Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 2015

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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1 John 4:11 … "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." George Schmok Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Stephen Kelly Editor Larry Shield Product Editor Alli Martin Editorial Administrative Assistant Associate Editors Ashley Steffens Associate Editor/Digital Information Associate Professor University of Georgia Buck Abbey, ASLA Associate Editor: Ordinances Green Laws Org. Russ Adsit, FASLA Associate Editor/Erosion Executive Director, IECA Janet Lennox Moyer, IALD Associate Editor/Lighting (In Memoriam) Don Roberts, FASLA Kay Tiller Frank Manwarren David Brian Linstrum Lois E. Schmok Otto Edward Schmok ___ Art Director Nicole Miller Graphic Designer Matthew Medeiros Web / Graphics Assistant Terrell Coleman _______ Ad Coordinator Oliver Calonzo _______ Advertising/Marketing 714-979-LASN (5276) x113 • 714-979-3543 (Fax) Print Advertising Sales Vince Chavira Matt Henderson Kip Ongstad _______ Landscape Communications, Inc. Chief Operations Officer C.O.O. Mark O'Halloran Sales Administration Cynthia McCarthy _______ IT Department Web / Tech Manager Jerry Short _______ Event Production Amy Deane Event Specialist Margot Boyer _______ Trade Show Sales Nathan Schmok Cass D'Arlon _______ Statistics Eric Dixon Marketing Nathan Hadinata _______ Circulation / Fulfillment Edward Cook Likkien Ralpho Ana Linares Kosol Chim _______ Inventory/Fullfilments Javier Miranda c o m m e n t a r y 12 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Find Us Online: Who owns the airspace above America? Is it public space open to all for unrestricted use? Could Missouri decide to forego all EPA restrictions and allow its residents to throw unrestricted amounts of carbon into the atmosphere? Can pilots in Tennessee fly wherever they want without filing flight plans? No, sorry. The federal government controls the air and the airspace. Who owns the I-10 or I-70? Is it the states? Can any state along the highway permanently sever the roadway because they don't want traffic running through their state? I think not. So who owns the water in the country? Could Kansas decide to throw up a dam and divert all the water from the Mississippi into its aquifer? Can a property owner with a creek running through the property dam it and sell water to the property owner downstream? Not as long as there is dynamite for sale . . . Yet, neither the Colorado River nor the Rio Grande reach the ocean today; their waters are used upstream. In some areas, for some people, water is so abundant that billions of gallons of fresh water flow unencumbered past their 'doorsteps' every day. Elsewhere, people are being forced to drink the same water . . . To put it nicely . . . Twice. Two of this nation's three largest cities enjoy the abundance: New York and Chicago. L.A. however, is in, (or at least on the verge of being in) the above- mentioned 'twice' category. Ironically, few are moving to the water abundant cities, while L.A. and the surrounding southwestern desert is growing like a weed. In this country we produce energy in distant fields and ship it to all points across the U.S. Same with food, textiles, equipment . . . You name it. The fact is, for the vast majority, most of the things in your house come from some other region of the country, if not the world. Everything, that is, except the one thing you can't live more than three days without . . . Water. For at least two thirds of the population of this nation water comes from that river or lake "right over there . . ." But for us in the arid southwest, water is a distant traveler. You may say that we must be crazy to keep building out here, but from an environmental standpoint it makes more sense to build in the desert. You're not chopping down oxygen producing trees, fouling rivers or destroying scenic byways . . . Ok, the desert can be very scenic, especially at dusk and dawn, but besides places like Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon and a few similar anomalies, people are not flooding the central Mohave Desert to fulfill their vacation dreams . . . In the desert, any added plant life is a carbon consuming, oxygen producing environmental boon, and local solar energy could probably meet 100% of the local energy requirements. All it needs is water. And who better to be stewards of water? From Colorado, where the xeriscape movement started, to San Diego, where the city has become a leader in sustainability, the landscape industry in the arid West has pioneered ways to stretch the limited water it has. All the while, most landscape professionals from Portland, OR to Portland, ME treat irrigation as a value added backup. Every month I read many industry newsletters from across the country. Judging by the content, two thirds of the nation rarely thinks twice about water unless it smells or is rising in their living rooms. But in the arid West, just the opposite is true; same with everywhere that food is grown, which is mostly west of the Mississippi. So if water is an abundant resource in vast stretches of the nation, yet food is grown in water-rationed regions, shouldn't there be some governmental program to harvest and distribute water where it is needed most? And if the environmental movement is against clearing forested lands and building in areas with abundant wildlife, shouldn't modern man be looking at building in places that impact those environments the least . . . and/or building in places where there could be a net gain in carbon reduction and oxygen production, all the while producing its own energy? And if that were the case, then wouldn't it be all right to build pipelines of fresh water to irrigate the crops and supply those otherwise wholly sustainable communities? I mean, you could build all of Manhattan and Chicago in the Mohave Desert and not chop down a single tree to do it . . . That's got to count for something . . . Yeah . . . All right, I might be crazy, but in a mobile society where virtually everything is shipped to its final destination, shipping water seems like the most simple no-brainer of them all . . . God Bless . . . Water, Water Every Where But Nary A Drop To Drink . . . George Schmok, Publisher

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