PA Land Conservation Conference
May 16 - May 18
LandStudies’ Nick Myers and Kelly Gutshall will be presenting at this year’s PA Land Conservation Conference on May 17th, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association. The topic of their presentation is, “Maintenance: Managing a Legacy”, which will discuss the importance of planning for maintenance during the design phase of projects.
In the past, maintenance in natural areas has frequently been done as an afterthought or ignored altogether. As a result, maintenance staff have been overwhelmed, site quality has declined, and situations occurred where legally-required invasive species management was the only activity being performed, if any (site abandonment). These sites have not only inhibited public acceptance of a naturalized landscape, but have likely been underperforming in terms of ecological, water quality, and other functions. Their presentation will be looking at some of these practices along with where the current state of maintenance planning is and where it might go in the near future. Planning for maintenance during the design phase will be discussed, including the importance of establishing clear maintenance instructions at the outset. The need for training staff will be noted for its role in execution of these plans, and how maintenance planning for a site fits into a larger context.
The goal of LandStudies’ maintenance approach is to establish long term, sustainable, native plant communities with a high level of eco-system services. Dr. Doug Tallamy, of the Department of Entomology and Applied Ecology at the University of Delaware emphasizes the importance of native species and diverse ecosystems in order to establish landscapes that provide ecosystem services to support all life on earth. In Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home, he states that non-native and invasive species are destroying the land by spreading to neighboring areas. We have the knowledge and ability to intentionally create and maintain these diverse ecosystems that support insects and wildlife. The way we landscape and maintain our land has an incredible impact on the ecosystem services it provides. Tallamy calls on “essential land stewardship” in order to restore nature’s relationships that have far unseen benefits and consequences.
Early Bird registration ends March 1st!