Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
LAT 272
Course Title:
Sustainable Landscaping
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Discusses methods used to protect and conserve natural systems and resources within the landscape. Deals with the health of people, plants and the environment and looks at new approaches to landscaping. Recommended: WR 115. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Class utilizes videos, internet sites, guest speakers and field trips to provide information and to stimulate class discussion of themes and topics.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  • Show an increased awareness of environmental systems impacted through landscape practices.
  • Rethink past beliefs and practices in the design, installation and maintenance of landscapes.
  • Understand the environmental impacts of landscape operations on soil health, water conservation, air and water pollution and energy  consumption.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Written paper explaining personal view of €œsustainable landscaping€ including support material from class lectures.
  • Participation in class discussions

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, concepts and goals:

  • Recognition of the landscape as an ever changing environment.
  • Understanding that changing demographics, population and life styles require us to look at landscaping as part of the     €œlarger€ environment and ecosystem.
  • Landscape design, installation, and maintenance can be done in environmentally sensitive ways and still provide healthy,     useable, and aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces.
  • Understand the long term economic and environmental impacts of €œolder€ landscape methods.

Competencies and skills:

  • Discuss the concepts of hydrozones, microclimates and €œxeriscaping€
  • Select plants for sun/shade exposures, drought tolerance and soil preference
  • Discuss use of plants to control wind and temperature, both outdoors and for structures
  • Discuss water conservation through the proper selection and positioning of plants
  • Discuss water conservation and plant health relative to proper irrigation techniques
  • Discuss proper use of turfgrass and groundcovers in the landscape
  • Discuss and explain the concept of €œIntegrated Pest Management€
  • Discuss fertilization needs and methods relative to plant health, energy consumption and pollution
  • Discuss landscape equipment selection and use relative to energy consumption and pollution
  • Discuss recycling within the landscape including composting, use of mulches and yard debris
  • Discuss the soil as an ecosystem and the maintenance of soil health