Biohabitats Inc. > Portfolio > Search results for 'Conservation Planning'
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|Bronx Zoo Master Plan|| |
Bronx, New York , United States The largest metropolitan zoo in the nation, the Bronx Zoo is a world renowned center for science and education. It is also the headquarters for wildlife and wildlands conservation projects around the world. In 2002 the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) engaged the team of Ayers/Saint/Gross Architect and Planners, Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, and Biohabitats to prepare a master plan for the campus that reflects and facilitates the Zoo’s mission and institutional values. “We spend a lot of money overseas working toward wildlife conservation, and if we’re going to do that, we had better be living our mission at home,” said Sue Chin, Director of Planning and Design for WCS. Biohabitats’ responsibilities focused on assessing the natural systems of the site including hydrology, soils, vegetation, landscape ecology, invasive plant threats and overall environmental sustainability. Concept development included preparing diagrams that explored and tested the spatial implications of the site’s natural systems and their relationships with built systems, operations, and cultural features. The final master plan evolved from the concept diagrams through a series of two-day workshops with WCS staff and various stakeholders. A unique aspect of the final master plan was its recognition that the landscape fabric that weaves around and throughout the Zoo’s exhibits is, in itself, an exhibit of the local ecology of the Bronx River Watershed that has been displaced by urban development. Inherent throughout the master plan is the recognition that this ecology should be protected, restored and celebrated.
|Bronx Zoo Master Plan||Hudson River Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Bronx, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Carolina North Infrastructure|| |
Chapel Hill, North Carolina , United States Biohabitats participated in a multi-disciplinary planning effort for the proposed 250-acre Carolina North campus in Chapel Hill, N.C. The planning focused on site infrastructure and sustainable design. Over the course of several months, the University and its consultant team developed principles, strategies, metrics, and goals for the infrastructure, natural landscape, and built environment of Carolina North. While some of the goals may be achieved early in the project, others reflect desired conditions for a 30-year horizon. The sustainability vision was then used by the University and the design team, along with many other inputs and background studies, to layout and test various development scenarios and to develop Site Development Guidelines. Representative themes and principles that were developed include: Account for existing and potential natural capital of the site to inform the planning process and associated conservation/development strategies. Sustain and restore the structure, function, and beauty of an indigenous North Carolina Piedmont Forest in areas identified for conservation, and mimic it for areas identified for development. Design Carolina North as a walkable/bikeable campus. Design, construct, maintain, and operate Carolina North to be carbon neutral. Treat waste as a resource. Increase human potential. Encourage collaboration. Integrate research, education, and outreach in both built and non-built conditions.
|Carolina North Infrastructure||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Carolina North Water and Energy Plan|| |
Chapel Hill, North Carolina , United States Biohabitats has played a key role in the planning and design of a 1,000- acre property owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The property, known as Carolina North, will be a research and mixed-use academic campus intended to promote synergy among research, business, science, law and technology. Envisioned as a highly green environment, the campus is specifically designed to be a model of sustainability and to take advantage of the latest technological developments. As Carolina North moves from planning to implementation, Biohabitats has begun engineering design of stormwater practices on the site, and provided valuable insight for the campus integrated water strategy by assessing local water sources and campus water demand. A water balance is a powerful planning tool, as it quantifies water demand and helps identify reasonable approaches for conservation, efficiency gains, or development of new sources. Working with the University, Biohabitats created a dynamic water balance model that examined a diverse suite of potential non-potable water supplies to meet cooling, toilet flushing and irrigation demands for the new campus development. The water balance was performed on a monthly basis, accounting for seasonality of sources (such as surface stormwater) and demands (such as cooling). The effort included an integrated approach to water and energy, where various water strategies are investigated and evaluated based on potable water use, cost, and energy consumption. This effort aids the University in its goal of developing a campus dedicated to sustainability, with a substantial reduction in potable water usage expected based on this modeling effort.
|Carolina North Water and Energy Plan||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation|| |
Baltimore, Maryland , United States To complement its world-renown Inner Harbor facility, the National Aquarium in Baltimore proposed developing a new aquatic animal care and conservation education center on a site along the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River. As part of a master planning team led by Ayers Saint Gross and Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Biohabitats integrated an adaptive management approach into the design of the multiple-phase campus development plan that includes the renovation of a public works garage, a public park, water access piers, and ecological demonstration gardens. Among the strategies proposed were tidal wetland and woodland restoration, phytoremediation, and upland water treatment wetlands, all of which are aimed at regenerating ecological processes in a portion of the Middle Branch riparian corridor and shoreline. These efforts related directly to the Aquarium’s mission by supporting Chesapeake Bay ecosystem recovery and inspiring stewardship of aquatic environments. Biohabitats’ main objective was to demonstrate how the ecological interests of the project could be best served by using an adaptive management strategy that establishes a series of natural processes, monitors them over time, and adjusts elements according to the continual evolution of the elements and their processes. This strategy also supported program development and enhancement of the visitor experience.
|Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Baltimore, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Atlanta Urban Ecology Framework|| |
Atlanta, Georgia , United States Atlanta, GA is often called “the city in a forest” based on its unique development patterns and the uncommon abundance of tree canopy within city limits. Aware of this and other natural resources in Atlanta, and contemplating dramatic population growth forecasted for the coming years, the city developed Atlanta City Design, a community inclusive effort to envision Atlanta in the next 20+ years. The vision called for a plan that is “For People, For Nature, and For People in Nature.” In support of Atlanta City Design, Biohabitats is helping the Department of City Planning to develop an Urban Ecology Framework (UEF). The UEF will establish the natural context for Atlanta’s growth and development, help determine what aspects of nature in Atlanta should be preserved, restored, and accentuated by the public realm, and chart the course for a citywide green network that will benefit all city residents. The UEF, which will emphasize equity and inclusiveness, also aims to generate stewardship for the natural environment and maximize the potential to transform and integrate vacant and abandoned properties into the green network. The project team will examine the City’s natural environs, including rivers and creeks, forest and tree canopy, ridges and watersheds, public and private green spaces, and other defining features of Atlanta. Informed by community input and data analysis, the team will then identify and recommend opportunities, strategies and policies to restore ecosystems and habitat, generate future connected green and blue spaces, and promote development aligned with those features and systems. In reestablishing and fully integrating ecological processes into the heart of the city’s cultural and economic fabric, the UEF helps put Atlanta on a path to becoming a more resilient, vibrant, and healthy city. As a complementary effort, Biohabitats will also be working with the city of Atlanta to rewrite their
|City of Atlanta Urban Ecology Framework||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Atlanta, Georgia, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Columbus Watershed Master Plan|| |
Columbus, Ohio , United States Approximately 85% of Columbus, Ohio’s drinking water originates from only three watersheds: the Scioto River, Big Walnut Creek, and Alum Creek. In an effort to improve water quality and address pollution concerns and risks related to nitrate, nutrients, Azatrine, spills, and emerging pollutants of concern, the City initiated a watershed master plan to identify priority risks and recommend strategies to reduce them. A key member of the master planning team led by CDM Smith, Biohabitats assisted with evaluating watershed characteristics, water quality data, and natural resource features in order to identify the pollutants and activities presenting the greatest immediate and persistent risk to the city’s drinking water supply. Known and emerging pollutant risks (e.g., agriculture, algal blooms, urbanization, home sewage treatment systems, spills, and many other concerns) were inventoried, characterized, and prioritized by the team. Biohabitats also met with and interviewed key natural resources stakeholders to better understand collaboration opportunities. Our work concluded with the identification of priority strategies to protect existing natural resources and projects that the City could undertake in the near term which offered the greatest potential water quality benefits. Priority subwatersheds for demonstration projects were also selected based on their potential to advance understanding and awareness of specific restoration and habitat preservation tools. The final plan recommended four core strategies: • Collaborate & Coordinate with Existing Programs to Manage Immediate Risks to the City’s Watersheds • Build Collaborative Networks to Manage Persistent Risks; • Inform, Engage, and Involve Stakeholders; and • Monitor and Assess for Long-Term Implementation. Within each strategy, early actions and enhancements to existing program were identified. Example measures included riparian restoration demonstration projects on City of Columbus lands, headwater stream protection initiatives through conservation easements, and riparian protection measures that would build on success stories elsewhere in Ohio.
|City of Columbus Watershed Master Plan||Ohio River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Columbus, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Fort Wayne Riverfront Development Study|| |
Fort Wayne, Indiana , United States Three rivers are the heart of Fort Wayne and all of northeast Indiana: St. Joseph, St. Mary’s and the Maumee. Biohabitats is helping create a plan to make them vital again. In the early 1900s, these rivers created Fort Wayne, and they long remained at the forefront of the planning and development of the city. However, in recent decades they have been underutilized for development and revitalization. This trend continued through the early 2000s, when citizens and stakeholders began to try to return the river systems to their position as the centerpiece of Fort Wayne’s landscape heritage and make them a venue for revitalization, recreation and restoration. As a result of these efforts, the City is conducting a Riverfront Development Study that will detail specific strategies and implementation steps to creating a world-class downtown riverfront district. The topics to be addressed include land use, engineering and infrastructure investment, watershed issues, trail connectivity, access to the river, urban design guidelines and relevant facilities. Biohabitats assessed the ecological conditions and developed recommendations for a living infrastructure framework that provides a foundation for revitalization and restoration opportunities along the three rivers. Biohabitats staff conducted literature reviews, desktop analysis and field investigations to establish current ecological conditions within the study area. Biohabitats also participated in a number of meetings with community members and project stakeholders to draw on their local knowledge and experience and present our initial findings. Biohabitats’ proposed “living infrastructure framework” integrates ecological restoration priorities, conservation, low impact development, green infrastructure, and other opportunities into a cohesive structure that can guide future land use planning and redevelopment decisions for the City.
|City of Fort Wayne Riverfront Development Study||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Jamestown Chadakoin Riverfront Revitalization|| |
Jamestown, New York , United States Jamestown is located at the southern tip of Chautauqua Lake, a popular summer destination for Great Lakes region vacationers. The Chadakoin River corridor, which runs through the center of Jamestown, was known, historically, for its furniture production and other industry. This long history of industry left a legacy of contaminated sites (brownfields) along an important tributary to the Allegheny River. Like many cities in the Great Lakes region, the industrial base has experienced a gradual decline over the past decades and the local economy has suffered. At the same time, the river corridor includes very important wetlands and other natural resource areas that provide important habitat for migratory birds and other species, including the Eastern spiny softshell turtle, a State species of special concern. In order to develop a comprehensive revitalization plan along the Chadakoin River, the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency initiated a study to identify brownfield reuse, ecological restoration and enhancement, and waterfront revitalization opportunities that would celebrate the River, reinvigorate the waterfront, and connect the community with its history, ecology, and economic potential. A key member of the study team, Biohabitats assessed ecological conditions and developed recommendations for a living infrastructure framework that provides a foundation for revitalization and restoration opportunities along the Chadakoin River. Biohabitats staff conducted literature reviews, desktop analyses and field investigations to establish current ecological conditions within the study area. Biohabitats also participated in a number of public meetings with community members and project stakeholders to draw on their local knowledge and experience. Biohabitats’ proposed “living infrastructure framework” integrated ecological restoration priorities, conservation, low impact development, green infrastructure, and other opportunities into a cohesive structure that can guide future land use planning and redevelopment decisions.
