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Developing Healthy Landscapes

An unhealthy environment should not be the price of a beautiful landscape. Inappropriate plant choices and inadequate soil preparation can lead to a reliance on excessive use of water and on toxic chemicals to resolve problems. Ecological landscaping encourages practices that promote a healthy environment through conservation of resources, respect for biodiversity, and ecologically-sound techniques.

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Tools to Help Landscape Professionals Tackle Climate Change: An Ongoing Challenge

by Amanda Sloan

Many landscape professionals realize they are in a unique position both to notice changes to the local environment resulting from greenhouse gas emissions and to propose and enact creative solutions to counteract those changes. In 2018, ELA began discussion at the board level about what kinds of practical tools could be developed and promulgated to help landscape professionals transition to methods that do not cause greenhouse gas emissions. Subsequently, the ELA’s Carbon Working Group was formed and is looking for input.

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Eco-Answers from the Pros: How Clean Should Fall Cleanup Be?

As I begin fall cleanup in my gardens, what are your recommendations? Should I clean beds off, cutting foliage and remaining seed heads off? Are there some plants best cut off and others that are good to leave until spring? Also, should I remove leaves entirely from the ground around plants? I didn’t get all the leaves removed from beds last year and had a lot of damage to plant roots from either voles or moles.

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Goats as an Ecological Management Option for Invasive Plants

by Sandy Vorce

“Gotta get a goat” was the author’s mantra a decade ago as she struggled against bittersweet, buckthorn, and multiflora rose to regain a portion of meadow at Mass Audubon’s property in Belmont, MA. Her wish was granted, and the property now successfully utilizes a four-hoofed crew for control of invasive plants. Read the article.

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Native Plants Shine in Streambank Restoration

by Krissy Boys

Four years after replacement of a streambank water control structure, native grasses, sedges, and forbs planted at the site have become well established. Most species are thriving and have propagated themselves by self-sowing in the streambank gardens. Only two species out of 58 genera completely failed.

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From Wasteland to Wildflower Meadow at Greenfield Community College

by Maureen Sundberg

A campus wildflower meadow tucked onto a slope at Greenfield Community College was designed as part of a larger outdoor learning lab that includes a botanical garden, wetland garden, permaculture garden, and raingarden. Two years after planting, the meadow has become an oasis of learning for students across the academic spectrum.

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Documenting the Spontaneous Flora of New York City with EcoFlora

by David Atha and Brian Boom

The New York Botanical Garden is documenting the flora of New York City using all available tools from traditional botanical techniques to modern technology and broad community participation. The goals of the project: document the spontaneous flora of NYC, enhance botanical and ecological understanding, and conserve the native biodiversity.

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