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Regenerative Landscape Green Schools Summit Presentation

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Regenerative Landscapes …

Regenerative Landscapes
Green Schools Summit Presentation,
Pasadena, October 2011

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • Synthetic fertilizers are the horticultural equivalent to fast foods Recent research shows that synthetic nitrogen destroys soil carbon and organic matter, which causes: Soil Compaction Shallow root development and weaker plants Loss of water holding capacity Soil runoff and erosion Excessive rapid plant growth, increasing risk of disease and pests Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides destroy soil biology, depriving the landscape of natural nutrient cycling and disease controls
  • By restoring the natural biological activity to the soil: Soil structure is improved Rooting depth increases, resulting in stronger plants Water holding capacity is increased, reducing runoff and erosion Water use in decreased Natural nutrient cycling occurs, reducing the need for fertilizers Natural pest and disease controls are in place Overall health and resilience of the landscape is improved Maintenance is reduced
  • Old Growth Forest – an example of an ecosystem that is functioning well, without any inputs. No one ever fertilized an old growth forest. Nature figured out how to cycle nutrients to plants long before chemicals came on the scene (about a billion years before!). Carbon is being sequestered, nutrients are being cycled and disease prevented by microbes in the soil. Ecosystem Service Benefits
  • Old Growth Forest – an example of an ecosystem that is functioning well, without any inputs. No one ever fertilized an old growth forest. Nature figured out how to cycle nutrients to plants long before chemicals came on the scene (about a billion years before!). Carbon is being sequestered, nutrients are being cycled and disease prevented by microbes in the soil. Ecosystem Service Benefits
  • HAVE SOIL ANALYSIS DONE EARLY, AS PART OF THE DESIGN PROCESS Not just standard soil analysis – test for biology in the soil (the Soil Foodweb), permeability, compaction, etc.
  • Healthy soil grows healthy plants Nature knows how to do it. The KEY is in the soil biology – the Soil Foodweb - which delivers the nutrients to the plants Once the existing soil biology is analyzed it can be balanced by adding whatever is missing. FACT: In 1 teaspoon of healthy soil there are more than a BILLION microbes
  • Healthy soil grows healthy plants Nature knows how to do it. The KEY is in the soil biology – the Soil Foodweb - which delivers the nutrients to the plants Once the existing soil biology is analyzed it can be balanced by adding whatever is missing.
  • Increased root growth – from 3” depth to 15” in 6 months documented This translates to reduced water use and reduced fertilizers. Increased Root Growth Water Use Reduction Reduced Inputs Reduce Runoff Fewer Diseases Increased Toughness and Resilience
  • Increased root growth – from 3” depth to 15” in 6 months documented This translates to reduced water use and reduced fertilizers No toxic chemicals
  • BPCP is Battery Park City Parks Conservancy where Biological soil management has been used since the 1990’s
  • Evaluation for soil biology, chemistry, soil compaction, permeability, etc. Develop site-specific guidelines based on the individual project site, the needs of the client, the availability of products such as compost tea
  • THINK OF THE WATERSHED A WATERSHED IS AN AREA OF LAND WHERE ALL THE WATER (SURFACE AND GROUNDWATER) FLOWS TO THE LOWEST POINT - IN OUR CASE, THE BAY. MIMIC NATURE - KEEP THE RAINWATER ON SITE REDUCE STRESS ON AGING STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE KEEP POLLUTANTS FROMBEING WASHED INTO THE BAY
  • Rainwater catchment installation at Yoche Dehe Wintun Nation headquarters in the Capay Valley Large reservoir type water catchment
  • Slow it – Sink it – Spread it Stormwater BMP’s: Green Roofs Bioretention Planters Bioswales Rain Gardens Detention Ponds Permeable Paving Constructed Wetlands
  • AVOID MONOCULTURES - MIMIC NATURE GROW PLANTS THAT WILL PROVIDE HABITAT FOR BENEFICIAL INSECTS SUCH (the 3 B’S): BEES (NATIVE POLLINATORS) BENEFICIAL INSECTS BUTTERFLIES, ETC. GROW PLANTS THAT PROVIDE HABITAT AND FOOD SOURCE FOR BIRDS AND ANIMALS HEDGEROWS
  • People need nature!
  • USE LOCAL DROUGHT TOLERANT CALIFORNIA NATIVES WHEN SUITABLE NOT ALL NATIVE PLANTS ARE DROUGHT TOLERANT LEARN ABOUT NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITIES ALSO USE LOCALLY ADAPTED DROUGHT TOLERANT NON-NATIVE PLANTS Reduced water use, increased habitat, increased biodiversity
  • LAWNS – ONLY WHEN NECESSARY! LAWNS FOR RECREATION, NOT DECORATION! LAWNS USE EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF WATER AND ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR OUR CLIMATE LAWN FACTS: 1000 SF LAWN CAN USE UP TO 8000 WHEN LAWNS ARE NEEDED 1000 SF OF DROUGHT TOLERANT LANDSCAPE USES BETWEEN ZERO AND 500 GALLONS OF WATER PER MONTH LANDSCAPING CURRENTLY ACCOUNTS FOR AT LEAST HALF OF ALL RESIDENTIAL WATER DEMAND ESTIMATES FROM THE US EPA INDICATE THAT AMERICANS SPEND ABOUT $25 BILLION/YEAR ON LAWN CARE. 1 HOUR MOWING (GAS) = 20 MILES IN A CAR AMERICANS ALSO SPEND OVER $1 BILLION AND APPLY ABOUT 67 MILLION POUNDS OF PESTICIDES TO SUBURBAN LAWNS EACH YEAR LAWNS ARE HIGH MAINTENANCE MOST LAWN MOWERS POLLUTE THE AIR LAWNS ARE MONOCULTURES, DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO BIODIVERSITY AND HABITAT LAWNS HAVE A SHALLOW ROOT SYSTEM, AND ARE ONLY ABLE TO ABSORB 1/10 THE RAINFALL OF A FOREST
  • One of the First LEED Platinum K-12 schools in the United States Included: Native butterfly garden Boulders for seating and climbing Bioretention planter for stormwater treatment Green roof
  • School garden Bioswales for stormwater treatment
  • Transcript