|City of Jamestown Chadakoin Riverfront Revitalization||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Jamestown, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Rockville Rain Barrel Workshops|| |
Rockville, Maryland , United States The City of Rockville’s RainScapes Rewards Program aims to incentivize and empower City homeowners to implement on-lot practices such as rain barrels and conservation landscaping in order to reduce stormwater impacts on City waterways and encourage water conservation and re-use. Biohabitats provided a variety of technical services during the spring and summer of 2009 to assist the City in its rain barrel outreach efforts. These services included developing public outreach materials, planning and installing four rain barrel demonstration projects at City community centers, conducting four public workshops for City residents, and developing educational signage. Working with City staff, Biohabitats designed and delivered presentations on the benefits, selection, installation, and maintenance of rain barrels at the Rockville Senior Center, Lincoln Park Community Center, Twinbrook Community Recreation Center, and the Croydon Creek Nature Center, as well as the Activity Center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg. Audience sizes ranged as high as 50 participants per workshop, and audience evaluations indicated a high level of satisfaction with the content and quality of delivery. Outreach materials developed under this contract are currently available on the City’s RainScapes website. The rain barrel installations were designed to serve as permanent demonstration projects in publicly-accessible locations. The designs placed a priority on safety, efficient operation, and aesthetic appeal. Biohabitats also designed interpretive signage that was subsequently installed at each site. The signs provide basic information about the benefits of rain barrels and serve as a permanent educational amenity. Responding to a request by City staff, Biohabitats also developed three interpretive signs that explain the purpose and benefits of City stormwater ponds.
|City of Rockville Rain Barrel Workshops||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||Rockville, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment|| |
Columbia & Clatsop Counties, Oregon , United States The Columbia County Soil & Water Conservation District (the “District”) is partnered with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and other entities, to develop a plan for implementation of watershed/habitat enhancements backed by the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) under the NRCS Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program (PL 566). Biohabitats worked with the District and the NRCS to produce a Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (WP-EA) that satisfies NEPA requirements. Located in the northwest corner of Oregon, the Project Area includes 147,000 acres bounded by the Columbia River to the north and extends south into the steep hills of the Coast Range geomorphic province. Over the past approximately 150 years, the area within the Project Area has experienced the effects of land cover changes associated with development, agriculture, and timber harvest. The Project Area is home to salmonids and the Columbia white-tailed deer that are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The purpose of the WP-EA is to propose actions to improve 1) water quality and 2) habitat for fish and wildlife through restoration and enhancement of aquatic, wetland, and riparian conditions within the RCPP Project Area. The WP-EA provides guidance to restore ecological processes critical to the regulation of water quality and availability and quality of habitat that sustains fish and wildlife populations. This WP-EA is the first of its kind, developing a watershed-scale framework that will support the implementation of smaller-scale projects emphasizing fish passage restoration; stream, floodplain, and wetland restoration; vegetation management; and road maintenance, erosion control, and decommissioning. Biohabitats collaborated with the District to develop the document structure, technical content, and GIS mapping within this WP-EA, which is expected to set a national example for innovative and restoration-focused planning efforts.
|Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment||Cascadia Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Columbia & Clatsop Counties, Oregon, United States||featured-project featured|
|Ecological Master Planning Services for the Pearlstone Center|| |
Reisterstown, Maryland , United States The Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center is a Jewish retreat and sustainable farm in Baltimore County, Maryland that fully integrates environmental stewardship into its operations and educational programming. When management of the entire property (which includes events pavilions, a day camp with camp sites, swimming pools, athletics fields, forest conservation easements, a pond, and wetlands) was delegated to the Pearlstone Center by the land owners, the Center’s staff initiated a campus master planning process. For help in creating a long-term vision for the property that reflects Jewish values, which include environmental stewardship, they turned to Biohabitats. Biohabitats assessed the campus’ ecological resources and identified opportunities for sustainable and regenerative design, as well as approaches to more sustainable management of resources. An important goal of the master plan is to ensure that future development and maintenance efforts align with the Center’s core values: connectedness, living Judaism, environmental stewardship, and loving warmth. Innovative approaches to ecological resource management, organic farming, and alternative management techniques using grazing animals were identified as priorities. At a planning charrette hosted by the Pearlstone Center Biohabitats provided input on natural resource opportunities including restoration and management of native meadow, wetlands, and forest areas, as well as feedback on integrated stormwater management and sustainable techniques to manage water and nonnative species. The master plan provides a comprehensive and forward-thinking vision of a landscape that connects visitor experience with the natural world, spirituality, mindfulness, and resilience, while prioritizing conservation of natural resources.
|Ecological Master Planning Services for the Pearlstone Center||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Reisterstown, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Fee-Simon Tidal Wetland Restoration|| |
Clatsop County, Oregon , United States The Columbia River has changed radically over the last 100 years, and today the system can only support a fraction of the once-mighty populations of fish such as salmon and steelhead that split their lives between freshwater and the open ocean. Since 1974, the Columbia River Estuary Taskforce has been working to protect and restore the estuary’s vital habitats and functions. Biohabitats was contracted to restore the Fee-Simon wetland by breaching the existing levee in five locations and re-connecting the existing backwater channel networks to the South Fork Klaskanine River, restoring the daily natural tidal processes that were eliminated by the levee. One of the challenges for the salmonids that breed in that river is the flat, open structure of the channel, with water that moves uniformly and rapidly through the system. To improve the fish habitat, Biohabitats placed large woody debris into the river to create refuges for juvenile fish and pools of slow-moving water with rich foraging opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, restoration brought the floodplain and isolated wetlands back into contact with the river’s main channel. Biohabitats’ responsibilities included project planning and scheduling, sequencing and designing methods for the construction, erosion and sediment control, excavation, installing large woody debris, and overseeing the replanting. This project had a wide array of energetic project stakeholders, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and it was the result of years of permitting and planning. The final construction schedule was highly compressed, requiring seamless coordination and strong project leadership.
|Fee-Simon Tidal Wetland Restoration||Cascadia Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Clatsop County, Oregon, United States||featured-project featured|
|Floyds Fork Greenway Master Plan|| |
Jefferson County, Kentucky , United States As a key member of a multi-firm consultant team for the Floyds Fork Greenway Master Plan, Biohabitats performed a GIS-based inventory and analysis of natural resources within the project area to help identify conservation and restoration opportunities and guide the master plan’s arrangement of park uses, programs, and facilities. The work included GIS data collection and interpretation of items such as geology, soils, water resources, and landscape ecology within the watershed. The project team used this information to help develop greater understanding of interpretive opportunities, and identify the area’s natural resources. Biohabitats has also helped field-identify existing wetlands and develop map exhibits for the ongoing ecological baseline study. This project earned a Merit Award for Master Planning in the National Park Service’s “Designing the Parks” competition.
