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Beacon, NY 12508
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We create and restore remarkable landscapes that improve the environment. 

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A Walk in the Park

Steph Woman

A Walk in the Park with Bryan Quinn - Principal, One Nature, LLC

Join us for this special event!  

Bryan will give a short presentation on his design and construction approach for the creation of Safe Harbors Green, a new public park located in the center of urban Newburgh. After the indoor presentation, Bryan will lead a Q&A Tour of the park under the newly installed solar park lighting. Join us to have a sneak peak of the park and the design process behind it. Wine, refreshments, and snacks will be available. If it rains, bring an umbrella so you can join us for a first-hand experience of the park’s rain garden system.

Thursday, July 21 at 7 p.m. Safe Harbors Lobby at the Ritz 107 Broadway, Newburgh

845.784.1199 • www.safe-harbors.org

The Bee Farm: An Agroecological Master Plan

bryan quinn

 

The Bee Farm is a beautiful 160-acre property of pasture and woodland in Rensselaerville, New York for which One Nature created an Agro-Ecological Master Plan. Interestingly, the farm got its name from a previous owner who was the state beekeeping inspector and maintained hundreds of hives at the Bee Farm. The current owner now produces a small amount of honey, uses the land to grow hay, would like to develop an ecological reserve, and allow for bird watching, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

After repeated site visits and in-depth analysis, One Nature put together a comprehensive master plan to address ecologically sound maintenance of existing field habitats, a strategy for managing forest areas, maintenance and definition of pathways, and the best locations for future building projects. The plan also includes ecological restoration initiatives that would enhance views, increase biodiversity, encourage pollinators, and promote agriculture.

Open land at the Bee Farm consists of about 20 acres of hay field and less than 60 acres of wild field. One Nature recommends gradually converting the wild fields into hay fields over a five-year period to maximize agriculturally productive land. Controlled burns should be conducted every 10 to 20 years to encourage vigorous growth and nutrient cycling, and reduce invasive species. Supplemental seeding with a mixture of flowering native species would be help promote diversity and pollinator habitat.

Most uplands in the northeast eventually transition to forest. To preserve crucial pollinator habitat, we must from time to time modify the landscape.

Most uplands in the northeast eventually transition to forest. To preserve crucial pollinator habitat, we must from time to time modify the landscape.

Ecological restoration of forested, meadow, and wetland areas is an important component of the master plan. One Nature recommends select removal of unwanted plant and tree species and new plantings to provide better growing conditions for native species. Structures such as bird and owl houses, snags, and brush piles should be installed throughout the site to encourage native wildlife habitation. Building buffer zones around each water feature on the property, including ponds, vernal pools, and seasonal drainage basins, will protect these habitats.

Agriculturally-centered development can allow small holder farmers to share resources between multiple properties.

Agriculturally-centered development can allow small holder farmers to share resources between multiple properties.

One Nature’s agro-ecological approach will allow this client to create a holistic balance between wild and cultivated habitats at the expansive Bee Farm. Practicing agro-ecology results in more resilient and sustainable farming, and ends up creating stunning landscapes rich with native plant and animal life.

Design Complete on our Catskill Bioengineering Project

bryan quinn

When Hurricane Irene swept through the Northeast in 2011, it caused significant damage to Bushkill Creek, one of the few streams that feed directly into the Ashokan Reservoir in the Catskills. River banks were torn apart and the resulting erosion caused tainted water downstream. One Nature was invited to design a plan for restoring a severely impacted section of Bushkill Creek and the client, Ulster County, agreed to a state-of-the-art bioengineered design to restore a 6-acre section of river and banks. The Bushkill Creek Restoration Project will be completed in the fall of 2016.

Bioengineering—integrating nature into the landscape restoration design—is fast becoming a popular solution for regeneration because the methods are ecologically sound and result in long-lasting revitalization. Designs that are purely engineered, using only non-living materials, are strong at the time of completion but tend to fall apart over time. Bioengineered designs use living material and with time, a bioengineered system gains strength and lasting stability as plant roots take hold and integrate with structural supports. In fact, an engineered design was put in place shortly after Hurricane Irene and subsequently failed.

The first stage of the Bushkill Creek project will be to rebuild and fill in the left bank with soil since much of it was swept away by storm damage and erosion. Trench packing follows—a method of filling small holes in the contour of a stream bank with live branch cuttings and compacted soil to encourage plant growth and stop erosion. Once the soil is shaped, sloped, and trench packed, live stakes and live fascines will be inserted, both of which are instrumental to preventing further river bank erosion in bioengineered design. Live stakes are native, live woody cuttings with the branches trimmed. They soon grow a root mat that stabilizes the earth bed by binding soil particles together. These live stakes, once flourishing, also enhance the beauty of the site and provide a habitat for wildlife. Live fascines are bundles of live brushwood that provide immediate erosion protection. The fascines, which take hold quickly, will be planted parallel to the waterway on both sides of the stream and close to the water’s edge.

Image Credit: Hudson Land Design

Image Credit: Hudson Land Design

The plant species selected for live cuttings are all native plants and trees thriving in the surrounding Ashokan watershed, including willow, dogwood, sycamore, alder, winterberry holly, and meadowsweet, among several others. Once the earthwork is completed and the trench pack, live stake, and fascine installations are in place, the site will be thickly seeded with a custom-designed mix of aggressive native plants precisely chosen for the Bushkill Creek environment. In addition to several species of grasses and ferns, wildflowers such as jack-in-the-pulpit, marigold, milkweed, rose mallow, bee-balm, monkeyflower, and aster will be integral to the mix. Within a few months, erosion will cease at the Bushkill Creek site, water quality will be restored, and the area will be growing its way back to a healthy, stable, and sustainable ecosystem.

Groundbreaking - Safe Harbors Green

Steph Woman

Yesterday we were proud to be a part of the groundbreaking (literally and figuratively!) ceremony for our regenerative and community-building Safe Harbors Green Park in Newburgh with Mayor Judy Kennedy and Lisa Silverstone of Safe Harbors of the Hudson.  HVNN, City of Newburgh representatives, and many community members were in attendance.  Check out the press coverage here: http://hudsonvalleynewsnetwork.com/2016/04/25/safe-harbors-green-breaks-ground/