Check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's citizen scientist programs, including yardmap, a new project where you create a digital of map your yard, local park, community garden (or green roof!) and track bird sightings. Your map will help scientists understand how residential yards and small open spaces foster bird habitat.
Do you love Philly’s pop-up events like we do? State lawmakers and Liquor Board special interests are looking to shut them down! Sign the petition to fight back and get your friends to do the same!
Phase II of our Perelman Plaza project at Drexel University is underway. The project is scheduled to open later this fall. Stay tuned for updates!
The National Performance Based Design Guide, based on research and development supported by the Science & Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security and the Public Buildings Service of the General Services Administration, is now available.
The guide establishes performance-based requirements to be used in the programming, design, and documentation of new buildings, major and minor alterations, and work in historic structures.
For the Sites portion of the standards, the Sustainable Sites Initiative is used as a reference standard.
An oldie, but goody. Carol Franklin speaking about 'Place First' at Mississippi State University in 2011.
One great quote from the talk is from Colin Franklin— ” Restoration and management are “performance arts”, where participation is as important as the results because the actions change the participant.”
ioby offers an antidote to the “not in my backyard” mentality by supporting a crowd-resourcing site to spur positive changes in our neighborhoods. They’ve also created a how-to brochure on implementing green infrastructure projects such as rain gardens, rain barrels, bioswales, and depaving. It’s a one stop shop to support projects in your neighborhood, get support for your own project, or just start getting your hands dirty.
SITES v2 Rating System has just been released. Andropogon’s José Almiñana states “SITES v2 is the most integrated, rigorous, in-depth rating system available for sustainable landscapes, and emerges from the input of a large number of experts across many disciplines… After this, we can no longer look at landscapes the same way.”
Download a free pdf of the SITES v2 Rating System and score card here.
(Top image: Center for Sustainable Landscapes, SITES Four Star Rating, Pittsburgh, PA, photo by P. Weigman; Bottom image: Shoemaker Green, SITES Two Star Rating, Philadelphia, PA, photo by B. Doherty)
A pair of peregrine falcons are nesting at the Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, New York. Once endangered, these birds of prey have been recovering in numbers, often nesting on man-made structures, rather than on cliff edges.
"Unexpected pertinence: Extending the current notions of public space, the inhabitants of Guimarães are invited to take the maximum profit of these (waterful) mo(nu)ments. The concept is to promote an occupation of the water public spaces by redefining city’s physical limits and deleting the social predefined boundaries. This project is not about beauty, but reinvention - it is about fountain-use upgrade design.
Low-tech, maximum effect: Quick and simple to implement, low-tech urban hacks shows city-users they must be part of the city urban planning, calling for a use of public space where hacking becomes an energetic, optimistic design approach. Fountain Hacks promotes places to enjoy and refresh: put your feet into the water as you have always wished; try on the social shower and invite your neighbour to join you; make part of the city users!”
Pinehurst No. 2 leads the way in ecological golf course design at the US Open.
Golf fans may notice that the course at Pinehurst has a new, yet old look. Researchers at NC State helped restore the course to its historic design, which left much of the native plants in the roughs and other places throughout the course. The restoration included eliminating 30% of the Bermuda grass and replacing it with 70 species of native plants, increasing habitat areas, and decreasing the need for inputs like water, fertilizer, herbicides and mowing.
Pinehurst No. 2 is located in the sandhills region of North Carolina. Also known as “pine barrens”, the sandhills are everything but barren— teaming with a diversity of life. Mostly known for long leaf pines and wire grass, the sandhills also have species such as turkey and blackjack oaks, black titi, bay, sweetgum, hickory, trailing arbutus, wild azaleas, pine barrens gentian, wild orchids and purple pitcher plants.
No word if prescribed burning will become a regular maintenance strategy, but we can’t help but be excited that Pinehurst is leading the way in smart golf course design and management, where energy intensive turf is minimized and natural beauty is maximized. We hope this becomes a growing trend in the American golf scene and can’t think of a better way to add uniqueness and memorable experiences to our golf courses, which typically have such a generic appearance across the US. Cheers to you Pinehurst!
The Kline Center landscape at Dickinson College is beginning to take shape. We’re excited to see this complete with plantings in the next month!
Check out a YouTube video on Olmsted’s work in Buffalo, New York: "The Best-Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux and the Buffalo Park System." This is a teaser for a one-hour documentary "Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America," which will be broadcast nationally on PBS on Friday, June 20 at 9PM (check local listings). Watch out for Andropogon’s Chris Mendel’s cameo appearance!
NPR’s Living on Earth recently covered efforts to breed blight-resistant American Chestnut trees to help restore areas degraded by mountain top mining in Appalachia. These efforts are supported by the American Chestnut Foundation. The image above shows a stand of chestnuts in Tennessee around the turn of the century (from the University of Chicago collection).