Ecological Restoration

A former gravel lot restored to a native wildflower meadow

A former gravel lot restored to a native wildflower meadow

Historic and current anthropogenic activity has resulted in the widespread degradation of all types of ecosystems across the globe. In New York State alone it is estimated that around 75% of forested lands were converted to agricultural lands (NYSDEC 2010). Though the late 20th and early 21st century have seen remarkable recoveries of habitats, a huge amount of degraded land still exists. Even lands that are converted from anthropogenic use to ecological habitat are often dominated by non-native, invasive species, or are fragmented and disconnected from functional ecological corridors. In the context of climate change and increasing urbanization, the need for ecological restoration is as great as it has ever been.

Our ecological restoration projects involve the preservation, restoration, or creation of specific types of habitat, typically on ecologically degraded sites.  Our approach to these goals can take on a variety of forms, which blend the creative with the technical. At one site we took a former gravel lot and turned it into a wildflower meadow for only $0.50 per square foot. At another site, we applied a bioengineering restoration design to 6-acres of storm-impacted river bank, which included planting native shrubs, trees, and wildflowers. For each project we take that simple goal – to convert degraded lands to functioning, resilient habitats – and create a context-specific, research driven plan to achieve that goal. Those plans can involve any number of steps, including invasive species removal, picking out and planting suitable native plants, extensive regrading using heavy machinery, creation of soil layers, redirection of water flows, and more. Whether the habitat is forest or field, stream or marsh, we are equipped to design and implement a plan to restore that habitat.

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cummings pond plan render 1.30.19 Rv2.png