The Opportunity of The Retail Apocalypse

“They paved paradise And put up a parking lot Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘Till it’s gone” ~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi It was basically a 50’s strip mall that occupied two sides of a square block, with room for plenty of parking in the middle […]

Fighting Climate Change

“There is, however, a catch: The world must act now … If we’re too slow to start better managing and protecting these natural systems, the inaction will damage nature’s ability to help heal the planet … In other words, the longer we wait, the less nature can do.” ~ The Nature Conservancy We seem to […]

The Forest Garden

Over the years, a vine has grown up under the aged eave of the tiny frame house to form a large ball of dead leaves and branches. Facing east, it catches the morning sun, but by afternoon is in the shade. Most of the time, it is chock-full of sparrows — flitting, chirping and dropping […]

Plant A Tree, Save A Tree

“Love your neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” ~ Benjamin Franklin We first noticed when most of the big trees were gone. The old mobile home park had been located among some really giant old cottonwoods that provided shade, but undoubtedly created a hazard for the occupants in the flimsy structures below. Nonetheless, they […]

Water on the Brain

The creek that runs a block from my house is bordered by open space, parks and trails. It makes for a nice transition into our old neighborhood with its large trees and established landscaping. It also makes the neighborhood feel more relaxed — casual and friendly. We’ve known that the presence of vegetation in nearly […]

Integration

“We are stealing nature from our children. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that we are destroying nature that they will have wanted us to preserve, although that is unfortunately also the case. What I mean here is that we’ve started to define nature in a way that’s so purist and so strict […]

Be Green, Not Mean

“What’s in a fence? More than you’d think. In neighborhoods where as little as about $1,000 was spent transforming a vacant lot with some grass, a few trees, and a short wooden fence, people felt less depressed and less worthless.” ~ Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan In contrast to the suburbs or ex-burbs, urban areas are often relatively […]

Guerilla Tactics

Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad. — Unknown “There he goes again,” my neighbor sighed grumpily, pointing to the older guy wandering our street with pruning shears. “Come on,” I replied, “he’s harmless.” “But I may not want my trees trimmed,” he grumped and went inside. Once again my weird old […]

Blue Space, Green Space

“Blue skies smilin’ at me, Nothin’ but blue skies do I see.” ~ Irving Berlin, Blue Skies Take a deep breath, then exhale. You have just accomplished what every tree, indeed, all vegetation, accomplishes continuously. But unlike humans, trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. That — trees replenishing our oxygen — is what makes […]