Welcome Greenbelt Forest Stewards! Housekeeping Notes Restroom Location Agenda 10-12 Ecosystem Overview and Smart Landscape Design 12-12:30 Lunch Break/Pass out Resources 12:30-2 Tree Walk in Buddy Attick Park
Upcoming EventsApril 20th: Celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day with Stewardship! Please be at Springhill Lake Recreation Center by 12PM on April 20th Address: 6101 Cherrywood Ln Greenbelt, MD 20770 Agenda: 12-2PM Install a rain cistern on the back side of Springhill Lake Recreation Center to reduce storm water runoff Plant native shrubs that will address soil erosion and water quality concerns 2-2:30PM Break to check out other activities at Springhill Lake including soil monitoring, forest art, and plantings for the Greenbelt Food Forest! 2:30-3PM Planting native fruit trees including Paw Paws, Persimmon, and Red Maple
Smart Landscape Design for the Environment Lesley Riddle
Sustainability is… Environmental sustainability has been defined as Meeting theneeds of the present without compromising the ability of futuregenerations to meet their needs
Shaping LandscapesHumans are the only species on earth with the ability to vastly alter our habitat -
Understanding our impact What are the consequences of our actions?
Disruption Removal of Biomass Altering the Limiting Factor Disturbing soil and land mass Covering soil and land mass Removing soil or land mass
Consequence Disruption in weather patterns Accelerated growth – algal blooms Sediment loading Excess runoff Reduction in biomass Loss of energy
Ecosystems An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that work together.
Ecosystems Ecosystems have no particular size
Ecosystems A healthy ecosystem has lots of species diversity and is less likely to be seriously damaged by human interaction, natural disasters and climate changes
Parts and Pieces What are the major parts of an ecosystem? An ecosystem includes soil, atmosphere, heat and light from the sun, water and living organisms
Water…. Without water there would be no life. Water is a large percentage of the cells that make up all living organisms
Getting Dirty Soil is a critical part of an ecosystem. It provides important nutrients for the plants in an ecosystem.
Take a Breath The atmosphere provides oxygen and carbon dioxide for the plants and animals in an ecosystem. The atmosphere is also part of the water cycle. Without the complex interactions and elements in the atmosphere, there would be no life at all!
Sunbathing 101 The heat and light from the sun are critical parts of an ecosystem. The suns heat helps water evaporate and return to the atmosphere where it is cycled back into water.
Nutrient Cycling Nutrient cycling: The amount of nutrients, such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, etc., present in the soil at any given time, is referred to as the standing state. The movement of nutrient elements through the various components of an ecosystem is called nutrient cycling. Another name of nutrient cycling is biogeochemical cycles.
The Bay The shores of the Chesapeake Bay region cover over 11, 600 miles of wetland, islands and tidal tributary, the bay has a 64, 000 mile drainage basin or watershed. . The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuarine water body in the United States. With over 16.6 million people living in the Bay’s watershed, the impact of human activities has been an overwhelming stressor on this fragile ecosystem (Reshetiloff, 2004).
Reality Excess nutrients from point and non- point source pollution that flow into waterways can have a significant impact on the balance of life within a natural ecosystem
Making A Difference Making a personal connection Understanding systems Reducing human impact
Our Goal To think of Nature and people as equally important
Understanding Natural Relationships “Tug on anything at all and youll find it connected to everything else in the universe.” John Muir
Altering the Land Aesthetically The wealthy of practically any country were able to employ professional artisans to build gardens and landscape their homes.
Tackling Nature Our desire to impose our will on nature seems to be the predominant factor behind the love of turf Formal garden design is created to showcase the diligence of the person who owns it, not the plants themselves Form over content
The Manicured Landscape Many of our ideas about gardening and landscaping derive from English design, brought to America by our ancestors. Maryland, once covered by vast stands of forest, gave way to farmland, meadows and lawns. Today, lawns cover between 30-50 million acres of land in the United States.
Design History The stunning effect of Italian landscape design has also had a strong influence on landscape design history all over the world. Early 19th century architects were striving to keep up with the continually increasing, wealthy population following the Industrial Revolution.
Grand Ideas… butNot enough space –As forest, fields, water and other habitats have been altered to accommodate people, the environment receives a one- two punch.As species decline, both flora and fauna - pollution increases, in our air and water.
Wisdom.. In garden arrangement, as in all other kinds of decorative work, one has not only to acquire a knowledge of what to do, but also to gain some wisdom in perceiving what it is well to let alone. Gertrude Jekyll
An Environmental Approach - Working with the natural environment is not difficult. With a good understanding of landform, soils, plants, water, climate and wildlife characteristics, the landscape designer can confidently work in harmony with the natural elements on any site - Livable Landscape Design
Sustainable Practice All species, including man, need five elements for survival--food, water, cover or shelter, adequate space and clean air. Like a five-legged stool, the removal of one leg (element) throws the balance. The removal of more than one leg (element) may collapse the stool. Through simple landscaping practices, the legs of the stool can be strengthened. By implementing sustainable landscape practices, individuals can make a difference in water quality, wildlife habitat, and human health.
