Posted in BIRDS, LAM BLOG, PEOPLE, WILDLIFE, tagged 606, Audubon Louisiana, birds, bloomingdale trail, Chicago, City, LAMcast, Louisiana, nature, New Orleans, The 606, Trust for Public Land, youth programs on November 17, 2015 |
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Since 2010, the National Capital Planning Commission in Washington, D.C., has played host to a speaker series that touches on a wide range of planning issues. One of its most recent lectures was Nature in the City | The City in Nature, featuring Douglas Meffert, the executive director of Audubon Louisiana, and Beth White, the director of the Trust for Public Land’s Chicago office, who each described the opportunities opened to these two cities by introducing active living infrastructure. For more information, please click here.
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Posted in ASLA, ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, GARDENS, LAM BLOG, WILDLIFE, tagged advocacy, bee-friendly, bees, butterflies, design, Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, partership, pledge, pollinators, White House on October 27, 2015 |
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Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
This is a big year for pollinators at ASLA. Not just because of recent ASLA advocacy efforts
for legislation protecting and enhancing pollinators and their habitats in the United States, but also because of ASLA’s involvement in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge,
a new White House initiative aimed at creating a million new pollinator-friendly gardens within the next two years. Disappearing habitat, lack of native plants, pesticides, and unknown forces are leading to the frightening loss of pollinators, and the White House is calling on the nation to step up its game.
Mark Cason, the government affairs manager at ASLA (and our friendly floormate), is leading the pollinator advocacy projects. He sees landscape architects as poised to help rebuild pollinator populations. “ASLA is promoting the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge as a way to engage landscape architects to incorporate pollinator-friendly habitats in their designs,” says Cason. Providing for pollinators might seem like a no-brainer, but a study last year found pesticides toxic to bees covering plants marketed as “bee-friendly”; this problem underlines the need to do more. If we protect pollinators, we protect ourselves.
For more information on the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, please visit here.
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Posted in BROWNFIELDS, CITIES, GARDENS, LAM MAGAZINE, NEW YORK CITY, PRACTICE, WILDLIFE, tagged ASLA, aspen, atmosphere, backyard, Boston ivy, Brooklyn, Bureu of Land Management, cataloge, David Seiter, DDG, ecosystem, English ivy, erosion, Europe, existing, Future Green Studio, geotag, Germany, goldenrod, Gowanus Canal, gray birch, Greenbelt Native Plant Center, Harvard Graduate School of Design, hashtag, honey locust, informal, Jeremy LaPointe, lamb's quarter, Nate Berg, National Park Service, New York, Norbert Kühn, overgrowth, Peter Del Tredici, phytoremediation, plant palette, Soil Moisture, spontaneous, Spontaneous Urban Plants, sumac, Technical University of Berlin, trumpet creeper, U.S. Forest Service, underutilized, Urbanism, Virginia creeper, weeds, weedy, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide on September 8, 2015 |
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BY NATE BERG
Little-loved plants win the affection of Future Green Studio.
The huge backyard along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn was the perfect site for the summertime Sunday afternoon parties that the DJs Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin liked to throw. It had plenty of space, room for a bar, and the overgrowth that comes alongside New York’s lovable Superfund waterway. But they had only temporary leases and permits to throw parties. Their time in the huge backyard wouldn’t last forever.
Carter and Harkin went looking for a permanent home and found something similar: a garbage-strewn industrial lot covered in weeds next to the L tracks in Ridgewood, Queens, a few miles away. “When we found it, it was, like, kind of just a junk heap,” Carter says.
Carter called David Seiter, ASLA, the principal and the design director at Future Green Studio, a landscape design and urban ecology firm of about 20 people then based close to the party space along the Gowanus. Seiter and his studio had also warmed to the area’s unkempt feeling and wanted to keep (more…)
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Posted in ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, EPA, HABITAT, LAM MAGAZINE, WATER, WILDLIFE, tagged Allegra Bukojemsky, Andrew Bohne, ASLA, Back Bay Fens, biomes, birds, Boston, carbon sink, Clean Water Act of 1972, Conrad Welzel, conservation commissions, Department of the Interior, diversity, Ducks Unlimited, Fish and Wildlife Service, Frederick Law Olmsted, Holly Dolliver, hydric soil, hydrology, hydrophilic, invasive, Jessica Wilkinson, land trusts, Lisa Cowan, loosestrife, lythrum, Marla Stelk, marshes, Massachusetts, mitigation, National Research COuncil, Nature Conservancy, New England, Philip Walsh, phragmites, Preservation, reclamation, redoximorphic, replacement, restoration, riparian, Ruth Ladd, Section 404, stormwater, swamps, Tim Dugan, US Army Corps of Engineers, vegetation, wetland, wildlife on August 25, 2015 |
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BY PHILIP WALSH
The compensatory mitigation mandate opens a dynamic arena for landscape architects.
