ELA Announces Innovative
Green Roofs Initiative in Boston
On July 28th, in a collaboration that was years in the making, the Fairmount Line Bus Shelter Living Roof Initiative turned three bus shelters into roof-top, green-spaces near the Talbot Station.
This collaboration brought together the Fairmount-Indigo Line CDC Collaborative, the Talbot Norfolk Triangle Eco Innovation District, and Land Escapes Design Inc., owned by ELA President, Trevor Smith. With advanced preparation and materials donated by Land Escapes Design Inc. and Green Living Technologies International, three bus stop shelters were retrofitted with soil, mixed sedums, and mosses. The green roofs are designed to soak up rainfall before it enters storm drains.
On July 22, 2014, the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) collaborated with the Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) and the Landscape Institute at Boston Architectural College to restore Arcola Park located in Dorchester, Massachusetts. On a very hot day, many volunteers gathered to restore the park to its former glory.
ELA Partners with SEMPBA
The Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance, Inc. (SEMPBA) is a recently formed non–profit volunteer group dedicated to preserving the globally rare eco region of the Coastal Atlantic Pine Barrens of southeastern Massachusetts. The region contains the world’s 2nd largest remaining Pine Barrens habitat that supports a number of threatened or endangered animal and plant species, some of which occur only in southeastern Massachusetts.
To help support their mission, ELA has recently formed an alliance with SEMPBA to help promote the important work being done to educate and preserve the Pine Barrens. SEMPBA recently hosted Pinefest, a day of fun and playful learning at Myles Standish State Forest, in Carver to expand awareness of the Greater Pine Barrens of Southeastern Massachusetts.
ELA Announces Name Change to
Ecological Landscape Alliance
ELA Completes First Community Action Project
Dartmouth Green, Boston
Accomplished through valuable collaborations and the help of many volunteers, July 2013 marked the first ELA Community Action Project.
“What a transformation!” was a typical comment from the South End residents who passed by our work site: 29 Dartmouth Street.
Earlier this year, the Ecological Landscape Alliance and the Landscape Institute of the Boston Architectural College were looking for an opportunity to perform a community service project that would create a hands-on educational opportunity, result in positive neighborhood change, and bring together their constituencies. Read the full story.
View project progress below.
ELA’s Virtual Eco-Marketplace
Resource for Ecological Products & Services
The Conway School is an independent, private graduate program in sustainable landscape planning and design. Students spend ten months working on real projects that address the most pressing issues of our time. Graduates leave with a whole systems design approach, a professional portfolio, and a Master of Science in Ecological Design. Fix what's broken. Save what works. Design the future.
http://cps.gwu.edu/sustainable-landscapes The mission of the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Landscapes at George Washington University is to provide an innovative and relevant curriculum that reflects changing social attitudes towards the conservation and sustainability of our living environments.
http://www.guardaircorp.com/airspade/ Founded in 1991, Air-Spade is the market leader in pneumatic tools used by arborists, landscape professionals, and utilities for soil excavation.
http://www.earthandturf.com/ Improving turf through proper topdressing has always been a key goal for Earth & Turf Products, LLC. Since 1997, Earth &Turf has been providing lawn care professionals, sports turf managers, golf course superintendents, and parks & recreation departments with quality-built topdressers that won't break the budget.
http://www.amherstnurseries.com/ Amherst Nurseries is a Massachusetts based grower of nursery stock for landscaping, restoration and conservation. We offer a large selection of plants grown B&B, in containers, and in grow bags.
http://www.fgnsales.com/ Fourth Generation is a family owned and run business, providing you with a complete source for all your Water Garden needs and an interesting selection of quality plant material to accent the landscape around the water garden.
http://newmoonnursery.com/ New Moon Nursery is a wholesale growers of eastern native perennial plant material for landscape professionals, container production, storm water management, and restoration. New Moon grows all plant material in deep plugs, suitable for planting directly in the landscape.
http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/ As the innovator of the Landscape Plug™, North Creek’s mission is to propagate and market plants that develop the relationship between people and sustainable outdoor environments. We specialize in growing Landscape Plugs™ of perennials, ornamental grasses, ferns and vines with an emphasis on Eastern US native plants.
