The campaign, advocated by Minnesota-based non-profit Fresh Energy, encourages developers of utility-scale solar projects to plant their land with wildflowers, native grasses and other beneficial vegetation rather than gravel or dirt.
As a purist, I often shake my head at the high cost of plant material– I mean, plants grow in the wild for free, right? Of course the answer is much more complicated and I really do appreciate the craft and beauty of great specimens grown in nurseries, but this article from Houzz is right up my alley.
A lot has been said about power lines and trees in the DC/MD/VA area since the derecho struck a few weeks ago. Brad McKee, the Editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine, has a particularly good piece here on why it makes sense to keep the trees whole and bury the power lines.
Well, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it’s hot out there. I do want to share this little gem with you though. I was at a traffic light and happened to catch these two, plopped down under the shade of a cherry tree, enjoying a frozen treat, presumably from the fro-yo shop with the pink and green banner at the right edge of the photograph. What is most interesting about the situation though is that this is on a major, six lane suburban highway. It’s not the kind of place where you generally want to sit and hang out. But clearly these two did want to sit outside and eat in the shade, so they took what they could get. As a designer I’m always inclined to make spaces where people can enjoy a seat and some shade on a hot day, and it’s nice to see people out there who would put them to good use. And they rode their bikes- makes an environmentalist’s heart go pitter patter.
Check out this fantastic WPA poster found in the American Memory Collection hosted online by the Library of Congress. Like many people, I’ve always been fond of WPA posters because of their collaboration between quality artistry and common sense practicality. We could use a little more of that these days, don’t you think?
Though I’ve perused the offerings on the LoC website before, this poster was brought to my attention because of a book review for American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow. The review was good and the book, just like the poster, seems right up the Plants Are Not Optional alley.
Back to the poster: don’t miss the great line at the bottom, “Trees Prevent Wind Erosion, Save Moisture, Protect Crops, Contribute to Human Comfort and Happiness.” That’s right folks, trees make you happy!