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ELA’s Trevor Smith and Michael Chavez, Fairmont/Indigo Line CDC

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.

Learn more about the project.

ELA Community Action Project – 2014Arcola Park Gardens

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.

Learn more about the project.

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.

ELA Display at SEMPBA PinefestTo 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.

More information about SEMPBA

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.
Dartmouth Green Completed“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

Landscape Design Schools

  • Boston Architectural College

    The Landscape Institute is a distinctive education program providing courses, workshops, and special programs in landscape design, history, horticulture and preservation.

  • Conway

    Conway's 10-month graduate program in sustainable landscape planning and design awards a Master of Science in Ecological Design.

Landscape Equipment

  • Earth and Turf

  • ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment

    For more than 40 years, ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment has been a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of professional-grade, hand-held outdoor power equipment for both the commercial and homeowner markets. The company prides itself on setting the industry standard with its dedication to new technology, quality products and its strong distribution infrastructure.

  • Guardair

Landscape Nurseries

  • Amherst Nurseries

    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.

  • Aquascapes Unlimited

    Aquascapes Unlimited provides native wetland plant material for restoration, conservation, green infrastructure and storm water projects to landscape contractors and non-profit organizations nationwide.

  • Blisscapes Landscape & Nursery

    Blisscapes Landscape & Nursery, located in South Dartmouth, MA, is an award-winning landscape design firm that designs, installs, and consults for residential and commercial clients. Blisscapes also has an extensive nursery specializing in native plants.

  • Colonial Seed

    Nursery and seed supplies providing practical vegetative site solutions anchored in grasses, sedges, rushes, and legumes.

  • Fourth Generation Nursery

    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.

  • New Moon Nursery

    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.

  • North Creek Nurseries

  • Planters' Choice

    Connecticut's largest wholesale grower of nursery stock in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties - over 120 acres.

  • Sudbury Nurseries West

    Specializing in the propagation of native and wetland species from locally collected seed.

Landscape Products & Services

  • A. Jandris & Sons

    Since 1920, New England-based A. Jandris & Sons has been manufacturing a complete line of concrete masonry including sustainability products. With four generations of hard work, ingenuity and an eye to the future, we have become the New England leader in concrete masonry product manufacturing. Committed to quality, service, and sustainability.

  • Bay State Forestry

    Since 1963, Bay State Forestry Service has provided the New England forest landowner with responsible, viable forest stewardship through comprehensive land management consulting.

  • BioWorks Inc

    How you grow matters. For more than 20 years, BioWorks has been a leader in providing environmentally responsible, safe, and effective solutions to the growing needs of the horticulture and specialty agriculture industries. We are now also providing innovative products with those same important attributes to the turfgrass industry. At BioWorks we understand the need for environmentally sensitive products not only for horticulture and specialty agriculture but also for the care of public and commercial landscapes, golf courses and sports fields.

  • Compostwerks

    Compostwerks is your source for organic products and equipment designed for the organic land care practitioner.

  • Filtrexx

    Filtrexx International uses natural, bio-based materials for storm water filtration, soil erosion, storm water reduction, vegetation establishment and sustainability applications.

  • Groundscapes Express

    The company that engineers and architects have turned to for erosion solutions since 1998.

  • Herbanatur

    Herbanatur offers exclusive patented Weed Control Solution in order to selectively control noxious and invasive weeds Wherever, Whenever!

  • Horticultural Solutions

    Horticultural Solutions provides design and installations services, garden maintenance, and all other landscape services. We also provide consulting services and business seminars.

  • Land Escapes

    Land Escapes specializes in garden design, water features, natural swimming ponds, rain harvesting systems, rain gardens, living walls, and living roof systems.

  • OESCO, Inc

    Since 1954, OESCO has been supplying growers, gardeners and green industry professionals with professional grade machinery, tools, parts and service.

  • RainStay

    Offering design and installation of rainwater collection systems.

Soil Products

  • Fertrell

    Since 1946, providing organic soil components that feed both plants and microorganisms.

  • ICT Organics

    Enabling lawn & landscape professionals to accelerate transition to organic lawn and landscape care.

  • Neptune's Harvest

    Organic fertilizer made from fresh caught North Atlantic fish, cold processed.

  • Organic Mechanics

    Passionate about all natural, sustainable gardening that provides superior results. That’s why Organic Mechanics produces soils are 100% organic, made with locally sourced ingredients, completely peat-free and used by professional gardeners at arboretums and botanical gardens including Longwood Gardens, Scott Arboretum, Chanticleer Garden, and more.

  • Organic Plant Magic

    Organic Plant Magic is an all purpose organic fertilizer alive with beneficial microorganisms.

  • Read Custom Soil

    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.

  • TeraGanix

    TeraGanix provides natural organic solutions that help to improve the health of plants, crops, water, and people.

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.

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Stevens-Coolidge gardens at ELA’s first Members’ Reception.

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.”

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Egglant in the potager garden.

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.Stevens Coolidge1

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.

"Eden on the Charles," MA Horticultural Society's exhibit at the 2014 Boston Flower & Garden Show won the ELA Environmental Vision award.

“Eden on the Charles,” MA Horticultural Society’s exhibit at the 2014 Boston Flower & Garden Show won the ELA Environmental Vision award.

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).