    • 1.  
    • 2. The Regenerative Landscape is Smart Resource Management… Cost Savings Environmental Benefits Meet Environmental Mandates: AB 1881 Climate Action Plans, etc. SMART RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (Regenerative Landscape)
    • 3. … and Good for People… Health and Well-being Environmental Benefits Educational Opportunities REGENERATIVE LANDSCAPE
    • 4.
      • Repeated Synthetic Inputs
      • High Energy Use
      • Soil Compaction
      • Shallow Roots
      • Pollution from Chemical Runoff
      • Increased Pests and Plant Disease
      • High Maintenance Costs
      • Risks to Human Health due to Chemical Exposure
      Conventional Landscape Management Practices :
    • 5. Regenerative Landscapes Save Money:
      • Reduced:
        • Water Use
        • Fertilizers
        • Pesticides
        • Imports
        • Maintenance
    • 6. Environmental Benefits:
      • Water Purification
      • Reduced Water Pollution
      • Improved Flood Control
      • Carbon Sequestration
      • Local Food Production
      • Increased Habitat
      • Increased Biodiversity
      • Pest & Disease Control
    • 7. Educational Opportunities:
      • Watershed
      • Ecology
      • Carbon Sequestration
      • Food production
      • Habitat and Biodiversity
      • Entomology
      • Soil Science
      • And much more…!
    • 8. Meet Environmental Mandates & Sustainability Initiatives:
      • CHPS
      • CalGreen
      • AB 1881 – Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance
      • Bay-Friendly & River-Friendly
      • LEED
      • Sustainable Sites
      • Stormwater – NPDES
    • 9. Analysis and Action Plans for School Sites
      • SOIL
      • Complete Soil Evaluation
      • Organic Soil Management
      • WATER
      • Smart Irrigation, Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting
      • PLANTS
      • Planting Evaluations
      • Solutions for Reducing Water Use,
      • Increasing Habitat, Biodiversity and
      • Human Health and Well-being
      • REDUCED MAINTENANCE COSTS
    • 10. SOIL
    • 11. Start with Complete Soil Evaluation
    • 12. Analyze the Soil Foodweb
    • 13. Develop Biological Soil Management Program 1. Analyze the Soil Foodweb 2. Add the Right Biology 3. Create Healthy Soil Compost Actively Aerated Compost Tea
    • 14. Create Biologically Balanced Soil RESULTS: Source: Soil Foodweb Oregon
    • 15. Create Safe, Healthy Play Fields
      • Biologically Managed Turf:
      • Needs Less Water
      • Uses No Chemicals*
      • Produces No Chemical Runoff
      • Requires Less Frequent Mowing
      • Can Withstand Heavier Use
      • Sequesters More Carbon
      • Has Greater Disease Resistance
      • Contains no Synthetic Products
      * Of the 30 most commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 can cause cancer, 13 are linked to birth defects, 21 can affect reproduction and 15 are nervous system toxicants - beyondpesticides.org
    • 16. Harvard Yard Soils Restoration Project
    • 17. Harvard Yard Soils Restoration Project
    • 18. Soil Management Strategies:
      • Complete Soil Evaluation
      • Soil Foodweb Consultation
      • Organic Soil Fertility Program
      • Soil Regeneration Training
      • Ongoing Monitoring and Soil Management Guidelines
    • 19. WATER
    • 20. Preserve and Protect the Local Watershed…
    • 21. Water Supply in the Long Term
    • 22. Comprehensive Water Analysis
      • Current Water Use
      • Water Harvesting Potential
      • Irrigation Needs
      • Stormwater Management
    • 23. Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater Systems
    • 24. Plant-Based Stormwater Management - Stormwater Planters, Green Roofs…
    • 25. Smart Irrigation
      • Reduce water use by 50%
      • Eliminate Potable water use
      • Use Weather Based Controls
      • High Efficiency Distribution System
      • Minimize Maintenance
    • 26. Water Management Strategies:
      • Water Efficient Irrigation Design
      • Landscape Irrigation Audits
      • Water Harvesting Technologies
      • Assembly Bill 1881 Compliance
      • Landscape Water Management
