Opportunities abound! Each landscape has the potential to serve as a model for educating ourselves, our children and the community about the importance and value of nature, resource conservation and environmental education. Uniting our communities, organizations, non-profits, and land trusts to promote ecologically responsible land stewardship is imperative for preserving the beautiful diversity of our planet for future generations.
For myself, working for and with groups like Nature Conservancy, Audubon International, Grassroots Environmental Education, and Bedford 2020 has been a blessing and expanded my knowledge and reach as an ecological landscape designer.
I was fortunate to study a variety of related disciplines, from Ethnobotany with Barrie Kavasch at The Museum of Natural History, Nature Awareness with Tom Brown Jr. at The Tracker School, Organic Horticulture at The Nature Lyceum with Jeff Franks, Environmental Education at Sheldrake Environmental Center with Mary Davis, Permaculture with Claudia Joesph, and Ecological Restoration and Wetlands with Dr. Steven Handel and Bill Young at Rutger’s Center for Urban Ecology. This diverse education continues to inform my design process, and I am continually learning how to reach ecological objectives through landscape design and responsible construction, installation, and maintenance procedures.
I have been fortunate to work with and for many fabulous people, organizations, municipalities and communities in and around New York City, New York State and Connecticut. My work has enabled me to make a positive impact, from wetland restoration projects, to rain gardens for Westchester County, and a private bird sanctuary for a Fairfield County client. Landscape designers must use their skills to solve our pressing environmental and ecological problems!
I am thankful for decades-long client relationships, like with the owner of the property in the above photo. This Bedford, NY landscape has been fully ecological and organic for over ten years! It is a true habitat for birds, pollinators and local wildlife. The client has endowed great trust and creative freedom to myself and my team to work within the natural woodland setting and create resilient habitats and livable spaces.
There is so much we can do to improve our relationship with nature and the natural world!
So much to learn …so much we still don’t know!
What we do know is that we don’t have time to repeat the same mistakes (indiscriminate use of toxic chemicals, our addiction to fossil fuels, and our ignorant impact on clean water and clean air…).
We need to work together…design new solutions that will inform our future as a species in our beautiful world.
We can only succeed in our collective efforts to improve our quality of life, healing the waters and caring for the land as true stewards of our children’s future by finding the courage to change…take chances…be creative…use our gifts for the benefit of all.
Landscape Ecologist, Designer & President
Green Jay Landscaping