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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.


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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Water Wise & Whimsy

by Soleil Tranquilli After years of not quite getting around to designing my own landscape, I finally took the first steps toward a complete renovation in 2009. Eight years later, the renovated yard demonstrates our priorities: water conservation, use of predominantly native plants, reuse of materials, and support of wildlife, especially of pollinators. My home…

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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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