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Sustainable Landscape Design PlantWise, WaterWise, FireWise John Peter Thompson November 21 st, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Landscape Design PlantWise, WaterWise, FireWise John Peter Thompson November 21 st, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Landscape Design PlantWise, WaterWise, FireWise John Peter Thompson November 21 st, 2008

2 John Peter Thompson Secretary, National Invasive Species Council Advisory Committee Member, Maryland Invasive Species Council Past Prsident and founding director, Mis Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council Immediate Past President, Maryland Nursery & Landscape Association Member, Sustainable Site Initiative Vegetative Subcommittee (LEEDS standards) Member, Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council Chairman, The Behnke Nurseries Company

3 MY THANKS TO DR. LEWIS ZISKA, USDA ARS BELTSVILLE (BARC) FOR HIS CHARTS AND RESEARCH, AND TO LARRY HURLEY FOR MANY OF THE PICTURES

4 Organizing Principles of Traditional Horticulture Man loses lease on Garden of Eden. Nature is an adversary that must be tamed. Plant collecting fuels new gardening styles. The American suburban yard mimics the English Country Estate.

5 Versailles; It’s Good to be The King

6 Traditional Landscape Model

7 What we get

8 Impacts of climate change / CO 2 on agriculture & by extension, horticulture. The slowly varying aspects of the atmosphere–hydrosphere–landsurface system. It is typically characterized in terms of suitable averages of the climate system over periods of a month or more, taking into consideration the variability in time of these averaged quantities From: Glossary of Meteorology

9 Charts to ponder Temperature changeCO2 change

10 Warning Investment in Agricultural, including Horticultural, Research.

11 As temperature and carbon dioxide change, what are the implications for agriculture & horticulture? Temperature Temperature + CO 2 Water Agro & horto-ecosystems.

12 Weed Control Ambient CO 2 Future CO 2 Increasing CO 2 reduces herbicide efficacy. e.g. Ziska et al. Weed Science 52:584-588, 2004 Agroecosystems:

13 Greater selection for invasive species Species CommunityFavored? Reference Yellow star thistle California grassland Yes? Dukes, 2002 Honey mesquite Texas prairie Yes. Polley et al. 1994 Japanese honeysuckle Forest under-story Yes. Belote et al. 2003 Cherry laurel Forest under-story Yes. Hattenschwiler & Korner 2003 Red Brome Desert Yes. Smith et al. 2000 Does rising carbon dioxide favor invasive weeds within the plant community? Agroecosystems:

14 A New Landscape Matrix Regulating services Supporting services Preserving services Provisioning services Cultural services

15 Regulating services carbon sequestration and climate regulation waste decomposition and detoxification nutrient dispersal and cycling CO 2 Foods, Forests, Flowers, Fuels, Fibers Nutrients, H 2 O Any change in light, water, nutrients or carbon dioxide will alter plant growth.

16 Supporting services Photograph © Jay Cossey purification of water and air crop pollination and seed dispersal pest and disease control http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/biocontrol_aphidsf2.jpg

17 Preserving services genetic and species diversity for future use accounting for uncertainty protection of options

18 Provisioning services foods (including seafood and game) and spices precursors to pharmaceutical and industrial products energy (hydropower, biomass fuels)

19 Cultural services cultural, intellectual and spiritual inspiration recreational experiences (including ecotourism) scientific discovery

20 SoilWise Preserve and protect healthy soils by identifying areas of healthy soils, retaining topsoil, preventing erosion and sedimentation, minimizing grading, compaction and soil disturbance and avoiding vegetation removal and disturbance. Improve health of degraded soils through soil restoration, reuse and rehabilitation to achieve conditions similar to regional reference soil. Reduce waste during maintenance especially by recovering yard trimmings for composting. Compost reduces the need for fertilizers by supplying nutrients in a slow-release manner. It also holds more rainwater onsite, decreases runoff and provides increased soil moisture and filtering capacity.

21 WaterWise Balance your water budget A water balance calculates inputs and outputs of water on a site. To achieve water balance, the inputs — precipitation, surface flow and piped-in water supply — equal outputs — evapotranspiration, runoff and water that infiltrates into soil. A site should identify goals for the post- development water balance based on the historic condition and local or regional issues of concern. Incorporate water infiltration into the site design Install a rain garden or small vegetated catchment areas which filter rainwater and increase groundwater recharge by capturing excess water. Reuse water Utilize rainwater, gray water and wastewater for on- site non-potable water needs, such as landscape irrigation, cleaning outdoor surfaces and water features. Clean and slow the flow of water to protect and enhance down stream water bodies. Water treatment methods for rainwater runoff include dry wells, vegetated swales instead of curb and gutter systems, vegetated filter strips and infiltration facilities.

22 ResourceWise Manage resources and materials efficiently. Consider these strategies in all phases of site assessment, design, construction, operations, maintenance and removal: reduce material consumption, reuse and recycle materials, use non-recoverable materials for energy generation and minimize waste. Select materials for durability. Specify materials that require less frequent maintenance and replacement. Use local materials. This reduces the energy consumed during transport and support local economies. It also aids in designing with a regional look. Reduce the urban heat island effect. Shade constructed surfaces on the site with landscape features such as vegetation. Consider replacing constructed surfaces such as roofs, roads and sidewalks with vegetated surfaces.

23 PlantWise Protect and conserve existing vegetation. Incorporate healthy native or non-invasive vegetation currently existing on the site into the site design. Encourage a tight disturbance zone to limit construction damage to vegetation. Eliminate the use of invasive plants. An invasive species is defined as “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” Specify plants from local growers to reduce energy use and other negative environmental impacts of shipping and ensure that plants are adapted to local environmental conditions. Minimize the amount of time that plants are stored on-site before planting. If plants or on-site transplants must be stored on-site, store them in ways that prevent stress and disease post-planting. Provide adequate water, heal-in root balls and apply nutrients, if needed.

24 PeopleWise Provide spaces for physical activities. More active lifestyles combat obesity, improve cardiovascular health and increase longevity. 3 Site design can provide the space and facilities for greater physical activity. 3 Support on-site food production. Urban gardens and orchards provide multiple benefits. Community gardens are sources of fresh produce often not readily available in inner-city markets and can be a particular benefit to underserved populations. Local gardens also reduce dependence on food supply chains that can be easily disrupted. Finally, gardening promotes greater stewardship of the land and a better connection to the environment. Provide spaces for social interaction. Green spaces around homes provide outdoor settings where people gather, interact and build relationships. 4 Shared green spaces, particularly those with trees, help strengthen social ties among neighbors. 4

25 FireWise Local area fire history. Site location and overall terrain. Prevailing winds and seasonal weather. Property contours and boundaries. Native vegetation. Plant characteristics and placement (duffage, water and salt retention ability, aromatic oils, fuel load per area, and size). Irrigation requirements.

26 A New Landscape Matrix Regulating services carbon sequestration and climate regulation waste decomposition and detoxification nutrient dispersal and cycling Supporting services purification of water and air crop pollination and seed dispersal pest and disease control Preserving services genetic and species diversity for future use accounting for uncertainty protection of options Provisioning services foods (including seafood and game) and spices precursors to pharmaceutical and industrial products energy (hydropower, biomass fuels) Cultural services cultural, intellectual and spiritual inspiration recreational experiences (including ecotourism) scientific discovery


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