A New Jersey group, McCoy Horticulture, commits to sustainable practices.
Sustainable tools, techniques, materials and designs are all things that can quickly become overwhelming. Dozens of questions swarm through a business leader’s mind as they commit to running a more eco-friendly company. Things like: Where to begin? How much will it cost? Which changes are necessary and which are not? These questions make the effort to be more sustainable a daunting task. It can be done, though. Richard McCoy proves it.
Richard is a leader in ecological horticultural practices on the east coast of the United States. He manages Richard A. McCoy Horticultural Services, a landscaping design, building and maintenance firm based in Ringoes, NJ. The company is dedicated to organic and ecologically mindful systems, using battery-powered equipment, avoiding synthetic chemicals, managing turf systems organically and using native plant species almost exclusively. Richard’s work has been shared by the Smithsonian Institute’s Archives of American Gardens. Among his many titles, Richard is an advisor and practitioner council member for the Organic Landscape Association, a member of Rutgers University’s Organic Land Care Working Group and a co-contributor to the Rutgers Organic Land Care Best Management Practices Manual. Just last year, the American Green Zone Alliance selected Richard as the Northeast Regional Director. The team also became the first American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) Certified Service Pro Company last year and was named the 2021 Horticultural Professional of the Year by the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. The company’s success all began with a simple approach—plant the appropriate plant in the right location and mulch properly. Then, a healthy landscape will flourish, without harmful chemicals.
Richard launched his outdoor career about 30 years ago. He worked as an arborist first, then on a landscape contracting team. He calls both roles “conventional,” because he used things like non-native plants and synthetic chemicals. He launched his own business in 1995, with the goal to focus on proper plant placement and a plant’s cultural needs. This goal took shape over the years until 2005, when the company fully transitioned to an organic, ecological means of operating.
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