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GREEN SCENE: Planting Productivity

New York
GREEN SCENE: Planting Productivity
Parker Interior Plantscape's Tom Walsh and Richard Parker
Plants in your space bring many benefits. flushing the air of carbon dioxide; lowering stress and promoting creativity for workers; removing VOCs; and helping relieve sick-building syndrome by reducing absenteeism. So says Tom Walsh of Parker Interior Plantscape (right, with owner Richard Parker), whose company has been installing plantscapes inside buildings for over 60 years. (It was the firm that pioneered the use of indoor palm trees, introduced in the World Financial Center's Winter Garden in the ‘80s.) Parker Plants' creations, from walls to gardens, can be found all around the Tri-State, from private office buildings to The Distrikt Hotel. The firm's work has even traveled to the Bahamas and Hong Kong.

Parker Inteior Plantscape's replica of Central Park
One of Parker Interior Plantscape's green wall projects includes a replica of Central Park. The firm's operations include 14 acres and 300k-SF of greenhouses in Scotch Plains, NJ; Tom says that the firm grows many of its own plants, and supplements them with others grown in Florida. One of their products includes a bio wall, which cleanses the air through phytoremediation (you kept your high school bio textbook, right?). Tom's favorite? Bamboo and gigantic ficus trees. The trend now is more reserved installations, unlike the jungle effect of a few years ago, he says—and you don't have to worry about watering them, as the firm will also maintain the installations. The firm has won over 50 national awards for its projects, including two White House Awards.