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IHCA Helps to Maintain our “Green”…

IHCA helps to maintain the ‘Green’…

06JUNE Goats Return

PC: Julie Clegg

The IHCA certainly does its part to ensure and enhance the ‘Living Green’ philosophy of Issaquah Highlands.  You can see this in many areas of our operations.

One way the IHCA supports our Built Green community is that they use goats to maintain our open space and steep slopes. Expect our beloved grounds keepers to arrive on July 5th.

When it comes to maintaining the landscapes the IHCA groundskeepers and our contractors utilize many methods to help us keep it green:

  • Perhaps the most visible are the hundreds of goats brought in each July to manage vegetation on steep slopes without the use of herbicides or power equipment;
  • 40% of our common areas are irrigated from detention pond water, saving money and drinking water thanks to the vision of Port Blakely Communities and the city of Issaquah;
  • Pesticide use is minimal, relying heavily on beneficial organisms such as ladybugs, predatory nematodes and Bacillus thuringiensis, a naturally occurring bacteria which is lethal to tent caterpillars;
  • Original and new plantings at Issaquah Highlands rely heavily on native species such as Oregon grape, vine maple and Kinnikinnick which require less water and have fewer pest problems relative to imported plants;
  • Our planting schemes include consideration for nectar, seeds and fruit for wildlife from wild bumblebees to hummingbirds and songbirds;
  • IHCA and contractor fuel use is now carbon neutral thanks to carbon offset programs such as Puget Sound Energy’s Carbon Balance; PSE Carbon Balance Program
  • 202,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity used to power community pathway lights, irrigation pumps and systems was all purchased from renewable sources through Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power program in 2015;
  • New for 2016 is the recycling of most of our plastic nursery pots thanks to a local revegetation nursery. IHCA purchases several thousand plants each year so this diverts many hundreds of pounds of plastic out of the waste stream each year;
  • Many other aspects of our grounds keeping program contribute to reduced water waste, reduced green waste, and improved water quality through irrigation maintenance, management of fertilizer, mulch, mowing heights and more.

You can see the ‘Green’ carried through in other areas of operations:

  • The Community Management team’s vehicle is a hybrid, which not only saves on fuel costs but is much more environmentally friendly to the atmosphere;
  • When purchasing new trucks the landscape crew is switching to the new ‘start-stop’ system vehicles that save fuel;
  • We are in the process of converting all of the community pathways lights to LED fixtures that last for years instead of months. To conserve energy, the lights are on photo cell sensors so they are on only when it’s dark;
  • The Board just adopted rules for the installation of solar panels as the demand for approval of the systems is increasing;
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  • The maintenance team is switching to water base paint, instead of environmentally unfriendly oil base paint, for all painting projects (i.e. playground equipment, railings, fences, benches, etc.);
  • We practice an environmentally responsible method of pet waste disposal with our pet stations located throughout the community. (We just wish everyone would use them instead of walking away from their pet’s refuse!!)

Join us in helping our community amplify the ‘Living Green’ commitment!!