The slideshows below feature a selection of our diverse and growing body of work.
We used a design/build process to construction this groundreaking social justice stormwater park in Newburgh, NY.
A swallowtail butterfly feasting on milkweed flowers.
9 months after the initial planting, the planting beds have begun to fill in.
We created a double terraced clover lawn above the park's stage area.
Shortly after installation of native landscape plugs.
Bluestone is an important material in the Hudson Valley. We employed it in the park as solid slabs, boulders, and crushed stone.
A diagram showing how the park's stormwater management system works. Photo taken during construction.
Large boulders harvested nearby to reflect the site's underlying geology. This was 1 of 10 truckloads. We hand selected each one.
Bare soil reveals subtle topographic variations that set the stage for plants, stormwater, and people.
The staircase and ADA ramp after completion of the park's hardscape.
The rise to run step ratio (4" to 18") of the park's grand bluestone staircase is a graceful proportion and very accessable.
Newburgh's residents look on from their portraits above park construction.
An early rendering of the park design.
Like all our projects, we made a conceptual site model very early on in our design process.
The Bee Farm is a beautiful 160-acre property of pasture and woodland in New York’s upper Hudson River Valley for which One Nature created an Agro-Ecological Master Plan. Interestingly, the farm got its name from a previous commercial bee farm. The current owner wanted to develop an ecological reserve that allows for farming and light recreation.
The 160 acre parcel, shown here in blue, was the result of early American homesteading laws. 160 acres was assumed to be the approximate size of land required to sustain a homesteading family.
Diversity within plant communities was managed by the former bee farmer to ensure three season nectar sources. The size and shape of the different habitats was organized around old stone walls built in the 1800's.
A soil core taken using our hand augur. One of our first acts on most jobs is to take probes of the rhizosphere. The results influence how we plan a site.
We used geospatial analysis and field investigation to determine where to build farm structures through a process of eliminations. Environmental buffers, viewsheds, steep slopes, and valuable ecological communities prohibit development within their boundaries.
We constructed this site model to show the relationship between differently aged fields, topography, and forest.
After repeated site visits and in-depth analysis, we completed a comprehensive master plan that proposed a stewardship program for existing field habitats, forest management strategies, footpaths and trails, and the best locations for future farm buildings.
This is a series of watercolor vignettes intended to visualize concepts and key conditions required by the master plan.
Our plant nursery was contracted by NYC Department of Environmental Protection to grow plants for use in restoring rivers and lakes within the City's reservoir system. Riparian restoration is a more cost effective approach than downstream water treatment options.
A look inside the grow operation during late fall maintenance of the enclosure. In total we are growing 5000 plants a year for 5 years.
Our propagation facility was integrated into a larger organic farm.
To increase our success, we had a custom perennial potting mix blended and imported in shrink-wrapped 1 ton super sacks.
Laying out the shade cloth during shelter construction. To protect the plants from invasive weed seed, we built an enclosure to keep birds and wind blown seed from entering the growing operation.
This is Bryan's home garden. We are using a permaculture-based approach to convert a quarter acre in Beacon, NY from lawn to an urban oasis.
Winter salad production. While things don't really grow in the Northeast during the winter, insulated rows can act as outdoor refrigerators for fresh greens into February.
Deep inside the garlic patch.
Temporary event space for a two-year-old's birthday party leads to leftover organic materials for garden use.
Coreopsis, willow, and apple planting guild.
Chickens play a critical role in fertilization of food production area. The size and shape of their movable pens influences garden geometry.
Working landscape. A bit rough around the edges but very productive.
Trellising one year old native willows.
A just installed row of blueberries and raspberries along the street for all the neighbors to enjoy. Wood edging creates superhighways for beneficial fungi and macro-invertabrates. It also keeps the ground a little wet during drought.
A three bin compost system build from a disasembled deck. Topped off with recently acquired organic horse manure
This line cut through the turf conveys rainwater from the house roof to a passive irrigation system within the food production area.
Year 1 experimentation with no-mow approaches.
Situated on a prominent corner in Newburgh, NY, we created a secluded garden behind a forested landform that accentuates existing topogrophy. We also installed a custom cedar fence and native and edible plants selected specifically for harsh urban conditions.
A close up view of the fence, which traverses the berm at key locations to accentuate the landform.
Behind the fence we built raised bed gardens and planted fruiting trees and shrubs.
A view from downhill after project completion. Note the strength of the landform and its impact on passers by.
A simple entrance with range fencing.
Construction of fence.
Side by side view of model and collage plan.
Detail of collage plan.
Our team worked to plan, design, and re-build a 600' reach of a Catskill Mountain Creek damaged by tropical storms. We used thousands of dormant willow, dogwood, and sycamore cuttings to improve habitat and strengthen the streambanks.
Nearing the end of completion of the project.
Midway through construction, the silt fences have been set and the lower fascine bundles have been installed.
Early the following spring, new sprouts can be seen growing from the dormant stakes.
We rebuilt one of the stream banks to allow more room for flood water, thereby decreasing in stream velocities. This level bank was planted thickly.
"Rewilding" is a term for transitioning degraded land back to a wild state. We have been working for a decade to develop a low square foot cost approach for rapidly converting degraded land to productive habitat.
Our process generally starts with modification of existing soils. This is done through the addition of organic matter, often supplied by local government waste streams.
Our approach often involves incorporation of agricultural cover crop seed to make initial improvements to the rhizosphere.
Custom native seed mixes overwinter in the soil and grow the following year, resulting in a mixed blend of native and agricultural meadow species.
Over time, woody species of plants come in and the landowner must choose where shrubs and trees are desirable or not. In any case, the landscape has become self-continuing and its capacity to provide ecological services has dramatically expanded.