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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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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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Paths Need Stepping Stones to Minimize Soil Compaction 

Lighten Up: Avoiding Soil Compaction

by Maureen Sundberg  

In March, crocus pop up from a warm spot in the garden while snow and ice patches still cover the lawn and beds. You’re anxious to get out into the yard, but that melting snow and ice has saturated the soil. Your best course of action? Stop yourself.

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Managing Forests as a Natural Climate Solution: Understanding the Contributions of Heterogeneous Landscapes

by Ian A. Smith and Lucy R. Hutyra Constraining the global average temperature rise to below the targeted 2°C (3.6°F) will require both a reduction in greenhouse gas emission rates and natural climate solutions through land stewardship practices that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (1). Forest management is at the heart of many natural…

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