Beauty and Sustainability
by Linda Sechrist
In 1988, Al Lentz, third generation landscaper founded Lentzcaping, which serves Bucks and Montgomery counties, with his partner Stephen Happ. In the earliest years of their business, Lentz and Happ provided a wide variety of services to the utility industry and helped them maintain and enhance their customer service infrastructure and corporate industry job sites. Today, the Lentzcaping Utility department continues this tradition in the Delaware Valley Region with vegetation management, stone road construction, erosion control, fencing and barriers as well as debris clean up.
As their business grew, Lentz became interested in rainwater management and helping homeowners to capture, filter, infiltrate and reuse rainwater. Much to the delight of many homeowners, Lentz and his team of water experts, which includes Aquascape Manager John Voit, perform magic with captured rainwater that gets used in outdoor environments that they create with striking characteristics, such as waterfalls that cascade over realistic rock formations into a pool. “When we combine water conservation, pervious stone patios and walkways with serene, eco-friendly settings, beautiful water features and lighting, we add an element of serenity to a homeowner’s life and give them a soothing version of paradise in their own backyard, where they can meditate, contemplate and decompress, ” says Lentz.
Concerned about keeping contaminates and nutrient overload from runoff that can potentially infiltrate the Neshaminy Watershed in Bucks and Montgomery counties, Lentz advises about runoff. “It’s important for homeowners and business owners to understand that their roof, driveway, and sidewalks are considered as non-point sources for runoff into our waterways that feed the Delaware River. For example, 2,000 square feet of roof can contribute as much as 1,250 gallons of water to runoff during a rainstorm. If we can make their property sustainable and keep their storm water runoff contained in an Aquascape water storage system that feeds a pondless waterfall, pond, or decorative water feature, then they have something that adds beauty to their life and we have a healthier environment for future generations,” advises Lentz, who saves 50,000 gallons of water annually by using rainwater management and water features on his own property.
Lentz met Voit in high school but the two men followed separate paths until about 13 years ago, when the issue of rainwater harvesting brought them back together again through Aquascape’s wholesale distribution of water gardening products. Today, Voit’s specialty—working with water, water feature installation, storm water management, and rainwater harvesting—is invaluable to Lentzcaping customers, who are scattered throughout the Greater Delaware Valley.
Lentz’s work with the Aquascape Foundation, a nonprofit organization that creates sustainable solutions for the worldwide water crisis with Aquascape’s RainXchange Rainwater Harvest System, has taken him to countries such as Colombia, South America, as well as Ghana and Uganda, Africa. “Aquascape’s eco-friendly systems help the local people to collect and maintain clean water, which significantly improves their living conditions,” says Lentz.
Lentz and Voit share a fascination for water along with a passion for beautiful Zen-like outdoor living environments that include water features. “Water is the essence of life and the magic of how you can use it to enhance the beauty of your home begins with your imagination. Using rainwater harvesting, we’ve created everything from backyard environments with bubbling brooks, calm Koi ponds, and waterfalls to natural swimming pools. In addition, we’ve built beautiful patios that we’ve enhanced with landscaping that included things like fountains and urns. In all the years that I’ve been in business, what I enjoy most is exceeding our customers’ expectations,” muses Lentz.
Linda Sechrist is the senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings.
Lentzcaping, 2139 Bristol Rd., Warrington. 215-343-6041. Visit Lentzcaping.com for more information. For more information on the Aquascape Foundation: AquascapeInc.com/Aquascape-Foundation. October 2013.