Vizcaya Goes Greener

The park has eliminated 90 percent of its pesticide use.

By Jennifer Reeves
|  Thursday, Apr 19, 2012  |  Updated 9:23 PM EDT
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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which has been known for its grounds and landscape, is now getting greener, day by day. Chief Horticulturist Ian Simpkins explains how Vizcaya has been transforming the grounds to conserve energy.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which has been known for its grounds and landscape, is now getting greener, day by day. Chief Horticulturist Ian Simpkins explains how Vizcaya has been transforming the grounds to conserve energy.

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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which has been known for its grounds and landscape, is now getting greener, day by day. 

“We have consciously steered away from replicating what was here historically in order to choose something that better reflects today’s environmental needs and concerns,” said Chief Horticulturist Ian Simpkins.

Over the past five years, and with the help of Simpkins, Vizcaya has been transforming the grounds to conserve energy. All of the trimmed tree parts are ground in a wood chipper and returned to the soil as mulch.

“We are returning all the nutrients and water that the trees took up over the course of the year, and we are returning it back to the soil so they can use it again,” said Simpkins.

The green initiative in Vizcaya also plans on recycling and reusing rainwater in the future – using the water in the park’s fountains as well as its irrigation system.

The underground pumps and the skylight will all play a role in the rainwater recycling program. The skylight, which will be replaced in the near future, will be built according to hurricane code.

Simpkins also said that they choose their plants based on which types require less water and maintenance.

“We have been able to eliminate 90 percent of our pesticide use here at Vizcaya,” Simpkins said.

Other changes at the park include bicycling security guards.

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