We are a full-service wholesale nursery in Fairfield and Litchfield counties providing a complete line of ornamental plant material to the trade. With field and container production on separate farms in Connecticut, we sell a complete line of nursery stock including an extensive selection of landscape quality native plants at exceptional prices.
http://www.projectnative.org/ Project Native is a non-profit native plant nursery and wildlife sanctuary in Housatonic, Massachusetts. We seek to inspire a love of nature that motivates people to create, restore & maintain healthy landscapes.
http://www.sudburynurserieswest.com/Home.html Specialty growers of quality native trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials of local provenance. Offering container grown and B&B to trade professionals. Contract growing available. Family owned and operated since 1935.
http://www.baystateforestry.com Since 1963, Bay State Forestry Service has provided the New England forest landowner with responsible, viable forest stewardship through comprehensive land management consulting: forest resource management planning, timber sale administration, invasive plant management, cost-share program assistance, property boundary maintenance and GIS/GPS mapping services.
http://www.compostwerks.com/ Compostwerks is your source for organic products and equipment designed for the organic land care practitioner. Compostwerks provides a comprehensive range of tea brewers and sprayers and brewing supplies, tools, top dressing equipment, natural soil amendments and organic fertilizers.
http://filtrexxns.com/ Filtrexx International uses natural, bio-based materials for storm water filtration, soil erosion, storm water reduction, vegetation establishment and sustainability applications.
http://groundscapesexpress.com/ Providing innovative, environmentally sound, erosion control solutions since 1998. The first company in New England to pioneer and extensively use compost products for erosion control and stormwater management. These innovative techniques and materials are adaptable to a wide variety of sites including golf course and road projects, landfills, truck spills and residential developments.
http://herbanatur.biz/ Herbanatur offers exclusive patented Weed Control Solution in order to selectively control noxious and invasive weeds Wherever, Whenever!
Horticultural Solutions provides design and installations services, garden maintenance, and all other landscape services. We also provide consulting services and business seminars.
http://nativehabitatrestoration.weebly.com/ Native Habitat Restoration, LLC provides all aspects of habitat restoration services to private landowners, conservation organizations, and town, state, and federal agencies to help them manage invasive plant species and create healthier natural environments, great and small.
http://www.idealconcreteblock.com/ When considering your impact on the environment, consider Pavers by Ideal. If you are environmentally conscientious, or perhaps facing zoning restrictions on surfaces or areas that are limiting what you can build on your property, our eco-friendly permeable interlocking concrete pavers could be the right choice for you. A 4th generation family-owned business.
http://sumcoeco.com/ SumCo Eco-Contracting, LLC provides full-service ecological contracting – from excavation and custom soils to revegetation and invasive species control. SumCo's scientists and project engineers team with owners, consultants and general contractors to ensure that the ecosystems we build provide the functions and values of natural systems.
http://hortpros.com/ Distributors Of The Highest Quality Microorganisms, Biostimulants, Natural Fertilizers, And More.
http://www.neptunesharvest.com/ Organic fertilizer made from fresh caught North Atlantic fish, cold processed.
http://organicplantmagic.com/Home/ Organic Plant Magic is an all purpose organic fertilizer alive with beneficial microorganisms.
http://www.readcustomsoils.com/ Read Custom Soils supplies nearly any specialty soil specification - with the knowledge, experience and expertise needed to blend soil components to achieve the desired design characteristics.
There is synergy in the gathering of colleagues and peers. You asked for more opportunities to gather and talk with other ELA members about projects and strategies, and ELA listened. In June, ELA introduced ELA Members’ Receptions.
The inaugural event took place in northeastern Massachusetts at the Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. This property, owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations, features kitchen and cut-flower gardens, potager garden, rose garden, and orchard on 91 acres. The evening began with a walking tour of the gardens with our TTOR host. Attendees enjoyed an interesting venue, a bite to eat, and time to talk to other ELA members about their exciting projects as well as landscape challenges.
Sue Storer, ELA founding member and current Treasurer, noted that she’s “excited to see ever more opportunities to connect with others in the field. The new Members’ Reception events actually bring ELA full circle to where we began – in small informal gatherings of practitioners eager for opportunities to compare notes, share information and resources, and often collaborate on projects.”
