Composting: Turning Garbage into Gold

by Tara Mitchell John Engwer, owner of Groundscapes Express, and Butch Goodwin, Operations Manager, led Ecological Landscaping Alliance participants on a tour of Groundscapes’ composting facility in Wrentham, MA explaining how compost is made and discussing the many benefits and uses of compost in the landscape. Through knowledge, training, and most importantly, years of experience […]

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Conservation and Preservation in Action: Working Hand in Hand on a National Landmark

by Lucinda (Cindy) Brockway This fall, The Trustees of Reservations will complete a five-year landscape restoration project of the Crane Estate’s Allée and Casino Courtyard located in Ipswich, MA. Thanks to the generosity and hard work of talented staff, contractors, community partners, donors, and volunteers, The Trustees carefully removed and replanted over 700 deteriorating, overgrown […]

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Adapting Plant Communities: Another Tool for Restoration

by Miles H. Connors According to Webster’s Dictionary, restoration is ‘the process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, or bringing back something that existed before.’ Considering restoration in the greater context of ecology, one could define ecological restoration as reinstating degraded natural communities to their fundamental or original function. How do […]

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7 Reasons You Should Be Using SITES v2

Lisa Cowan, PLA, ASLA Although the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITESTM) Rating System may first appear to be just another green rating system, ELA members should know that SITES can be a valuable resource for ecological site restoration projects (even if you are not going for certification). For those who have not familiarized themselves with SITES […]

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When Goats Join the Restoration Team

by Maureen Sundberg Faced with a two-acre lot of nearly impenetrable thicket of multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora Thunb. ex Murr.), glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus), common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.), Asiatic bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.), and a smattering of other invasive plants, all blanketed by poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) , where do you begin? That was the situation […]

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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Reining in Raspberries for Wildlife

We have raspberries growing in our field and would like to promote their growth to feed the wild birds and mammals. Can you tell me “best practices” for mowing the field, including the raspberry bushes, to make it healthy for diverse species. Should we mow annually, or every other year, more frequently? I’m in mid-coast […]

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