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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Study The ecological risk associated with uptake and transfer of various contaminants appears not to follow traditional bio-magnification scenarios. Our research has documented the relationship between soil metal load and plant species distribution, primary productivity, diversity and assemblage trajectory. In addition, we have studied the transfer of soil metal contamination to insects at several trophic levels and to several species of birds. The emerging picture is one where species that are adapted to the stress of metallic soils often exclude or sequester contaminants in a way that isolates them and inhibits transfer within the food chain. In-spite of high concentrations of Arsenic and Lead in the soils of Liberty State Park, the naturally colonized plants did not exhibit any significant concentrations within their root, stem or leaf tissue. Process A broad-based, goal-driven approach was used to develop the General Management Plan for the site. The planning committee, which consisted of professionals from the New Jersey Park Service, scientists and community organization representatives, spent two years discussing the best use for the area. After examining many alternatives, the committee decided the greatest good for the greatest number of people would be to keep it as an urban wildland. In doing so, the planning committee identified two basic premises; first that the various plant communities which have re-colonized much of the site, like the surrounding community of people, are diverse and have origins throughout the world. This diversity is further enhanced by the rapid rate of natural succession (change inherent within any ecosystem). Above, Left: This picture shows the waterfront of the park during the July 4th celebration in 2005. The perimeter of the park has been developed using the traditional mitigation strategy of capping, defined by the EPA as "The use of paved areas (e.g., parking lots, roadways) and building foundations as surface barriers or caps over contaminated soil." Middle: The interior area of the park, equating to approximately 250-acres, has not been mitigated and provides an excellent example of "Fourth Nature," a relatively newfangled idea that piggybacks on the landscape theorist John Dixon Hunt's categorization of the three categories of landscapes. "Fourth Nature" refers to the succession of the natural environment over manmade landscapes or infrastructure. 68 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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