The song of the red-winged blackbird, although instantly recognizable, is hard to put to words, as even Roger Tory Peterson, author of A Field Guide to the Birds, found. These syllables are his best efforts. The trilling, almost metallic-sounding warble evokes summertime, cattails, and the watery landscapes where Agelaius phoeniceus goes to breed.
But at this moment I’m not seeing cattails. I’m at the edge of a parking lot behind a pizza restaurant in a suburb north of Boston, looking at a large pit, about 10 feet deep, filled with Phragmites australis, the infamous invasive species that, along with purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), is the scourge of wetlands in the Northeast, choking out cattails and other native species that provide food to the bird population. A few spindly red maples have colonized the embankment, along with some riverbank grape (Vitis riparia), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), and Rosa multiflora, a pretty though sprawling shrub introduced to America in 1866 to provide rootstock for hybrid roses and now classed as a pest in many states. Despite the red-winged blackbird’s bright song, this is a dismal place, especially in the fading afternoon sunlight, a bit of wasteland left behind by development, one of millions of similar places across the country.
This blighted spot, however, is a mandated compensatory wetland mitigation under (more…)
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Posted in BROWNFIELDS, CLOSE-UP, ECOLOGY, ECONOMICS, ENERGY, IDEAS, LAM BLOG, MINDS, OCEANS, POLLUTION, REGION, RESILIENCE, REUSE, RIVER RESTORATION, SHORELINE, SOIL, TRANSPORTATION, WATER, WILDLIFE, tagged Bay West, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Catherine de Almeida, Chris Bennett, dredge landscapes, Dredge Research Collaborative, dredging, Duluth, Eli Sands, Great Lakes, Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, Great Lakes Water Wars, industrial landscape, landscape architect, Landscape Architecture, MAde Studio, Margaux Valenti, Marine Tech, Matthew Tucker, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Open Workshop, Peter Annin, Vandergoot Ezban Studio on July 28, 2015 |
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If you missed DredgeFestNYC and DredgeFest Louisiana (see “The Dredge Underground,” LAM, August 2014) then you haven’t experienced one of the most interesting landscape-focused gatherings around. Fortunately, another chance is just ahead at DredgeFest Great Lakes (DFGL) this August. DredgeFest draws a friendly and curious crowd across a wide spectrum of expertise to look critically at dredging and the land it winds up making—and there are many overlaps with contemporary landscape architecture practice.
This event (conference doesn’t really describe it) will focus on the Great Lakes region (aka the Third Coast in dredgespeak). It will include two days of talks and presentations from a range of designers and others who work in this industrial practice; a day of touring dredge sites around Duluth; and a weeklong workshop at the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture that brings in a very intriguing international cohort of designers.
This third iteration of DredgeFest should be the best yet, with the now-signature mix of intense investigations and industrial monumentality with the speculative edge that has marked previous DredgeFests.
Landscape Architecture Magazine is a cosponsor of DFGL this year. We’re looking forward to inhaling the fascinating new research and meeting folks in Minnesota this August. Registration for one or all parts of DFGL is open now.
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Posted in ASLA, AWARDS, ECOLOGY, INTERVIEW, INVASIVE SPECIES, LAM MAGAZINE, NEW YORK CITY, PLANNING, REGULATIONS, UNIVERSITY, WILDLIFE, tagged 2013, American Veterans Disabled for Life, ASLA Professional Awards, crowds, Davey Resource Group, firms, Governors Island, Honor Awards, International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit, Ioannis Karamouzas, Lutsko Associates, Michael Cannell, OLIN, Sasaki Associates, tree canopy, unwanted, Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, West8, Woodside Residence on June 2, 2015 |
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June’s issue of LAM looks at the tough choices that landscape architecture firms, such as Sasaki Associates and OLIN, must face when updating for a new era; the rustic landscape of a house in Northern California by Lutsko Associates, a winner of a 2013 ASLA Professional Honor Award; and we visit New York City’s biggest secret, Governors Island, the first phase of which opened to the public last year with designs by West8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture.