|Floyds Fork Greenway Master Plan||Ohio River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States||featured-project featured|
|Gateway Commons Water Quality Monitoring|| |
Clarksburg, Montgomery County, Maryland , United States Gateway Commons, situated on 45 acres of rolling farmland, surrounds an unnamed, first order, tributary which flows offsite and enters Little Seneca Creek. Due to its ecological significance, Seneca Creek and its tributaries have been designated by Montgomery County as a Special Protection Area (SPA). Land disturbances within SPAs require measures during construction to minimize sediment loading. They also require extensive water quality monitoring to ensure minimal impact to biological resources. Applying years of expertise in ecological assessment and conservation planning, Biohabitats developed and implemented a water quality monitoring program and provided guidance on erosion and sediment control measures. The project involved the relocation of a major roadway through the center of the property and the development of a residential/commercial community. Biohabitats worked with the land owner to develop several goals for the project, including: minimize storm flow runoff, minimize increases in ambient water temperatures, minimize reductions in stream base flows, reduce suspended solids and control toxic substances from entering the stream. Biohabitats then developed and implemented a multi-year monitoring program to measure stream temperature during the summer and stream flow and groundwater levels throughout the year. In order to develop a rating curve, Biohabitats measured stream velocity to determine stream discharge.
|Gateway Commons Water Quality Monitoring||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Clarksburg, Montgomery County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Grand Teton Resort Community Ecological Assessment and Master Planning|| |
Teton County, Idaho , United States Recognizing the value of developing sustainable landscapes and practices, Mahogany Ridge LLC called on Biohabitats to spearhead the ecological master planning effort for a resort community in the Teton River Valley. Biohabitats provided research and review of readily available information relevant to the ecology of the site. In order to establish habitat targets and associated design metrics, Biohabitats met with wildlife experts and discussed regional conservation and restoration strategies for a wide range of species including greater sandhill cranes, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, deer, and elk. Biohabitats performed a field characterization of the site and surrounding landscape and identified habitat conservation considerations which were included on the existing conditions plan. We focused on identifying vegetation communities and common associated wildlife species, wetland areas, drainage features, and major areas of noxious weed infestations, soil erosion, and human impact. We also identified and characterized similar, relatively undisturbed vegetation communities to be used as reference sites in developing restoration and conservation targets. Biohabitats, working with a team of planners and landscape architects, forged a master plan that incorporated conservation measures for the protection of sandhill crane habitat, feeding plots for sandhill cranes, wildlife corridors to allow movement of megafauna across the site, small mammal and song bird pathes, restoration concepts for Mahogany Creek including habitat for Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and stormwater management facilities that take advantage of the natural character of the site.
|Grand Teton Resort Community Ecological Assessment and Master Planning||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Regenerative Design,||Teton County, Idaho, United States||featured-project featured|
|Great Kills Harbor–Evaluation of an Offshore Breakwater System|| |
Staten Island, New York , United States Staten Island’s Great Kills Harbor is nestled within the 580-acre Great Kills Park, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Once a soft shoreline with extensive subtidal flats and shoals, the Harbor historically fostered a thriving ecology which offered both wildlife habitat and coastal protection. Over time, portions of the shoreline were hardened, and the Harbor is now home to six marinas and a number of commercial and residential areas. Though its habitat and protective value have diminished, it remains an ecological and recreational haven within New York City. In 2012, the Harbor suffered severe damage from wave action and shoreline erosion during Superstorm Sandy. With retreat not a viable strategy for the community, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission launched a study to determine the best way to improve the Harbor’s resilience in the face of future storms. As the ecological consultant on a team led by Ocean and Coastal Consultants/COWI and SCAPE, Biohabitats played a key role in evaluating strategies to strengthen the Harbor’s resilience while maintaining its ecological and recreational value. Biohabitats modified the Evaluation of Planned Wetlands methodology to assess the site’s nearshore, upland, and coastal wetland ecology. This included an evaluation of existing habitat and site attributes, as well as potential future storm conditions under rising sea levels. The team also provided insight into natural infrastructure alternatives and potential ecological impacts and benefits of the breakwater structures. All findings were and presented to stakeholders and included as part of a final project summary report. The summary report is now being used to guide future planning and shoreline adaptation, promote resilience, and help demonstrate how a “coastal green infrastructure” alternative to more traditional approaches can reduce coastal risk in New York City.
|Great Kills Harbor–Evaluation of an Offshore Breakwater System||Hudson River Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Staten Island, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Horseshoe Farm Park Master Plan, Natural Resource Management Options Study|| |
Raleigh, North Carolina , United States The City of Raleigh’s Parks and Recreation Department enlisted Biohabitats to help in transforming a historic farm into a nature preserve park. The City appointed a Wildlife Habitat Zone Advisory Team of local experts consisting of university professors, state wildlife agency scientists, NC Natural Heritage Program scientists, the Audubon Society and the Wild Turkey Federation to study the site. This advisory team provided recommendations for the protection and preservation of the site’s natural resources, the creation of a butterfly meadow and restoration of native warm season grass habitat in the existing pasture. Biohabitats was tasked with exploring management options to achieve the vision and recommendations of the advisory team. Using decades of experience in conservation planning, interviews with experts, and scientific literature research, Biohabitats provided management options to guide the transition from farm to nature preserve. Objectives included preserving the floodplain forest on the Neuse River, protecting pristine floodplain wetlands in the forest, creating the butterfly meadow with native species, and converting approximately 55 acres of pasture into native, warm season grass habitat. To improve the site’s ecological sustainability, Biohabitats also provided information regarding the control of invasive plant species, the impacts of deer on native vegetation, and the design and maintenance of low impact trails.
