Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2019

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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46 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Approximately 80% of the former Oakwood residential structures were obtained through this program and removed to open the area for environmental development. The remaining properties occupy a sparse, random arrangement of homes to the south and east of MPC's three-acre wildlife habitat restoration pilot project surrounded by expansive lawn areas maintained by MPC. Long range plans call for transitioning the entire area to forest, prairie, and wetland habitat layered with urban farming and park-like landscape. Retail development along Oakwood Boulevard, which penetrates through the middle of the site and services surrounding neighborhoods, is intended to be preserved. MPC engaged PEA, Inc. and ASTI Environmental to assist with this planning process. The Four Elements Phase one of the project implemented a habitat restoration initiative and included the elements of food, cover and space. The Rouge River, which is adjacent to the gardens, provides water for wildlife. Mixtures of native plant species, including 12 species of herbaceous plants (wildflowers, sedge and grass), 5 species of shrubs, and 8 species of overstory trees were incorporated into the design. With the exception of one wildflower (Obedient plant, Physostegia virginiana), the plants are Michigan genotypes and were grown in Michigan. The planted, insect-pollinated species will bloom from May through September, providing nectar and pollen throughout the growing season to support pollinators such as butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and beetles. The supported insect pollinators and any tree/ shrub-feeding larvae will provide a protein-rich food source for songbirds, which all require insects as a food source when they are laying eggs and feeding young. The planted species will produce seeds, berries and nuts from June through October. This extended timing will sustain songbirds and small mammals throughout the year. Above: An aerial master plan displays a key to indicate the location of the site elements that accompany this development.

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