In departments, Michael Cannell interviews the computer scientist Ioannis Karamouzas about the anticipatory nature of people in crowds; New York State’s new “unwanted” list of invasive plants, fish, invertebrates, and vertebrates outright bans the use of some fan favorites; and Louisville’s tree canopy is disappearing by approximately 54,000 trees a year, according to a new report by the Davey Resource Group. All this plus our regular Now, Species, Goods, and Books columns. The full table of contents for June can be found here.
As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.
Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be ungating June articles as the month rolls out.
Credits: “Treasure Island,” © Iwan Baan; “The Shelter of Oaks,” Marion Brenner, Affiliate ASLA; “Crowd Computing,” Ioannis Karamouzas; “Don’t Bring It Here,” “Flowering Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) Somewhere in Massachusetts, USA” by Liz West is licensed under CC by 2.0; “A Canopy in Crisis,” Courtesy Davey Resource Group.
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Posted in ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, LAM MAGAZINE, PLANTS, WILDLIFE, tagged A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Andrew Jackson Downing, Applied Ecological Services, ASLA, Bringing Nature Home, Cardno Native Plant Nursery, Chicago, Christa Orum-Keller, Connor Shaw, Conservation Foundation, COnservation@Home, Cook County Forest Preserve, design, Douglas Tallamy, ecosystem, Geoff Deigan, Grace Koehler, Illinois, Jack Pizzo, Jim Kleinwachter, meadow, Midwest, Midwest Groundcovers, mix, National Wildlife Federation, native, parkland, Pizzo Group, Pizzo Native Plant Nursery, plants, Pollinator Meadow, pollinators, Possibility Place Nursery, seeds, supply chain, U.S. Forest Service, University of Delaware, WRD Envrionmental on May 26, 2015 |
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BY CAROL E. BECKER
Building the supply chain for native landscapes.
The oak is our national tree for a reason. Oaks are endemic to our native landscapes in all regions of the United States, easily identified by their leaf shape and gnarly branches. The size of the mature white oak (Quercus alba), spreading up to 120 feet, is one reason we associate oaks with strength, along with the density of the wood and an oak fire’s burning hot and long in the woodstove. Native oaks fall into two taxonomic groups, white and red, and their landscape uses vary depending on soil moisture. But most important today, as Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, points out, oaks are the “quintessential wildlife plants.” They provide food to more than 500 species of caterpillars and other insects. In this fact lies the oaks’ value to the entire food chain, from the birds that eat insects to the humans who rest in the trees’ shade.
We need more oaks in our landscapes, mostly for the food benefits they provide. But instead of being sought-after plants, oaks are underused, undermarketed, undercultivated, and therefore in short supply. Landscape architects don’t often use them, clients don’t ask for them, and thus growers don’t grow them. A reverse scenario also holds true. Few nurseries grow Quercus species, particularly Q. macrocarpa, Q. muehlenbergii, and Q. alba, because they are hard to grow and suffer significant transplant death. So clients don’t see them and don’t ask for them and, in turn, landscape architects don’t specify them. Whatever the reason and wherever you start, it’s a circle of mutually reinforcing supply and demand.
The oaks are but one example of the larger problem for design professionals working to create sustainable landscapes with hardy plants in a given region. The interest in doing so—the imperative of doing so—is unequaled by the supply of appropriate species. This shortage also helps perpetuate clients’ expectations of plant specimens they do in fact see at the retail level, plants that are well-shaped, blooming, varied, and maybe even a bit exotic. The landscape architecture profession has taught them to value this aesthetic at least since the mid-19th century, when Andrew Jackson Downing codified ornamental landscaping in A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening. Now, we find ourselves in a world where, in just the past 40 years, half the songbird species in the United States and more than 90 percent of the monarch butterflies have disappeared. Honeybees and bumblebees have fallen to a mysterious virus, a cataclysmic problem that threatens the entire food chain. We do know how to reverse these trends and preserve biodiversity in landscapes, but we can’t get it done because clients still want constantly blooming and well-shaped plants with no bugs.
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