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Green Landscaping: Greenacres


Wild Ones Handbook


"My husband and I feel so privileged to own and observe this special little corner of the world, even though we realize it is actually our for just a fleeting moment in time." - 

Janice Stiefel

a leek


On The Edge of A Sustainable Landscape
by Darrel Morrison, ASLA

As we sit on the threshold of a new century, it is essential our landscapes take on a new meaning. Designed and managed landscapes need to demonstrate an environmental consciousness and a shift in values. A part of the beauty of a landscape in the 21st century will be derived from its resource consciousness, its productivity, its sustainability.

These thoughts are stimulated, in part, by a February 1990 prediction by the Worldwatch Institute. This Washington think-tank predicted (optimistically, maybe) that the world will become 'self-sustainable' by the year 2030; i.e., that society will see that basic human needs are met without depleting or further polluting the Earth's resources. The Institute acknowledges that in order for its prediction to become reality, a new set of values will need to be adopted, with one difficult component being a shift away from materialism and conspicuous consumption.

In the Institute's hopeful scenario, today's throw-away society will be replaced by one with a comprehensive recycling ethic. In the sustainable world, people will rely much less on automobiles and will live closer to their work in mixed-use neighborhoods, or work at home with the assistance of technology. This will be a world where neighborliness and sociability can be revived, with people walking or biking to schools, shops, and offices, perhaps along streets where houses have front porches. Small towns will experience their own revival. Historic buildings will be preserved, restored and reused.

And what will a sustainable landscape be like in the year 2030? The Worldwatch Institute doesn't propose a scenario for this, so I will:

Whether we reach the goal of sustainability is dependent on our activities. We won't get there by maintaining a business-as-usual attitude. We won't get there if we permit the perpetuation of an image that sustainable, productive landscapes are anti-design, or that they can never really be as beautiful as today's irrigated, herbicided, chemically fertilized, and mowed landscapes.

We may help achieve the goal of sustainable landscapes -- and public demand for them -- by demonstrating that they can possess a new level of beauty derived from the richness of their lines, forms, colors, and textures, from their regional associations, and from their very productivity and sustainability. 


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