Town builds water treatment system with natural landscaping

ANewsVanIsland | December 15, 2010 | The town of View Royal, British Columbia, is set on improving both its roads, and the cleanliness of the stormwater runoff from them.

A big part of the Island Hwy Improvement Project is the adjacent Portage Park storm water treatment area.

The natural landscaping utilizes a number of native plants, storm drains, and holding ponds to filter heavy metals and impurities, such as oil, before it trickles down into Thetis Cove.

The area is abundant with wildlife, including herons, ducks, and other waterfowl, that feed there.

And despite the short-term pain, these improvements, including bike lanes, are expected to cut carbon emissions by almost 5,000 tons per year, while creating an environment that all species will benefit from.

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When in Gainesville, Florida, visit the Sweetwater Park Native Plant Botanical Garden

MathesonMuseum | November 29, 2010 | Dr. Barrow discusses the native plants in Sweetwater Park, located directly behind the Matheson Museum. Filmed summer 2010.

Ann Arbor university students work to make make native plant landscape read more legibly to visitors

umsnre | November 30, 2010 |  A group of landscape architecture students at the School of Natural Resources and Environment are redesigning the native plant garden at the Dana Building on U-M’s Ann Arbor campus. This video explains the first step in the redesign process: a plant inventory.
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Strip-mall landscape looks richer with native plants

walkaboutlandscape | November 8, 2010 | Mike Makens, owner of  Walkabout Landscape, Bedford, Texas, discusses the value and beauty of using native plants in a retail setting.
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Invasive plants can rob migratory birds of nutrition needed to cross Gulf of Mexico

kkbrasted | November 8, 2010 | Invasive plants out-compete the native plants for resources like sunlight, moisture in the soil, and space. The invasive plants, particularly Chinese Tallow and Chinese Privet, are fast growing. When you have a disturbed habitat, like that occurring following a hurricane, the invasive species move in and out-compete the natives. The entire northern gulf coast is critical stop-over habitat for migratory birds. Millions of birds migrate across the gulf coast every fall. They return in the spring. The birds tend to eat the Chinese Tallow seeds but do not provide the nutritional value the birds need to sustain themselves across the gulf in their travels. At the height of spring migration as many as 20 million birds can cross the gulf in one day. These coastal forests are critically important to provide re-fueling areas for migratory birds.
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City of Chicago Park District goal: Naturalize as many areas as possible

chicagoparkdistrict | November 3, 2010 | The Burnham Centennial Prairie restoration project is underway combining the art of implementation with the science of restoration to provide a flourishing habitat that the city will enjoy in the years to come.
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No rain gardens in Detroit? Ain’t that a shame

SierraClubGreatLakes | November 1, 2010 | At this point, Sierra Club still cannot locate a rain garden in Detroit. As a result, Sierra Club organized a tour of a rain garden in a community that neighbors Detroit. Participants learned about watersheds and got to see first hand what a rain garden looks like and how it can be useful in managing stormwater. Do you know of a rain garden in Detroit? Contact sierraclubgreatlakes@gmail.com
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Seed-collecting time: Native plant propagation operations in Lake County Forest Preserves

LCFPD | October 27, 2010 | Many of the plants used in Lake County Forest Preserves restoration efforts get their start in the Native Seed Nursery at Rollins Savanna (Grayslake). Volunteers are critical to the work, establishing plants by weeding, mulching, and seed collecting. Explore current LCFPD volunteer opportunities at lcfpd.org/volunteer.
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See how volunteers transform 5 acres in 8 years

CoxConsesrvesHeroes | October 18, 2010 | Through Bob Jackson’s efforts, Forgotten Creek has gone from a dumping ground to a park with native plants, interpretive signs and a boardwalk. He helped create this natural haven in his neighborhood through on-the-ground improvements, volunteer recruitment and inspiring others. Forgotten Creek brings neighbors closer together through restoration for the benefit of everyone. Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: EarthCorps
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It’s always a pleasure to [video] tour a successful native plant yard

I think you’ll agree, this homeowner in London, Ontario, Canada (which, for your climatic reference, is farther south than Green Bay, Wis.), has done an amazing job of landscaping his yard.

midawdy | October 11, 2010 | My 3,000-square-foot backyard meadow in fall. Actually it is more of a savannah. The white flowers of Spring are long gone, the yellow of summer have faded. It is now purple and gold — New England asters and native grasses.

And note that the 140′ [approx] Eastern Cottonwood won first place in the Reforest London Tree contest for largest tree.

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