LID Low Impact Development (LID) has emerged as a highly effective and attractive approach to controlling stormwater pollution and protecting developing watersheds and already urbanized communities throughout the country
LID LID is simple and effective. Instead of large investments in complex and costly engineering strategies for stormwater management, LID strategies integrate green space, native landscaping, natural hydrologic functions, and various other techniques to generate less runoff from developed land
LID Runoff Control Objectives: minimize disturbance preserve and recreate natural landscape features reduce effective impervious cover increase hydrologic disconnects increase drainage flow paths enhance off-line storage facilitate detention and infiltration opportunities
LID LID is economical. It costs less than conventional stormwater management systems to install and maintain, in part, because of fewer pipe and below-ground infrastructure requirements
LID LID is flexible. It offers a wide variety of structural and nonstructural techniques to reduce runoff speed and volume and improve runoff quality. When integrated and distributed throughout a development, watershed, or urban drainage area, these practices substantially reduce the impacts of development.
LID As urbanization continues to degrade our lakes, rivers, and coastal waters LID is increasingly being used to reverse this trend, resulting in cleaner bodies of water, greener urban neighborhoods, and better quality of life.
Ten Common LID Practices: Rain Gardens and Bioretention Rooftop Gardens Sidewalk Storage Vegetated Swales, Buffers, and Strips; Tree Preservation Roof Leader Disconnection Rain Barrels and Cisterns Permeable Pavers Soil Amendments Impervious Surface Reduction and Disconnection Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
LID LID practices can be applied to all elements of the urban environment. For example, bioretention technology can effectively turn parking lot islands, street medians, tree planter boxes, and landscaped areas near buildings into specialized stormwater treatment systems
Conservation Landscaping Intelligent landscape management can reduce water and air pollution, creation of health risks for people and wildlife, and threats to the environment and species diversity. By implementing the principles described below, you can also reduce landscape maintenance costs, reduce costs for heating and cooling of buildings, decrease time spent on yard chores such as mowing, and improve the health of both humans and the planet.
Some facts about the traditional landscape: Gas powered garden tools emit 5% of the nations air pollution. The average homeowner spends 40 hours/year, the equivalent to one- week vacation, mowing the lawn. 30% to 60% of urban freshwater is used for watering lawns (depending on locale). 1 A 1,000 square foot lawn requires 10,000 gallons of water per summer to maintain a "green" look. (US. News and World Report, 10/28/96) 80,000,000 pounds of synthetic pesticides are used on US. lawns each year. When pesticides are regularly applied, 60-90% of earthworms are killed. Earthworms are invaluable for soil health. (PA Department of Agriculture) Over 100 million tons of fertilizers are applied to residential lawns and gardens annually. (Audubon)
Concepts: Think in the long-term Natives, Natives, Natives Use water wisely Consider soil Reduce turf areas Encourage wildlife Cover bare soils
Long term outlook! The impacts of landscape decisions reach far beyond individual property lines affecting our neighbors, area wildlife and the natural resources found throughout surrounding communities. By planning the management of our home landscapes over the long term with these concerns in mind, each of us can make a positive contribution to the local and regional watershed, to fish and wildlife habitats and to the quality of our own lives
Use plants that are native to the area Native plants have adapted to the growing conditions of an area and are better able to handle stress. Native plants are available for landscaping and often require less work to maintain than exotic plant species. Plants grown from local seed sources or taken as cuttings from existing native plants are best suited to the soil and climatic conditions of the area.
Minimize the use of supplemental watering Supplemental watering removes water from ground and surface water sources, thus impacting both water quantity and perhaps quality. By minimizing watering, the landscaper/homeowner can maintain a healthy landscape without a dependence on supplemental watering.
Place plants in suitable growing conditions Before beginning to plan any landscape, have your soil tested. Check with your county cooperative extension agent to learn more about the soil testing services offered in your county. Charting your soil conditions, sunlight and shade conditions, standing water, wind, areas of great slope, and shallow soil areas onto a map of your landscape can serve as a guide to choosing plants that are best suited to the growing conditions present
Minimize the amount of lawnWhile lawn isnt inherently bad, a lawn of exoticgrasses requires large quantities of fertilizer and pesticides to maintain a green and healthy appearance.
