One of the first steps in environmental stewardship is an ecological evaluation of the site and stewardship intentions, which can range from a simple walking assessment and conversation to a more extensive survey and report.
The landscapes we have inherited are rich with diverse life and pattern from their respective histories. Whether small urban gardens or expanses of wild lands, we make our homes amidst the nature of our place. We call this living fabric of elements and all the other interconnected species our 'ecosystem'.
It is our privilege, responsibility and opportunity to inhabit our ecosystems in ways that do not degrade them. This work starts by meeting and understanding the nature of our place, and establishing a baseline of ecological literacy to guide our creative tending of our home environments.
I am here to help. With a lifelong study of nature, over 25 years of experience in ecological restoration and wild land management, and over 17 years experience in organic agriculture and horticulture, I can offer insight and perspective on current ecological balance and features of a landscape, land-use history, and provide guidance for responsible land use planning and management questions. What species are here? How to efficiently encourage existing positive aspects of place and discourage challenging aspects? Where to locate and how to establish key features in the landscape with respect to natural patterns of water and light and wind and soil? What species work well together in plantings and are optimal for local conditions? How to reduce wild fire risk while improving quality of wildlife habitat and preserving future old growth trees?
I can help you answer these questions and more, to provide a framework for environmental design and stewardship planning.
Environmental Design concerns all aspects of interacting with the balance of nature around our homes, farms, businesses and community with awareness and intention.
I draw upon Ecological principles and Permaculture Design methods to help organize and illustrate the potential of a property owner's vision with respect for the nature of their land.
As needed, I will produce simple, functional maps and illustrations to aid in land use planning to address wild vegetation management, productive garden and orchard design, perennial plant placement, tree care, access, water stewardship and irrigation, light and view shed management, wind mitigation, fire safety, native habitat conservation, animals inclusion, invasive species management, sanctuary making, and more.
Sustainable landscape design, establishment and management depend on both a sound ecological basis and cultural values. With years of experience doing and leading the work of landscape and vegetation management, and witnessing our scientific understandings and technologies evolve, I have found that our culture of relating to environmental management itself requires stewardship as well as the land. Many of us are endowed with the ability to handle tools, but what is of deep importance is how we use our tools to affect the world. And when. Tending life is an art that benefits greatly from knowing life intimately. I have come to appreciate the perspective on our collective relationship with altering landscapes as a deeply cultural act of influencing ecological balance, which I refer to collectively as EcoCultural Stewardship. We can influence what species survive and thrive, including the establishment and abundance of culturally significant food and medicine, and other functioning plants. Our actions can degrade or enhance habitat for native species, and likewise degrade or enhance the productivity of our home environments for our families and future generations.
I can provide the ecologically-based guidance and ethical leadership in stewardship management, coordinating with other professionals for defining and creating landscapes that reflect a harmony of the land manager's intentions of productivity, and conservation, order, economy and functional wildness.