      • Stormwater Management
    • 27. PLANTS
    • 28. Start with Complete Planting Assessment
      • Assess Context and
      • Growing Environment
      • Evaluate
        • Recreation Needs
        • Habitat
        • Biodiversity
        • Opportunities to Enhance
      • Natural & Urban Environment
    • 29. Increase Habitat and Biodiversity
    • 30. Enhance Human Habitat – Greenways & Pathways
    • 31. Advocate Green Schoolyards
    • 32. Outdoor Learning Environments
    • 33. Use Appropriate Plants Drought Tolerant, Non-Invasive, Attractive, Contextual, Natives
    • 34. Provide Turf For Recreation.. & Alternatives Where Appropriate
    • 35. Create Healthy Environments for Learning
    • 36. Services to Consider:
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Bay-Friendly and River-Friendly Design
      • Bay-Friendly Project Rating
      • Urban Agriculture
      • Urban Forestry and IPM
      • Habitat Restoration
      • Organic Turf Management Guidelines
      • Landscape Maintenance Specifications and Guidelines
    • 37. PROCESS
    • 38. First Step: SOIL PLANTS WATER LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENT DEVELOP INTEGRATED APPROACH
    • 39. Landscape Assessment Action Strategies:
      • Inventory
      • Assessment / Evaluation
      • Life Expectancy of Amenities
      • Repair and Replacement Costs
      • Capital Costs
        • Short-term
        • Mid-term
        • Long-term
      • Funding and Financial Strategies
    • 40. Landscape Management Strategies
      • Field Analysis Report
      • Recommended Resource Savings:
        • General
        • Targeted
      • Prioritization List
          • Low Cost Solutions
          • Higher Cost Solutions
      • Evaluation
      • Repair and/or Replacement Costs
      • Continuing Education Program - Staff
    • 41. Case Studies
    • 42. Fullerton College Water Conservation
      • 20% Water Reduction by 2020
      • Minimize Installation, M&O costs
      • Reduce Resource Consumption
      • Research State and Federal funding sources
      • Educate and Inform Community
    • 43. Low Cost Solutions
      • Dedicated irrigation water meters
      • Smart Irrigation Controllers
      • Rain shutoff sensors
      • Moisture sensors and flow sensor devices
    • 44. Planting Assessment
      • Remove high water-demand plant materials (including non-essential turf)
      • Replace with low-water-use “California Friendly” planting materials where feasible
    • 45. Green Schoolyards - Tule Elk School, SF Before
    • 46. Green Schoolyards – Everett School, SF Construction 2011 Before
    • 47. Washington School Environmental Yard Berkeley, CA Before
    • 48. Creekside Park, Marin County
      • Sheet mulching
    • 49. Windrush School El Cerrito
    • 50. Chabot Elementary School, Oakland Before
    • 51. San Marcos College Case Study
    • 52. RESULTS
    • 53. Cost Savings plus Sustainability… Cost Savings & Cost Recovery Environmental Benefits, Sustainability, Health Educational Opportunities SMART RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (Regenerative Landscape)
    • 54. About MIG
      • Vision to Implementation – Involvement in projects from planning through construction = consistent and vested approach
      • Maintenance Management – Best Practices and effective use of labor and materials
      • Long-term Visioning – 20 year plan vs. “instant” effect = cost-effective and built to last
      • Able to deliver top-quality services within a short timeframe and limited budgets
      • Communication & Technology tools to strengthen connections and engage stakeholders and the community
      • Conservation and Stewardship – sustainable, ecological principles for long-term health of ecosystems and the public
      • Resource Management = built-in efficiencies of both natural resources and budgets
    • 55. Contact Us!
      • www.migcom.com
      • www.regenerativelandscape.org
      • Email:
      • Suzanne Schrift, LA#5276 [email_address]
      • Darren Rector, LA#4861 [email_address]
      • Jim Pickel, LA#4385 [email_address]

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