|Horseshoe Farm Park Master Plan, Natural Resource Management Options Study||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Raleigh, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Howard Community College Campus Master Plan|| |
Howard County, Maryland , United States Biohabitats provided integrated stormwater management and ecosystem enhancement planning services for Howard Community College in support of the Campus Master Plan effort being led by Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects and Planners. Using existing electronic data, coupled with an extensive on-the-ground field review of the campus, Biohabitats’ engineers, ecologists, and landscape architects began by developing a sound understanding of the existing ecological conditions and green infrastructure resources of the campus and surrounding areas, examining pre-existing stormwater related infrastructure, key drainage and stormwater management features, potential stormwater retrofit opportunities that provide improved water quality, ecological function, and habitat connections. Biohabitats then explored opportunities to enhance and integrate these assets throughout the campus while also providing the highest level of water quality and quantity controls within the context of expected expansion. An emphasis was placed on “green infrastructure” practices that provide shallow groundwater recharge, volume reduction, and restoration and reconnection of natural landscapes that provide vegetative filtering and uptake of pollutants. The recommended green infrastructure strategies consider fiscal efficiency of treatment measures that optimize treatment capability, ecological function and landscape position. The overall planning approach for this project focused on conservation, stream restoration and retrofitting for BMPs, and sustainable landscape and stormwater management for future development.
|Howard Community College Campus Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Howard County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|James Farm Preserve Master Plan|| |
Ocean View, Delaware , United States James Farm Ecological Preserve, a 150-acre site long the shore of Delaware’s Indian River Bay, was established to promote environmental preservation, education, and recreation. One of 28 National Estuary Programs around the coastal U.S., the Preserve features mixed hardwood forest, tidal salt marsh, sandy beaches, a saltwater cove, and upland fields. Farmed for generations, the Preserve has more recently seen the restoration of warm season grasslands and upland forests. Having already completed a management plan for the Preserve, the Center for Inland Bays wanted to develop a Master Plan to ensure that future development would be sustainable and cohesive, and would integrate updated facilities, trails, and public access areas with the site’s unique and sensitive ecosystems. The potential effects of sea level rise in the Inland Bays added to the challenge of long-term planning for the Preserve. Working collaboratively with Oasis Design Group whom served as the project’s master planner, Biohabitats developed a series of maps that describe the existing vegetative communities, landscape ecological connections, and the potential effects of sea level rise. The maps informed the master plan, and helped set the stage for an iterative design process and holistic approach to capacity building which seamlessly integrates public access, recreation, ecosystem conservation, stewardship, and education.
|James Farm Preserve Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Ocean View, Delaware, United States||featured-project featured|
|John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove: Site & Natural Resource Management Plan|| |
Audubon, Pennsylvania , United States Mill Grove is the historic home of artist naturalist John James Audubon, and the site of a 175-acre bird sanctuary. Located along Perkiomen Creek and the Schuylkill River and designated a historic place on the National Register, the ecologically rich site serves as a true living memorial to the achievements of an American legend. In 2005, as the Center was planning to move forward with plans for a new museum, they wanted to refine a previously crafted, heritage-driven master plan to incorporate a greater focus on Audubon’s conservation mission. To help the Center refine its vision to include ecology, Biohabitats, a key member of a team led by Wallace, Roberts & Todd, helped prepare a site and natural resources management plan that addressed the ecological, heritage, recreational, and educational aspects of Mill Grove. We began by participating in interviews, meetings, and presentations with the Center’s staff, board, stakeholders, and community members. Biohabitats provided field reconnaissance surveys to identify and document the natural resources and ecological processes occurring within the site. Biohabitats also identified and mapped the opportunities and constraints associated with improvements, conservation initiatives, and educational opportunities related to the site’s ecology. The team also provided guidance pertaining to the land use plan, overall site circulation, visual amenities, educational space siting, and trail integration. This included the development of strategies for trail improvements, landscape management, and habitat initiatives, including adaptive management techniques, restoration approaches, conservation initiatives, along with regenerative site design strategies. Biohabitats provided final documentation including methodology, results of data collection, technical surveys, opportunities, and constraints alternatives in addition to the master plan recommendations.
|John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove: Site & Natural Resource Management Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Audubon, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed Management Plan|| |
Baltimore County, Maryland , United States Measuring over 57 square miles and supporting over 153 miles of tributaries, the Little Gunpowder Falls watershed is located along the eastern edge of Baltimore County, Maryland. Spanning both rural and urban land uses, the river eventually makes it way to the Chesapeake Bay. Using a watershed conservation and restoration framework, Biohabitats developed the Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed Management Plan for the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability. The comprehensive plan not only satisfied National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System obligations, but provided the County with a blueprint for balancing future growth and ecological health. The two-year study identified and evaluated non-point source stormwater pollution and stream degradation; determined management measures to reduce non-point source pollution and re-establish stream stability; and provided a watershed restoration framework for the County’s Capital Improvement Program. Engaging stakeholders, including community groups and government agencies with jurisdiction within the watershed, was critical to the development of water quality management strategies. Biohabitats worked to achieve consensus among the various competing stakeholder interests throughout the planning process.
|Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed Management Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Baltimore County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|National Fish And Wildlife Foundation–Technical Assistance Program|| |
Various locationsChesapeake Bay Watershed , United States Biohabitats is a Technical Assistance Provider to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and its partnering entities including the Bay Stewardship Fund, the Chesapeake NEMO (Network of Education and Municipal Officials) and the National Park Service. This program delivers appropriate technical assistance to both Chesapeake NEMO clients and stewardship fund grantees on an as-needed basis to quickly address challenges and opportunities as they arise. Biohabitats is a Technical Assistance Provider for habitat restoration including coastal and riparian habitat issues. In this program Biohabitats is available to provide expertise to community groups, local governments and others engaged in restoration, conservation and watershed planning. Under this contract, Biohabitats has successfully executed several projects focused on addressing stormwater and erosion control best practices, green infrastructure opportunities, and coastal ecological restoration needs. For example, biohabitats helped the community of Oyster Harbor, MD address low-lying coastal community resource issues related to drainage, flooding, ponding, storm surge vulnerability, protection from erosion, localized improvement of water quality, and retrofit and restoration opportunity identification. After reviewing issues, needs and goals with community representatives, Biohabitats assessed site conditions and developed recommendations for future implementation. Biohabitats met with the community group to present the results of the study and provided recommendations for collaboration with other potential stakeholder organizations (including the County). Biohabitats also identified additional grant funding sources to support implementation.
