are passionate about restoring natural processes in the most visually appealing way possible.

If you have a residential, commercial, or HOA property in Orland Park, IL, New Buffalo, MI, or Lake Geneva, WI, contact us at (815) 495-2300 to schedule a consultation today!