Category Archives: Water

Tier Drops

Water out West is disappearing. Seven states, 30 tribes, and millions of people will need to adjust.

By Lisa Owens Viani

The Central Arizona Project carries Colorado River water across a stretch of desert north of Bouse, Arizona. Photo © Ted Wood/The Water Desk.

In early August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation declared the first ever Tier 1 shortage for the Colorado River, based on the agency’s projection that Lake Mead would drop below a threshold of 1,075 feet above sea level in January. Water levels in the river’s two main reservoirs—Lake Powell (behind Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona) and Lake Mead (behind Hoover Dam on the Arizona–Nevada border)—are now at their lowest since they were filled and flows in the river have declined. Continue reading Tier Drops

How to Grow a Greenway

For New Orleans’s popular Lafitte Greenway, the plan was just the beginning.

By Jane Margolies

Man planting trees near "Greenway GROW!" sign
Volunteers help plant cypress trees on the Lafitte Greenway in April during an event that sprang from the park’s new Greenway GROW! management strategy. Photo courtesy Spackman Mossop Michaels.

On a recent morning in New Orleans, church parishioners, employees on loan from local businesses, and sailors in town for Navy Week were among the 130 volunteers who showed up to plant 100 cypress trees in a bioswale on the Lafitte Greenway. The city’s Department of Parks and Parkways had already cleared the site bordering the Tremé neighborhood, and staff from the New Orleans office of the landscape architecture firm Spackman Mossop Michaels (SMM) and a tree-planting nonprofit group had marked off where the 15-gallon, one-inch-caliper pond and bald cypress were to go. So the volunteers dug holes, dropped in the trees, backfilled them with soil, staked, and mulched. With everyone pitching in, the job was done in three hours. Continue reading How to Grow a Greenway

Park Diplomacy Across the U.S.–Mexico Border

This article is also available in Spanish

At Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, “two countries, two cities, one culture, one river, one park.”

By Jane Margolies

Zacate Creek, which feeds into the Rio Grande, creates an arroyo with a natural waterfall. Photo by Overland Partners.

Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas, Mexico—known colloquially as Los Dos Laredos—were a single city divided by the Rio Grande River until 1848, when a treaty established the international border in the river, leaving one half in the United States and the other in Mexico. Continue reading Park Diplomacy Across the U.S.–Mexico Border

Bog Wild

Guarded by isolated landscapes and rough ocean waters, Argentina’s remote peatlands are among the world’s most effective and fragile carbon sinks.

By Jimena Martignoni / Photography by Joel Reyero

Peatlands appear in the landscape as extensive, soft surfaces slightly undulated and dotted by small pools of water.

At the southern tip of South America, between the Strait of Magellan to the north and west and Beagle Channel to the south, the Tierra del Fuego archipelago may hold one of the keys to global carbon sequestration: nearly pristine peatlands. Continue reading Bog Wild

A Wilder West

This article is also available in Spanish

Colwell-Shelor embraces “ugly-pretty” ecology on a Camelback Mountain estate.

By Brian Barth / Photography by Caitlin Atkinson

Stormwater runoff from the property collects in a steel basin before seeping into the lawn through a series of weeps. Photo by Marion Brenner, Affiliate ASLA.

Rare is the landscape architecture client who enjoys a view of decay out their window. Continue reading A Wilder West

Awards Focus: The Death and Life of Great American Barges

LAM is highlighting student and professional winners from the 2021 ASLA Awards by asking designers to share an outtake that tells an important part of their project’s narrative.

Student Analysis and Planning Honor Award

Weicong Huang

“The rendering shows local wetland restoration, in process and after. In the gray frame, the ship is ejecting stored sediment into the wetland and people are planting native weeds. Continue reading Awards Focus: The Death and Life of Great American Barges