|National Fish And Wildlife Foundation–Technical Assistance Program||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Various locations, Chesapeake Bay Watershed, United States||featured-project featured|
|New Hanover County Greenways Master Plan|| |
Wilmington, North Carolina , United States When both the New Hanover County’s Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space and the Coastal Area Management Act Plan recommended a greenways master plan for Wilmington and outlying areas, the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO), responsible for creating creating such a master plan, sought guidance from the team of Biohabitats, Alta-Greenways, and Sage Landscape Architects. Biohabitats began by field-reviewing large sections of the proposed greenway alignment, which traversed natural and less developed areas. Biohabitats then documented potential jurisdictional natural resources (wetlands and streams) and identified potential for flooding, natural resource educational opportunities, and infrastructure constraints. Biohabitats also contributed recommendations related to conservation best management practices for greenways, including sustainable alignment considerations near sensitive natural resources, construction considerations, and vegetation management. Additionally, Biohabitats provided guidance on bike trail best management practices, trail construction, and trail maintenance. The additional planned greenway will enhance transportation/commuting options, passive and active recreation, and ecological and cultural education opportunities.
|New Hanover County Greenways Master Plan||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Wilmington, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|New York City CSO-PlaNYC Green Infrastructure Initiatives– Jamaica Bay Watershed Ecological Atlas|| |
New York City, New York , United States The Jamaica Bay watershed contains one of the largest coastal wetland ecosystems in New York, provides habitat for wildlife, and acts as a protective buffer to Brooklyn and Queens in the event of a storm. In accordance with the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection contracted Biohabitats to inventory the lands within the watershed that are owned by city agencies and to assess them for both ecological restoration and stormwater management potential. Biohabitats used GIS to create a comprehensive database of the watershed’s ecology, landcover, hydrology and infrastructure. After using these data to locate vacant lands, Biohabitats staff conducted field surveys of over 2,000 city-owned lots, developed sketches of their existing conditions, and created GIS data for proposed restorations and stormwater management practices at each site. These data were then incorporated into the database. The mapping product is a living document that can easily be updated and used by restoration practitioners to compare sites and track projects. The next step was to create site selection metrics and a prioritization scheme to close in on the best sites for restoration and conservation. To narrow the hundreds of parcels into an actionable and prioritized list, Biohabitats staff developed transparent site-selection criteria and a prioritization scheme based on a combination of GIS data and the information gathered during the field assessments. The site selection model is executable within GIS, and is extremely versatile. It allows for adding and removing variables as needed and weighting the variables according to their desired importance. It was also accurate. The final model was able to classify over 90% of sites to match subjectively assessed control sites. Biohabitats generated new data and a concise analysis for thousands of vacant parcels, and provided NYCDEP with robust tools for future
|New York City CSO-PlaNYC Green Infrastructure Initiatives– Jamaica Bay Watershed Ecological Atlas||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||New York City, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Pittsburgh Regional Parks Natural Areas Study|| |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , United States Frick Park, Schenley Park, Highland Park and Riverview Park make up Pittsburgh’s magnificent four large regional parks. Together, they represent approximately 1,700 acres of public open space and natural lands within Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area. While the parks provide important recreational facilities for the citizens of Pittsburgh, they also contain valuable urban natural habitats, including forests, stream valleys, wetlands and meadows. These habitats provide vital refuges for threatened and dwindling native plant communities, water resources and wildlife populations. In 2000, the City released Pittsburgh’s Regional Parks Master Plan, which focuses on the parks’ development and management over the next 20 years. As a member of the master planning team, Biohabitats was instrumental in developing principles and recommendations for the restoration and protection of the parks’ natural resources. One of the plan’s many recommendations was the preparation of a Natural Areas Study that encompasses all four of the regional parks. Proposing an integrated approach of inventory, assessment and adaptive management, Biohabitats was chosen by the City to prepare the Natural Areas Study. Key natural resource categories assessed include geology, soils, hydrology, vegetation, and fauna. The project involved systematic data collection tailored to meet urban conditions. Ultimately, the collected field data and analysis supported the preparation of a Natural Areas Management Plan, detailing conservation, restoration and adaptive management actions for the four regional parks.
|Pittsburgh Regional Parks Natural Areas Study||Ohio River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rowan University Stormwater Management & Landscape Master Plan|| |
Glassboro, New Jersey , United States From its modest beginnings in 1923 as teacher training school, Rowan University has grown to become a comprehensive public research university with a strong regional presence and reputation. Along with this growth has come substantial reduction of pervious surfaces and inadequate stormwater management, which has adversely impacted the quality and biodiversity of Chestnut Branch, the stream system that runs through the center of campus. Having developed in spurts, Rowan’s 225-acre campus includes buildings of various styles and open spaces of several scales and types. A major roadway bisects the campus, impacting mobility and safety, as well as ecological and campus connectivity. With significant growth predicted for the future, and several capital improvement projects in the planning phases, the University called upon Biohabitats to develop a master plan to guide the creation of sustainable, functional campus landscapes that integrate stormwater management, open spaces, and connectivity. Biohabitats began by dividing the campus into zones, based on watershed catchment areas. Within each zone, we evaluated the interrelationships and environments of open spaces, performed hydrologic analyses to determine potential impacts on current, ongoing and future development by 5, 10 and 100 year storms, and examined overall campus connectivity. The Biohabitats team then identified opportunities for restoration, retrofitting, conservation, and new development within each zone, as well as opportunities to connect the zones to create integrated, functional, and aesthetic open space environments. The team also developed a strategy to guide the implementation of these campus improvements. Inherent in the master plan is the goal to protect, enhance, and create functional or “working” landscapes that demonstrate and embrace water as a natural resource, while also providing benefits such as habitat, microclimates, aesthetics, recreation and respite, social spaces, and learning landscapes. The plan provides a framework for future campus management and planning, while also defining
|Rowan University Stormwater Management & Landscape Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Integrated Water Strategies,||Glassboro, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rutgers University Busch & Livingston Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan|| |
Piscataway, New Jersey , United States Applying a holistic, ecosystems-based approach, Biohabitats developed a Stormwater and Landscape Management Master Plan (SWLMMP) for the Busch and Livingston Campuses of Rutgers University. The Biohabitats team began by developing a sound understanding of the existing ecological conditions and green infrastructure resources of the 1,700 acres of campus and surrounding areas. The Biohabitats team was then able to explore opportunities to enhance and integrate these assets throughout the campuses while also providing the highest level of water quality and quantity controls. The recommended strategy considered fiscal efficiency of treatment measures that optimize treatment capability, ecological function and landscape position. Long-term operation and maintenance considerations were also factored into the strategy to account for desired longevity and performance. The overall planning approach for this project focused on conservation, restoration and retrofitting and sustainable landscape and stormwater management for future development. Biohabitats identified principles and techniques that could be applied throughout various University settings, yet were specific enough to reflect the unique ecological characteristics and opportunities on the Busch and Livingston campuses.
