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 […]

The Plot Thickens

“So whether it’s redeveloping dying malls or re-inhabiting dead big-box stores or reconstructing wetlands out of parking lots, I think the fact is the growing number of empty and under-performing, especially retail, sites throughout suburbia gives us actually a tremendous opportunity to take our least-sustainable landscapes right now and convert them into more sustainable places.” […]

Trees Keep On Truckin’

“And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past.” ~ John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids   Unlike the the mobile, man-eating Triffids in The Day of the Triffids, our trees don’t crawl around and eat people, but they may come and go over time. The […]

Hard Edges

Hot town, summer in the city Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty Been down, isn’t it a pity Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city All around, people looking half dead Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head ~The Lovin’ Spoonful “… in cities … one seems to lose […]

In My Town

“… the growing number of empty and under-performing, especially retail, sites throughout suburbia gives us actually a tremendous opportunity to take our least-sustainable landscapes right now and convert them into more sustainable places. And in the process, what that allows us to do is to redirect a lot more of our growth back into existing […]

Natural Rhythms

“We cannot step outside life’s songs. This music made us; it is our nature.” ~ David Haskell quoted by Maria Popova In the opening scene of the movie, “Taps,” Gregory Hines, deep in the silence of night in a prison cell, hears drops of water on metal. The rhythmic plops make a beat that ultimately moves […]