Wildscape Garden Initiative finds a base in Houston

January 8, 2015   /   Office Culture

Many of Houston’s current projects are moving to include natural resources more than ever. A typical example is the Wildscape Garden, which we are currently working on jointly with the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a new urban initiative.

In 2012, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) selected eight cities in the United States, and began working on a new project, an urban initiative that allows urban residents to become more connected to wildlife and nature. According to a survey by USFWS, 80% of people living in American cities usually see contact with nature through the lens of the city, and these factors over time have added value, priority, and ethics of conservation. It forms. Houston, with five wildlife habitats that can be reached within a car from downtown, was selected as the first pilot site. First, the “Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership” was formed by a federation of Midtown Wildlife Sanctuary Complex in Brazoria County and city departments such as Houston Wildness and the Park Department of Houston. Provided.

Environmental management is the core and symbolic concept of Asakura Robinson. A few months ago, when a project was launched from the Friends of Wildlife Refuge in Brisolia County to design a wildscape garden in Houston’s East End area as part of an urban initiative, our first question was: Can you get started? ” And of course, the second question is “What is a wildlife garden?” The purpose was very clear. He wanted a pocket park where people and wildlife (mainly birds and butterflies) could rest, at the intersection of Harrisburg and Rockwood Street with new light rails and bus stops. The place was not a place where wildlife dwellings could be found immediately, but a clear vacant lot. If successful, the park may give people the opportunity to learn by touching the natural environment of the area, not as a resting place for crowded intersections. I realized that the more I asked the question in the limited resources and context, the more difficult it was to make a suitable planting plan.

Of course, the answer was left to the partners formed by the Urban Initiative. The Houston Wildlife Refuge Partnership has enabled USFWS to unite with the Greater East End Administrative District (GEEMD). GEEMD already managed the area and planned a public park, but because of its limited resources, it was just a hard-scape plaza. USFWS was not only interested in becoming a natural park, but also helped raise funds for planting plans and signing plans for education. In addition, USFWS added a friendship management organization called “Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuge” to the community, and brought the knowledge of local ecology to the project. The only thing missing was the leader who put all those organizations together. As a leader, we worked on site planning that would satisfy both USFWS and GEMMD, and planting design, hardscape, and irrigation design were at the core of our work.

Introducing the design, there are winding paths made of marble pavement, neatly planted strips, butterflies mounds, dry mountain water, screen hedges, and benches in between. Once the concept plan was finalized, everything went well. In early November, a few days after GEMMD site preparation and irrigation facilities were completed, volunteers from Hua High School’s Green School Program, “Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuge” and people from other partnership organizations gathered. The entire site was planted in one day. Now publicly known as “Rockwood Nature Park”, we look forward to the potential for Houston to provide additional land from the site development and USFWS Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership.

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Designing with LID August 26, 2014   /   Speaking Engagements/Conferences