While the cost of maintaining a turf can run from $60 per acre into the hundreds of dollars/acre, natives require less maintenance, less water and sustain more life. Here are some of the returns native plants can provide a community.
- According to the National Highway System (NHS) ROW grasslands were estimated to remove 0.4 to 10 metric tons (MT) of carbon per acre annually and forested areas about 2.2 MT of carbon annually (Federal Highway Administration, 2010a). A conservative value of $20 per MT for carbon sequestration (Federal Highway Administration, 2010b).
- Approximately 47 lb/yr of pollutants at a value of $117 was removed by 879 street trees in Iowa (Thompson, Nowak, Crane, & Hunkins, 2004)
- A study from Beijing, China assessed the reduction of roadside runoff, due to native vegetation, to be valued at nearly $66/acre. (Zhang, Xie, Zhang, & Zhang, 2012).
- In a study from Arizona, “…under the most conservative assumptions, the public is willing to spend between $1.6 million and $3.5 million per year to increase wildflower and highway landscaping [with] …one result from these programs [being] to create $20 to $90 million in aesthetic value in the form of wildflower and highway amenities…” (Mast, 2002)
- In a Georgia study, the aesthetic value of forested land on a roadside buffer ranged from $371/acre/yr in southern Georgia to $1,695/acre/yr in north Georgia (Moore, Williams, Rodriguez, & Hepinstall-Cymmerman, 2011).
- In 2003 a study looked at the frustration levels of subjects after experiencing video of a built-up highway, a garden highway and a scenic parkway……The scenic parkway respondents showed a four times greater frustration tolerance than for the garden highway respondents and a 322 six times greater tolerance than for those experiencing the built-up highway condition.” (Cackowski, J. and Nasar, J.L. 2003. The Restorative Effects of Roadside Vegetation Implications for Automobile Driver Anger and Frustration. Environment and Behavior, Vol. 35, No. 6, 2003, pp. 736-751.).