|Rutgers University Busch & Livingston Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Piscataway, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rutgers University Cook/Douglass Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan|| |
New Brunswick, New Jersey , United States Biohabitats developed a Stormwater and Landscape Management Master Plan (SWLMMP) for the Cook/Douglass campus of Rutgers University, utilizing the same holistic, ecosystems-based approach that it employed to successfully develop SWLMMPs for two other Rutgers’ campuses. The Biohabitats team began by developing a sound understanding of the existing ecological conditions, which included GIS basemap analysis of existing topographic, geologic, soil, and watershed data. The team then conducted field assessments to gain an understanding of current green infrastructure resources and further opportunities for on-campus stormwater management. To conduct a thorough watershed assessment, Biohabitats divided the Cook/Douglass campus into six major drainage basins or catchments, based on their unique discharge points. Various storm events were modeled for each catchment in order to understand how stormwater flow of different magnitudes occurs throughout the campus. In the field, the Biohabitats team examined existing conditions and identified opportunities for the implementation of stormwater management techniques, such as constructed wetlands, bioretention, and biofiltration swales. Following the field assessments, the Biohabitats team was able to explore opportunities to enhance and integrate these assets throughout the campus while providing the highest level of water quality and quantity controls. Biohabitats worked closely with a separate team of planners looking at campus wide facilities improvements to ensure that landscape and stormwater opportunities and needs were recognized and incorporated into the facilities master plan update. Inherent in Biohabitats’ master planning approach for the Cook/Douglass campus is the focus on green infrastructure and the need to protect, enhance, or create functional or “working” landscapes that demonstrate and embrace the manner in which water serves as a resource. For this reason, the overall planning approach for this project focused on conservation, restoration, and retrofitting that results in sustainable landscape and stormwater management for future development. Biohabitats identified principles and techniques
|Rutgers University Cook/Douglass Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Integrated Water Strategies,||New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Sandusky Bay Strategic Restoration Plan|| |
Sandusky, Ohio , United States Sandusky Bay encompasses 64 square miles of open water along the southern shore of Lake Erie and receives runoff from nearly one million acres of land. A major commercial and recreational hub for northern Ohio, this unique bay ecosystem holds some of the most significant coastal wetlands in the Lake Erie basin. Over the years, these wetlands and nearshore aquatic habitat have been altered by high Lake Erie water levels, infrastructure construction, nutrient loadings, shoreline hardening, and changes in land use practices. In addition, the nutrient loadings are stimulating harmful algal blooms. The Bay has been deemed a priority management area by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. With grant funding from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the City of Sandusky, launched the Sandusky Bay Strategic Restoration Initiative (SBSRI), an implementation plan for a portfolio of projects designed to enhance the quality of life for the entire region, maximize nutrient and sediment reduction, enhance coastal and fish habitat, and ensure that economic benefits that are derived from a clean Sandusky Bay continue into the future. Working closely with the City, Biohabitats is leading the 18-month planning effort, which will ultimately yield a portfolio of restoration projects through the use of Landscape Conservation Collaborative (LCC) and Design (LCD) principles. Collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders that includes federal, state, and local agencies within three counties; scientists from local academic institutions; NGOs; practitioners; and private sector partners, Biohabitats is assessing and analyzing proposed sites, setting goals, and prioritizing restoration projects to create a strategic restoration implementation plan.
|Sandusky Bay Strategic Restoration Plan||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Sandusky, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Slate Hill Conservation Area Precinct Study, Smithsonian National Zoological Park|| |
Front Royal, Virginia , United States Biohabitats participated in an interdisciplinary planning study for the 240-acre Slate Hill precinct of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA. Nestled in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the site includes sensitive ecosystems such as woodlands, streams that serve as some of the headwaters for the Potomac River, and meadow areas that provide important habitat for regionally significant birds. After contributing to the development of a sustainable Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan for the Front Royal property, which includes the Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation, Biohabitats supported this more detailed study of the landscape’s capacity for reproductive research of rare or threatened wildlife from around the world. Biohabitats provided guidance related to preserving and restoring existing ecological resources, enhancing ecosystem function, promoting natural resource stewardship, and minimizing disturbance and fragmentation of existing habitat. The challenge was to balance the habitat needs of animals, including birds, canids, ungulates, and carnivores, with research requirements, and the sensitive and unique native ecology and hydrologic systems that occur on the site. Accommodating flexibility in form and use of the research facilities was a key goal along with promoting sustainability through wise energy and water use, and management of waste.
