Transforming residential properties into real wildlife habitats
is the focus of a new animation launched by the American Society of Landscape
Architects (ASLA). The animation—“Designing
Neighborhoods for People and Wildlife”—shows how native plants and designed
structures provide what nature needs.
Wildlife habitat can be destroyed by development, farms, or
mines; or degraded by invasive species, climate change, or pollution so it no
longer supports native wildlife. The animation shows that habitat loss, and the
corresponding loss of biodiversity, doesn’t have to continue. Starting with
homeowners’ properties, fragmented habitats can be rewoven together, creating
neighborhoods that are not only healthier for wildlife but also for people.
Many residential landscape architects are also helping to stem the losses by
creating beautiful neighborhoods that provide habitat for many species.
"We have all heard that ecosystem function must be
restored to urban landscapes if humans and the life around them are to be
sustained in the future. Using beautiful 3-D animations, ‘Designing Neighborhoods
for People and Wildlife’ delivers this message in the most powerful and
convincing way I have seen,” said Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home:
How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, professor and chair of
entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, and an expert
advisor on the animation. “We can share our yards with the species that support
us and ‘Designing Neighborhoods’ shows us how. May it go viral!"
The animation is part of ASLA’s Designing Our Future:
Sustainable Landscapes site. Made possible by a grant from the National
Endowment of the Arts, the site offers 30 case studies in easily understood
terms that demonstrate how landscape architects beautify our world while also
protecting and working with nature. It also includes ten animations—developed
by ASLA with author and Google SketchUp expert Daniel Tal, ASLA—that show
sustainable landscape design in action.
The free site also provides many educational
resource guides aimed at K-12 students. Topics include recycling, outdoor
recreation, transportation, and more. The guides provide hundreds of vetted games,
videos, classroom activities, and curriculum organized by age groups (K-5, 6-8,
About the American
Society of Landscape Architects
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape
Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects,
representing nearly 16,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 76 student
chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate and to participate in
the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our cultural and
natural environments. Members of the Society use their “ASLA” suffix after
their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical
standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at www.asla.org.