Credit Opportunities

1/13/16 - Large-Scale Landscapes Symposium: Exploring Ecological Options, Wellesley, MA

Wellesley College Science Center 106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

8:30AM to 4:30PM


On January 13, 2016 (Snow Date January 14), join ELA and Wellesley College for a symposium on the development and maintenance of large-scale landscapes that utilize fewer inputs, are designed and maintained with the environment in mind, and become more sustainable over time. Experts who work daily in successful, sustainable large-scale landscapes will lead four presentations and one panel discussion.

If you are a landscape professional responsible for planning and maintaining the landscapes of college campuses, municipal parks, cemeteries, public gardens, land trusts, private estates, or other large landscapes, join ELA as we explore ecological options for large-scale landscapes with a distinguished lineup of presenters to explore ecological options.

Addressing “Wear and Tear” in High-Use Areas (Ronnit Bendavid-Val, Brooklyn Botanic Garden)
Large landscapes that service large numbers of visitors suffer inevitable “wear and tear” and require ongoing upkeep to maintain optimum form and function. Of the many issues, compaction is one of the most serious problems facing landscape managers. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) consists of 52 acres of specialty gardens, plant family collections, and outdoor grounds and hosts more than 725,000 visitors annually. During this presentation, Ronnit Bendavid-Val (Director of Gardens and Grounds) will describe some of the “wear and tear” challenges faced by BBG and will provide practical tips for how to address these issues on other large landscapes.

Maintaining the Maturing Landscape (Panel Discussion)
The original landscape design intent is often lost to over-zealous growth of some plants and the decline of others – and this is just one of the many maintenance challenges of a maturing landscape. With increasing pressure, the squeeze is on to keep large landscapes flourishing with fewer inputs, dwindling staff, and shrinking budgets. Cost, functionality, accessibility, and safety are just a few of the additional maintenance considerations. Landscape professionals with decades of cumulative experience with large-scale landscapes will tackle these issues and more in this panel discussion.

Designing Rain Gardens for Long-lasting Success (Clay Larsen, Clay Larsen Landscape)
Rain gardens, bio-swales, and other low-impact development (LID) practices are gaining in popularity to control stormwater run-off. When stormwater is conveyed off-site via conventional methods, it sends pollutants and sediment into streams. Rain gardens and bio-swales use vegetation and soil to manage rainwater on site by slowing it down, spreading it out, and giving it time to soak in to replenish groundwater. To ensure long-term success, proper design and installation are essential elements of these LID techniques and will be discussed in this presentation by Clay Larsen.

Healthier and Lower-Cost Lawns (Chip Osborne, Osborne Organics)
Lawns encompass one of the biggest elements of most large landscapes – big in terms of area, problems, and especially budget. With growing concern about traditional, chemical-intensive lawn programs, more landscape managers are seeking healthier alternatives. Chip Osborne is nationally recognized for helping clients (including college campuses and National Parks) transition to healthy, chemical-free lawns and turf. In this presentation, Osborne will discuss the process of creating a sustainable landscape. With many years of experience and many success stories, he demonstrates that organic management produces beautiful and more drought-tolerant lawns and turf that require less maintenance and save money over time.

Reawaking Large Landscapes: Activating the Space (Sandy Vorce, Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary)
Large landscapes pose challenges – but also opportunities. In this wrap-up presentation, Sandy Vorce invites us to expand our landscape vision to more fully engage visitors. Through sights, sounds, and design options (beyond plant material), landscapes can educate, entertain, and inspire. There are many ways to activate the space, draw visitors in, and enrich the experience: from easily implemented ideas such as expanded signage, pollinator gardens, and edible landscape elements to surprisingly effective options like on-site bee keeping or the use of goats and sheep to control invasive plants.


Details and Registration


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