|Slate Hill Conservation Area Precinct Study, Smithsonian National Zoological Park||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Front Royal, Virginia, United States||featured-project featured|
|St. Mary’s College Water Quality Comprehensive Plan|| |
St. Mary’s City, Maryland , United States The St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus lies in an historically significant and environmentally sensitive area along the shoreline of the St. Mary’s River. The campus history includes the colonial settlement of Historic St. Mary’s City, the first capital of the state of Maryland. Campus activities influence localized water quality in an important drainage to the Chesapeake Bay. Over the last decade the campus facilities have expanded significantly under the facilities master plan. Biohabitats assisted the campus with managing water resource issues and environmental stewardship by producing a Water Quality Comprehensive Plan with A. Morton Thomas. In the plan, Biohabitats addressed shoreline protection stabilization and restoration, water quality protection through best practices, stormwater management facilities/retrofit integration and needs for ecological resource conservation, restoration and management of campus streams, ponds, shoreline zones and tidal wetlands. Additionally, Biohabitats integrated recommendations for green design standards, sustainable facilities operations and maintenance, landscape planning and management, and volunteer stewardship opportunities. A significant component of this Plan was the application of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Law and its standards for resource protection, stormwater improvement and Critical Area buffer management. Biohabitats also assisted in reviewing the plan with the State Critical Area Commission and addressing comments related to campus-wide planning. Biohabitats completed a Buffer Management Strategy document for the campus. This guidance document included definitions of the types and benefits of aquatic buffers. It also outlined campus conditions, specific buffer improvement strategies and priority implementation recommendations in light of the Critical Area program compliance. Biohabitats also made recommendations for long-term management and operations and maintenance needs for the campus buffers.
|St. Mary’s College Water Quality Comprehensive Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||St. Mary’s City, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|The Galisteo Basin Preserve Natural Wastewater Treatment and Reuse|| |
Santa Fe County, New Mexico , United States Located in a beautiful but fragile high-desert area with limited water resources, the 13,522-acre Galisteo Basin Preserve is a unique project that combines land conservation and stewardship with community development. The initiative provides high-quality inclusive housing for approximately 300 moderate-income households in Santa Fe County while also preserving more than 13,000 acres of open space and helping to restore 12 miles of riparian habitat. Rather than subdividing the property into widely dispersed ranchettes that would threaten local resources and ecology, the nonprofit community development organization Commonweal Conservancy envisioned a thoughtful, stewardship-oriented community that will be a new model of environmentally responsible, mixed-use, and mixed-income development. The village plan incorporates new urbanist principles, clustering most of the homes on only a small portion of the Preserve. The villages’ construction standards and design, which are based on progressive energy and water efficiency principles, exemplify the values and principles of low-impact, resource-efficient, sustainable development. A major goal for the project is the efficient use of water resources, with infrastructure designed to use reclaimed water for site restoration, regeneration, irrigation, and reuse in the buildings. To help ensure the efficient use of water resources, Commonweal Conservancy turned to Biohabitats for help early in the planning process. Biohabitats provided engineering services for an onsite wastewater treatment and collection system that would provide robust treatment and high quality reclaimed effluent suitable for reuse and meet NMED ‘Class 1B’ effluent standards. Biohabitats designed a wastewater treatment system on a centralized treatment site at the lower end of the property which has been permitted by NMED. The housing portion of the project is currently pending construction based upon market forces.
|The Galisteo Basin Preserve Natural Wastewater Treatment and Reuse||Southwest Basin and Range Bioregion,||Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States||featured-project featured|
|West Creek Stewardship Center|| |
Parma, Ohio , United States In the mid 1990s, the last remaining large undeveloped area in Parma, Ohio near the headwaters of West Creek, was slated to become a shopping center and golf course. Thanks to the efforts of citizens who ultimately formed the West Creek Preservation Committee, the 360-acre swath of land became the West Creek Reservation, and one of the newest jewels in Cleveland Metroparks’ famed “Emerald Necklace” of linked nature preserves. Because West Creek flows through densely populated and developed suburbs of Cleveland, it had suffered severe degradation of both water quality and natural beauty over the years. Signs of this degradation included erosion, stream channelization, infestations of invasive species, and illegal dumping. Recognizing the need to catalyze the restoration of West Creek and reinforce the community’s strong connection to the site, Cleveland Metroparks and the West Creek Preservation Committee decided to develop a stewardship facility on the site. Envisioned as a community center, the facility will house naturalist programs, community gatherings, and restoration activities. As a key member of the design team led by Portico Group, Biohabitats provided ecological planning, conservation biology, and landscape ecology services through master plan refinement, programming, and concept design. Biohabitats’ ecologists, geomorphologists, and conservation biologists performed a site reconnaissance to gather information about the proposed site’s ecological characteristics. The Biohabitats team also assessed land use and land cover maps to characterize the site’s ecological connectivity and juxtaposition within its watershed. Biohabitats then collaborated with the Portico Group to lead two design charrettes that included stakeholders from the community. The charrettes explored a range of topics and formed an overall vision for the project.
|West Creek Stewardship Center||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Parma, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Wetland, River, & Floodplain Ecological Restoration Design-Build|| |
Fort Collins, Colorado , United States The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department manages over 1,000 acres of open space along the Cache La Poudre River, including numerous former gravel pits with significant water resources and habitat values. For several years, the City had been performing small planting projects to enhance natural resource values and the visitor experience. In 2008 and again in 2014, Biohabitats was retained to provide on-call professional consulting and construction services to assist with the assessment, planning, design, permitting, and construction of wetland and riparian restoration projects. Overall project objectives vary and include protecting the City’s natural resources, improving water quality, enhancing aquatic and riparian habitat, and restoring wetland and floodplain functions. Biohabitats performed vegetation assessments, hydrologic evaluations, and geomorphic assessments to support a Conservation Action Planning approach to identify conservation priorities and restoration strategies. Biohabitats prioritized potential restoration projects based on locations where a water source is most predictable and/or controllable; maintaining and expanding previous restoration areas to protect gains; and selecting high visibility locations with partnering or educational opportunities. To date we have designed, permitted, and constructed three projects within two of the natural areas along the Poudre River. These projects have included the removal of flood-control levees to restore floodplain connection, placement of fill material in abandoned gravel pits to create wetland benches, and removal of an old water diversion dam in the river to provide fish passage. These projects created 10 acres of willow shrubland, wet meadow, and emergent wetland; restored 13 acres of riparian forest including native cottonwood regeneration; and improved 1 mile of the Poudre River.
|Wetland, River, & Floodplain Ecological Restoration Design-Build||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Fort Collins, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|