Designing with the Ecosystem: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel, Catch a Ride on It

by Emily Davis I recently presented to permaculture practitioners about complex ecological characteristics, their implications for design work, and why they’re important to study. What was interesting to me was the response from these eager ecological designers-to-be; questions were not about ecological principles and dynamism, but rather site particulars and specific strategies. What zone can […]

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So Why Don’t You Use the Chems, Mike?

by Mike Bald I get this question occasionally in my work managing invasive plants. When people are interested in hiring me, they do like to know the reasoning behind the company philosophy embracing only manual/mechanical methods. Since I always ask landowners about their vision for the property, I weave that exploration into the response about […]

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Landscape as Infrastructure: The Importance of Simplicity and Lovability

by Jonathan Ford While we undoubtedly and without exception have winning personalities away from the calculators and drafting tables, civil engineers are not typically known for expressing human emotion and feeling in infrastructure design. Infrastructure is the basic physical framework of our society, the public realm, the connective tissue, the built systems and landscape. Increased […]

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Woodies and Water: A Case for the Use of Shrubs in Reducing Urban Stormwater

by Ethan Dropkin and Dr. Nina Bassuk This article is a condensed version of Cornell University Urban Horticulture Institute’s publication of Woody Shrubs for Stormwater Retention Practices, a guide for the layman and professional that outlines the issues associated with stormwater, details the methods for mitigating these issues, and provides a comprehensive list of woody […]

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A New Approach to Landscaping in Long Island: Changing the Process to Protect Our Waterways

by Tia Novak Across Long Island, the very thing that makes the place so special is under attack: water. The degradation of water on Long Island is nothing new, but the problem has been getting increasingly worse. Stories of another pond rendered too toxic for human use are emerging more frequently than ever before. Life-long […]

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2,000 Gallon Project

by Nick Shannon The 2,000 Gallon Project envisions a healthier Gowanus community through a conventional dumpster planted with native trees and perennials. Each dumpster provides a visual representation of the amount of stormwater a bio-swale can handle during a storm event and brings attention to the issue of Combined Sewage Overflows (CSO) emptying into the […]

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Natural Play and Sustainability in a Maryland City Park

by Nancy Striniste As a landscape designer and former teacher, my specialty and passion is creating sustainable natural play and learning spaces. I’ve worked with dozens of schools and early childhood programs in the mid-Atlantic and along the east coast to create a variety of unique, place-based outdoor spaces for children. When a chance to […]

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