Plantings to create windscreens, create wildlife habitats Plantings in the landscape can provide multiple benefits: wildlife habitat, windscreens, energy conservation, and a visual and natural buffer. Most of the benefits are interconnected but one must think about the main features and functions of their backyard landscape
Minimize bare soil and stabilize slopes byplanting ground covers Bare soil quickly erodes, carrying soil and pollutants into our waterways. Soil in the water can have a number of negative impacts, including heating the water temperature by absorbing sunlight, covering important fish spawning areas with silt, adhering to pollutants and adding nutrients
A Conservation Landscape:1. Is designed to benefit the environment and function efficiently and aesthetically for human use and well-being;2. Uses locally native plants that are appropriate for site conditions;3. Institutes a management plan for the removal of existing invasive plants and the prevention of future nonnative plant invasions;4. Provides habitat for wildlife;5. Promotes healthy air quality and minimizes air pollution;6. Conserves and cleans water;7. Promotes healthy soils;8. Is managed to conserve energy, reduce waste, and eliminate or minimize the use of pesticides and
Site AssessmentSite assessment is a discovery. Doing these steps will assist you in: Selecting appropriate plants for your site Preventing plant disease problems Saving money Identifying plant stress
Site AssessmentIs it something that has to be done to have asuccessful garden or landscape? We think so,although there are probably examples of successwithout a site assessment. It’s like any risk. If youdiscover a factor in a site assessment, you copebetter with it and make an informed decision.
Site AssesmentShould it be done only for perennialherbaceous and woody plants or can it be done for annual flowers, herbs and vegetables?It can be done on all parts of your garden orlandscape -- on any size property or section of it.
Site AssessmentCan it be done on a corner or other section of the garden only?You can focus on study areasor sections of your property.
Collecting Information - Copy of Plat Area Utilities Exposure Soil Drainage Wildlife
Utilities – Above and BelowIt is in our best interests to know wherepre-existing overhead and underground wires and pipes are before planting. It is easier to avoida conflict of “interest” than it is to remedy thesituation a decade or more from now.
ExposureNot all plants are created equal someare sun worshippers and need sun throughoutthe day during the growing season. Othersmanage with morning sun or afternoon sun.Still others can be in various degrees of shade for longer periods
HardinessPlants are genetically capable of withstandingcold up to a certain point. Built into theirgenes is information on whether the plantcells can tolerate the colder temperatures. Iftemperatures drop below the tolerance level fora particular plant, the cold or ice crystals thatform actually rupture cells in leaves, stems or
Soil Compacted soil can slow or almost stop growth for some plants. The soil is made up of mineral particles -- sand, silt and clay. But it also has essential pore spaces, some small and some larger.
A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself Franklin D. Roosevelt
Compaction Ideally, soils are approximately 50 to 60% pore space comprising a variety of pore sizes and lengths. Compaction reduces the diversity of pore sizes and the amount of space and pathways available for larger organisms to move through the soil.
Erosion and Sedimentation Most soil organisms – especially larger ones – live in the top few inches of soil. Erosion disrupts and removes that habitat. Sedimentation buries the surface habitat and deprives organisms of space and air
DrainageMany gardens and landscapes have beendevastated by poor drainage -- more than byalmost any other factor. Spots on your propertythat puddle after a rain or are continuously wetindicate a condition that is very stressful formost plants.The vast majority of our garden and landscapeplants have root systems that can only thrivewhere the soil has both air and water availableto them. If the essential, vast network of porespaces in the soil are filled with water for longperiods of time or continuously
Get to Know Your Community To gain a general awareness of soil organisms and their effects, try these simple methods. Choose a few places to take a close look at what lives in your soil. Look under a shrub, in the woods, along a fence line, in a meadow, in a field, etc. Take time to examine the litter on the surface and look for organisms that move. Look for biotic crusts, burrows, fungal hyphae, and other evidence of soil organisms. Over the seasons, look for birds picking out earthworms behind a tillage implement. Notice the amount of a rain. . runoff or ponding after a rain event
Soil is Important… Soil can make or break a good garden or landscape. What the roots of plants have surrounding them can affect their nutrition and overall health. Plants need water mineral nutrients and air.
Wildlife WHETHER YOU HAVE AN APARTMENT BALCONY OR A 20- ACRE FARM, YOU CAN CREATE A GARDEN THAT ATTRACTS BEAUTIFUL WILDLIFE AND HELPS RESTORE HABITAT IN COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL AREAS. BY PROVIDING FOOD, WATER, COVER AND A PLACE FOR WILDLIFE TO RAISE THEIR YOUNG
Right Plant – Right Place Sustainable landscape design considers the garden as more than just a showplace for a homeowner to exhibit their financial prowess: It is a creation that considers the natural provenance of plants and animals that inhabit this space that we call our home. Sustainable landscaping provides not only an attractive environment but should provide balance with the local climate and require minimal resource inputs, such as fertilizer, pesticides and water.
Fun with plants….Name your favorite plant… Do you know its name Cultural needs Attractors Height at maturity Life span
White Oak… Quercus alba Will grow in poor soils Will sustain construction damage Attracts over 600 native insects and birds 80’ at maturity Over 100 years +
Plants 101 Getting to know plants on a personal basis will allow you to make good design decisions. Your choice of plants should also consider the regional character and history of your area. The species of plants that are selected for installation should be native or indigenous species that are considered non-invasive. The selection of these plants needs to be thoughtful and also consider the cultural needs of the plants and the characteristics of the site they will be planted. When possible the species of plants that are selected for installation should provide food sources.