Currently, climate change and its validity is a hot debate in this country, but many people are seeing the effects first hand and have no doubt. The world’s top scientists agree that tides are rising, land is eroding faster, rivers run with heavy metals, and oceans have become our wastebasket. Climate change is an unstoppable natural process, but we can create a more resilient nation through the Restoration, Reclamation, and Rehabilitation of the landscape.
When you read our blogs here on Outdoor Spaces, we talk about anything and everything landscape. You might be thinking about all your trees, shrubs and flowers on your property, but the truth is that the term landscape holds a deeper meaning. Landscapes are far more than the scenery in your backyard, or your neighbor’s gorgeous Crape Myrtle, because landscapes are 3 dimensional compositions of earth, water and atmosphere. The landscape is our home to share with nature and it is our duty to ensure its healthy longevity.
Globalization in the past decade has been a bitter sweet part of our lives. We live in a post-industrial society and in the midst of a technological revolution. Communications are being optimized and almost everyone is carrying a small computer in their front pocket. Now, more than ever, we can see the evolution of technology manifest within our lifetime. As a result of this globalization and urbanization, mankind has put an unprecedented amount of stress on the environment. For example, many rivers have become engineered channels of concrete, and sometimes piped underground, which has reduced their ability to provide ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are the environmental benefits associated with a functional ecosystem. This channelization of rivers has increased the number of people living in flood zones. When a storm surge happens, the capacity of the engineered concrete channel is exceeded, resulting in destruction of the local community. A solution is to restore the stream to a more naturalistic meandering form, with tidal buffers and constructed wetlands. This doesn’t mean we abandon engineering. In fact, environmental engineers can calculate what it takes to build a restored river ecosystem just like an engineered concrete channel.
After Hurricane Sandy, Long Islanders were faced with restoration projects both large and small. Houses, beaches, canals, streams and properties needed to be repaired and updated to withstand a greater force of nature. Ecological restoration provides added benefits in addition to an improved aesthetic. Projects of any scale can restore habitat for flora/fauna, and this directly influences your life. Some people may think they are isolated from nature in their urban and suburban world, but the truth is quite the opposite. Humans are just as important for a functional ecological web of life as plants and animals. When we truly become stewards of the land, we can create a healthy and thriving landscape for all. Goldberg and Rodler has design experts who are passionate and dedicated to the sustainable environment. Give us a call if you would like to create a sustainable landscape, and a Goldberg and Rodler designer can help bring your vision into reality.
Written by, Nick Onesto