Posted in ACCESSIBILITY, BROWNFIELDS, CITIES, HABITAT, LAM MAGAZINE, PARKS, PLANTS, RECREATION, REUSE, RIVER RESTORATION, WATER, tagged beachgrasses, Bubbly Creek, Carol Ross Barney, Chicago, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago River, Chicago Riverwalk, Clean Water Act of 1972, Daniel Burnham, fish, Friends of the Chicago River, Gina Ford, Great Lakes, Iris, Jacobs/Ryan Associates, Lake Michigan, Mississippi Valley, Plan of Chicago, Ross Barney Architects, Sasaki, Sedge, sewage, Terry Ryan on March 7, 2017|
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BY JANE MARGOLIES
Fifteen years in the making, a new public space reunites Chicago with the river that runs through it.
“Isn’t it hot?” Gina Ford, ASLA, asked excitedly, waving a well-jacketed arm around her on a cold morning this past fall as she, the architect Carol Ross Barney, and Terry Ryan, FASLA, met up at the Chicago Riverwalk to show me around.
Not exactly the word I would have chosen, given the temperature, but, yes, the new promenade they designed along the Chicago River, in the downtown of Illinois’s largest city, most definitely is.
Extending eight blocks along the river’s southern bank at a level below the streetscape, the Riverwalk is part of a 1.25-mile path from Lake Michigan inland that some are calling the city’s “second shoreline” (the lake, which borders Chicago to the east, being the “first,” of course). Each block-long space is bookended by the historic bridge houses that operate the movable spans that cross the waterway. And each has its own distinct riverside character, ranging from the Marina, a hub of food and drink purveyors, to the Jetty, an ecology-themed section that includes floating gardens and fishing piers. A continuous pathway stitches the segments together, weaving around the bridge houses before continuing on. And all of it adds up to a (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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