All posts by Accounts @ Reason One

The Specialists

This article is also available to readers in Spanish. For a full list of translated articles, please click here.

Sam Droege is Taking a Very Close Look at Native Bees.

By Maggie Zackowitz

Sam Droege’s lab at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center does not have a street address. To get there, you count the miles down a winding Maryland road, looking for the seventh in a series of gates (#6 is unnumbered) set into the tall wire fence alongside. Punch the code into a keypad for the gate once you find it, drive up the hill, and hang a sharp left. There sits a low building in a yard of waving grass and wildflowers, encircled by another high fence—this one electrified. It’s a remnant of security for the yard’s former occupants: whooping cranes once raised here to repopulate the species.

“The fencing wasn’t to keep the cranes in so much as keep the predators out,” explains Droege, a wildlife biologist. These days the compound’s objects of study aren’t luring the local carnivores. What’s inside, in fact, are stacks and stacks of pizza boxes. They are filled with bees.

First, the bees are drowned. Cup traps filled with soapy water are placed in sunny areas near blooming plants; the bees cooperate by falling in. Their bodies are then gently washed clean of pollen and dust, dried, assigned bar codes, labeled with date and place of collection, and pinned by the dozens to the floor of the protective pizza boxes to await identification. Bees are sent here by bee collectors from all over the world. “We’re up to over half a million specimens,” says Droege, who has run the United States Geological Survey’s Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab (NBIML) for some 20 years. Continue reading The Specialists

With the Blind in Mind

Fort Lauderdale gets a multisensory mural.

By Maggie Zackowitz

Dee Nelson gets a feel for the multisensory mural as Samantha Kelly, the vice president of programs and a teacher at Lighthouse of Broward, looks on. Image courtesy Francisco Mayorga.

You don’t have to be able to see to appreciate the colorful mural on the side of the Lighthouse of Broward building in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Continue reading With the Blind in Mind

Where Least Matters Most

Traction believes landscape architecture is for the people, not just the elite.

By Katarina Katsma, ASLA

Community members use skills they learned in workshops to build a productive infiltration garden for food security and water filtration. Image courtesy Traction team members.

In 2016, as a student at the University of Washington, Coco Alarcón won the ASLA Student Residential Design Award of Excellence for his project to improve public health by creating food gardens in a soggy, stressed neighborhood in Iquitos, Peru. Continue reading Where Least Matters Most

Under the Over

A new book examines how to transform the dark and dirty spaces under bridges, elevated subway lines, and highways throughout New York City.

By Alex Ulam

Under the Elevated launch event at Pier i.
Under the Elevated launch event at the Pier i Café.

Aside from the surviving section of the hulking Miller Highway viaduct looming overhead, Thomas Balsley’s masterfully designed Riverside Park South is a serene place with tall, wavy grasses and meandering pathways. Continue reading Under the Over