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Managing Water in the Landscape

Clean water is a basic requirement of life, and the choices we make in our lives and in our landscapes can help or harm both above- and below-ground water supplies. Keeping water on site, preventing erosion, and reducing use of pesticides and fertilizers all contribute to improved water quality.

Patio with salvaged sandstone 

Revitalizing A Tired Palette

by Don Pell

Four years ago, a project inquiry brought me to a site that dreams are made of—an 18th-century colonial farmhouse beautifully restored over the past 30 years by its owners. The details of the home were meticulously curated; however, the gardens were entirely unconsidered. The home’s surroundings looked degraded and sadly suburban. Join me as I transform this landscape into an ecological oasis for the homeowners to enjoy for years to come.  

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A blue heron in the wetlands as they appear today. Photo by Pam Morris Olshefski. 

Restoring the Wetlands of Morris Arboretum

by Eloise Gayer

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is well known for its abundance of mature trees and horticultural displays. In 2001 the Arboretum began the restoration of a drained wetland that would not only serve as a blueprint for other wetland restoration projects but also create more educational opportunities for the entire community. Learn about the history of this wetland, that was farmland at the turn of the century then one hundred years later was reverted back into a natural wetland.

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Kennedy Street After 

More Than a Rain Garden: Green Infrastructure Addresses Environmental Problems Across Scales

by Kate Cholakis and Seth Charde

Green infrastructure is trending, achieving buzzword status within the fields of civil engineering, landscape architecture, city planning, and climate resiliency. Professionals in these fields might use this term to describe a rain garden, green roof, or plant-based sewage treatment plant. The term might also be used to describe a forested city park, restored urban stream corridor, or expanded coastal marsh. These strategies share the connecting thread of water management.

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Image 8 boardwalk over vernal pool.cropped 

The Art of Integrating Rainwater

by Steven Torgerson

Both a precious resource and a damaging event, rain is a natural part of the earth’s ecological system. Although we can’t control the rain, we can help direct rainwater once it hits the earth. And direct it in ways both practical and beautiful.

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10 Greenfield_Children_Tagging_web 

Greening Greenfield

by Julie Snell and Michele Adams

Albert Greenfield Elementary School in Philadelphia was the first school in the district to implement a “green schoolyard.” This project was an early example of how public landscapes in the city can offer significant connections to the natural world, benefiting students and the community.

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Sustainable Stormwater Using Bioretention: Engineering Better Water Quality

by Allen P. Davis As (sub)urban growth continues to consume undeveloped land, stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces grows in importance as a contributor to water resources degradation. Impervious surface creates surface runoff at the expense of infiltration and evapotranspiration. These increased stormwater flows and volumes can erode streams and rivers causing significant damage to property,…

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