Additional Members’ Receptions are being planned: for September along the Massachusetts south shore; and October in the Boston area (details coming soon). We hope you’ll join us at one of these casual gatherings, but if you live outside of New England, perhaps you would like to host your own ELA Members’ Reception. Contact Penny Lewis, ELA’s Executive Director to to discuss options for regional events throughout the US.
Inspiration comes from many sources but it is especially appreciated when it comes in the middle of a long, cold winter. Meet recent winners of the ELA Environmental Vision Award at the Boston Flower & Garden Show.
An Environmental Vision – 2014
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit “Eden on the Charles” at this year’s Boston Flower & Garden Show (March 12-16, 2014) received the Ecological Landscape Alliance Environmental Vision Award. “Eden on the Charles” illustrated the show theme, “Romance in the Garden,” with a design that highlighted two love stories that took place at Mass Hort’s Elm Bank Estate in Dover, MA.
Exhibits were judged against a list of criteria that included conservation of resources, use of recycled materials, and a design guided by knowledge of and respect for natural ecosystems. Eden on the Charles featured moving water, a central player in the courtship of Ray and Betty Frost who canoed the Charles River at Elm Bank and stopped to picnic along the shore, but also an important component in habitat creation. Native plants used for focal points and “water wise” layering of plants added to the ecological qualities of the design. Kerry O’Kelly, ELA Board Member and judge, commented that the winning design provided a “hopeful reminder that stewardship of the landscape provides much more than clean water – it helps create landscapes people want to enjoy.” The exhibit’s waterside path and bridge draw one into the landscape where they can enjoy activity, such as canoeing, or a leisurely picnic lunch.
The Mass Hort design team led by Landscape Institute/BAC designers Suzanne Higham included Heather Heimarck (Landscape Institute Executive Director); Julia Esteves (owner of Juliagarden Landscape Design of Osterville); Piera Sassaroli (owner of Piera’s Landscape Design of Boston); Jeff Dube (University of Michigan graduate student in Landscape Architecture); Suzanne Higham (owner of Frog Hollow of Georgetown, MA); Bill Cuddy (owner of WJC Services of Rowley, MA); and Mass Hort staff David Fiske, Charlie Harris, and Clark Bryan. Together they created an exhibit designed to engage the public in the beauty of plants, gardens, and landscape design and to highlight the talents of landscape designers and green industry professionals in the practice and love of horticulture.
The winner of the ELA Environmental Vision Award receives a $150 donation to the environmental non-profit of his choice. This year MA Hort chose to donate to .
An Environmental Vision – 2013
The creator of the winning design, Crystal Brinson, Horticulturist from Fairhaven, MA, envisioned a garden design that took what appeared to be a naturally occurring spring, created a grotto that flowed into a dry stream bed, and gently inserted a cultivated area that “let the gardener enjoy nature up close.”
Exhibits were judged against a list of criteria that included conservation of resources, use of recycled materials, and a design guided by knowledge of and respect for natural ecosystems. Brinson’s design showed a mastery of ecological design. And she extended her ecological ethos to all aspects of the display, using only organic fish and seaweed fertilizers and predatory insects to control fungus gnats and aphids. In addition to more decorative native plantings, she also included dandelions in the design “to remind everyone of their importance for feeding the bees in the spring.” Lettuce was grown in troughs to reduce fertilizer runoff.
Crystal was responsible for the concept and design for this year’s theme. She also oversaw installment after selecting and growing all the plant material. Her partner, Kenneth Jardin, designed the bluestone and reclaimed-granite bench, as well as the bluestone troughs. Phil Cook of Quintessential Gardens designed and installed the grotto and granite sculpture. Jessica Cook, also of Quintessential Gardens, contributed selected plant material and along with daughter, Dehlia Jane, was inspiration for the sculpture.
According to Trevor Smith, ELA Vice-President and one of the judges, Crystal’s “design incorporated numerous sustainable aspects, native plants, habitat, edibles, but the aspect that put it over the top for me was that the display was sustainably forced and maintained prior to the show. That is true environmental vision.”
The winner of the ELA Environmental Vision Award receives a $150 donation to the environmental non-profit of his choice. This year Brinson and the Cooks donated to the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA).