Thursday, May 23, 2013
This is so exciting! Green skyscrapers are becoming a reality:
Bosco Verticale (in Milan, Italy) is a vertical forest design that will be open later this year. It will include 900 trees, oaks and amelanchiers, 500 shrubs, and 11,000 ground plants—the equivalent of 2.5-acres of forest. If each residential unit had been constructed as individual stand-alone units, more than 50,000 square meters of land and 10,000 square meters of woodland would have been required.
Each balcony houses a mini-forest complete with a rainwater watering system and construction costs of Bosco Verticale are only 5% more than those required for the usual skyscraper, which will promote replication in other cities. It will be the first of its kind - providing vital ecological and energy benefits within the confines of an urban area.
All information/images are from Great Ecology.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
592,130 trees inventoried by almost 1000 volunteers, logging over 30,000 volunteer hours over 2 summers
Given 3 hour orientation training and field guides to help
Field staff follow up by being available to respond by telephone hotline and e-mail to address questions
Look for inconsistency in forms that were returned (at the time of inventory paper forms were the best method of collecting data despite the time required in office to transfer info)
Staff would verify inconsistencies in the field
This census was done in 2005-2006.
The implementation of software was not yet at a point where it could be used effectively so data collection via paper and pencil was used and later transferred in an office
Today there is an app for that!
The tree id app, www.leafsnap.com was first developed in New York City as a means for tourists and interested residents to walk up to any New York City Street Tree, enter the GPS co-ordinates or ID tag into a smart phone and the information about the tree could be accessed
The response for a tree ID phone app was so high, Leafsnap was born!
It currently contains an ID database of New York City, Washington DC and a partial list of all trees in Northeastern America, in process of completion
Information from: http://www.nycgovparks.org/trees/tree-census/2005-2006
Monday, May 6, 2013
Copied from: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Newsletter, May 2012
Author: C. Hanrahan
"Walking through Montfort Woods earlier in the month was an interesting experience. I've not
been back to this spot since about 1996, before it was exchanged for Moffatt Farm in a land
swap with the National Capital Commission (which now manages and patrols the woods).
At this time of year, you can see the remnants of what was once a magnificent forest, which
would have covered an extensive area. There are still small patches of some interesting native
plants, such as Cutleaf and Broadleaf Toothwort (Cardamine laciniata and C. diphylla), both
White and Red Trilliums (Trillium grandiflora and T. erectum), very small stands of Hepatica, a
few tiny stands of Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense), which should be abundant
there, big swathes of Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), and so on.
BUT, the sad thing is that the really huge swathes are Periwinkle (Vinca sp.) and Deadnettle
(Lamium sp.). Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is not abundant, but it will be. I found one
Barberry (Berberis sp.), and Norway Maples (Acer platanoides) are beginning to intrude.
The area where the Periwinkle, Deadnettle and also Day Lilies were found is adjacent to what
used to be CFB Rockcliffe, and it looks very much like garden waste was dumped over the fence
with the resulting invasion! If anyone needed to be reminded why these plants should be kept
out of natural areas, this provides a good lesson. Sad. In the photo, that huge swathe of green
is all Periwinkle. I actually like Deadnettle and Periwinkle as fast spreaders in a garden setting,
BUT. . .not out here."
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
***THIS IS AN ARTICLE FROM THE MTO WEBSITE - LINK BELOW***
Turtle Crossing and Barriers
The turtle crossing uses an elliptical culvert.
Anti-glare mesh/screen is used as a turtle barrier/fence to restrict turtle movement onto the roadway.
An artificial turtle nesting habitat made of fine crushed stone, sand, and gravel.
Turtle Crossing: Similar to a pipe culvert design for fish crossings (below), the turtle crossing uses an elliptical culvert. The top ends of the culvert have been cut to maximize the amount of light in the culvert, helping to attract wildlife through the culvert. A mesh screen is attached around the area of the culvert opening to prevent turtles from climbing onto the roadway.
Turtle Barrier/Fence: Studies have shown that turtles can climb fences. Anti-glare mesh/screen is used as a turtle barrier/fence to restrict turtle movement onto the roadway. The turtle fence is affixed directly onto the highway fence, and funnels/directs the turtles to the culvert installed underneath the highway. At the North Credit River Bridge, a total of 1028 m of turtle fence was installed. Though the fence is 1 m high, it features a 200 mm 90 degree bend on top that will prevent turtles from climbing and accessing the right-of-way.
Turtle Nesting Habitat: In addition to mitigating the loss of turtles on the highway, MTO and MNR have developed an artificial turtle nesting habitat made of fine crushed stone, sand, and gravel. The habitat was constructed at the ends of the turtle crossing to provide an area for turtle egg laying. This habitat attracts turtles to the crossing due to it's exposure to the sun.
To evaluate the turtle crossing system, a monitoring program will begin in the spring of 2011. Monitoring will continue for the next two years.
For more information on Turtle Crossings, please contact: Luis Orantes, Environmental Planner, Planning & Environment Office, Central Region at (416) 235-3852 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Original article found here: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/transtek/roadtalk/rt16-4/index.shtml
Saturday, March 30, 2013
The Urban Forest Stewardship Network is an online resource for organizations, community groups and individuals working on urban forest initiatives across Ontario. It is a platform for sharing experiences and resources, and for capacity building.
The Urban Forest Stewardship Network was initiated by LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) in an effort to bring together community based urban forest groups from across the province.
One of their projects is to TAG URBAN TREES to show their value to those who benefit from them. These tags can be placed on street treets and trees in parks or even on your own front lawn to display the benefits in Air Pollution Control, Water Recycling, Oxygen Generation, etc.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Full Article Found Here: Waterways Forward Blog - an EU Interreg IVC programme project
Here's the beginning and the results from the article:
Here's the beginning and the results from the article:
"The Urban Heat Island effect describes the relatively higher temperatures found in urban areas compared with rural surroundings, and is the result of several different factors. Building materials that absorb heat, the loss of moisture in the air due to reduced vegetation and paving over soil, as well as sources of heat, such as traffic, can all contribute to the Urban Heat Island.
In this study, researchers recorded temperature and humidity between April and August at 12 sites located at different distances from a small river running through the city of Sheffield, UK. Sites were located in areas of different ‘urban form’; either in an open square, an open street, a closed street or completely enclosed by buildings. To quantify the effect of the river on temperatures, these measurements were compared with another site, which was distant from the river but similar in all other properties except that of altitude, which was accounted for in the analysis.
The researchers conclude that rivers do have cooling effects and that future policies to uncover underground rivers could be of value in urban environments where high temperatures can have a negative effect on health and wellbeing. However, they stress that urban form surrounding the river corridor is more important than the simple presence or absence of a river and that cooling effects can be greatly enhanced by careful consideration of urban design."
- Hathway, E. A. and Sharples, S. (2012). The interaction of rivers and urban form in mitigating the urban heat island effect: a UK case study. Building and Environment. 58: 14-22. DOI 10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.06.013.
- Saraiva M.G, Ramos I.L, Vaz L, Bernardo F, Condessa B. TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY IN REHABILITATING URBAN RIVER LANDSCAPES. CROSSING ECOLOGY WITH SOCIAL CONCERNS, 4th ECRR Conference on River Restoration
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Love this example of a Neighborhood Tree Project in Toronto where a neighborhood association (Harbour Village Residents), academia (U of Toronto), the municipality and charitable organizations worked together to increase the street tree canopy and raise awareness and understanding of the need for more urban trees:
"U of T Forestry grad students (were hired) to go door to door signing up local residents for a free front yard tree to be provided by the City of Toronto.
With tiny front yards in most of the 1600 single family homes, it was often tough to persuade residents of the value of front yard trees. But the Forestry grad students were good educators and approximately 100 residents submitted the City’s front yard tree application and obtained trees.
To overcome the biggest challenge, the City’s Urban Forestry department (was convinced) to create a new brochure, explaining that trees were not to blame for broken sewer pipes or cracked foundations."
The work here also included a tree inventory (of 5000 trees) and efforts for funding backyard tree planting also!
More info found here: 6 Years of Tree Projects