Conservation, Green Infrastructure, and Restoration
What does conservation, green infrastructure, and restoration look like?
Conservation areas are havens for nature and the wildlife that calls these preserved habitats home. These spaces preserve the natural landscape even as the world around changes at a rapid pace. People generally interact in these spaces with passive recreation activities such as bird watching or hiking.
Green infrastructure is an approach to landscape architecture and design that is friendly to natural assets. Green infrastructure allows for the preservation or a balancing of the relationship between nature and real estate or urban development. For example, the upper Muny festival and parking plaza in Forest Park was transformed to include bio-retention basins. Bio-retention basins remove pollutants from stormwater which benefits the soil, groundwater, wildlife, people, and more. These basins also allow stormwater to soak into the ground instead of into the sewer system.
As for restoration, we have all seen examples of nature restoration efforts along major highways throughout Missouri and many other states. Sometimes you will even see a sign along the road that declares an area to be part of a prairie restoration program. These are just a minute component to the restoration opportunities for the state. When Missouri was still unsettled, prairies dominated the state’s landscapes.
A restoration of our prairies is only one example of the many types of restoration projects DG2 Design is experienced in and eager to complete. Conservation, green infrastructure, and restoration — all three are an approach to landscape design that protects the natural environment native to the area.
Working with Nature Instead of Against It
Just as a tree never heals but rather hides its injury by sealing it up, the land around us is unable to heal and restore itself. A wound on a tree can impact its future growth and health, and damage to the environment impacts future growth and health for all of us as well. The health or disease of an environment impacts the wellness of those who live in that environment.
Only 0.5% of Missouri’s original grasslands remain today. Those grasslands disappeared through the development of the land. The most commonly known result of that loss was the reduction of grazing lands for animals. Scarcity of food always means a reduction in population for the animals that relied on that food. And a reduction in the population of one type of animal almost always leads to an imbalance as other animals either experience a reduction as well or an overpopulation as their natural predator is reduced or eliminated.
Changes such as population reduction have cascading effects that are felt keenly in the short-term as well as the long-term. The impact of the elimination of a natural habitat is often an afterthought or not considered at all when a construction or development project is planned.
Like the injured tree, the wound inflicted on the surrounding area is indelible, lasting even after freshly seeded grass has sprouted.
DG2 Design is partnering with municipalities, conservationists, cities, civil engineering and design firms, and government entities to change this one project at a time.
The Benefits of Including Nature in Design
Aside from the benefits we all experience on a personal level from being in nature, we could choose to never step foot onto grass and still reap many of the larger benefits natural environments provide.
Plants, trees, and grass produce oxygen and remove pollutants from the air that are harmful to humans. Soil absorbs stormwater, removing pollutants and using it to sustain plant life while keeping it from flowing directly to sewer systems, streams, and rivers preventing flooding. Foilage, grasses, and leaf cover can filter air pollutants such as dust and other particulates.
The science is clear that there are innumerable benefits to including parks, open spaces, and restoration of nature in our plans for the planet. We effectively work with the natural landscape to protect, preserve, and restore while still meeting the needs of people.
Quick Facts about DG2 Design
We are a WBE/DBE design firm with a dedicated team of experienced professionals who are committed to quality work and excellence. We are passionate about what we do and our reasons for doing it.
You can view our full portfolio, or take a look at a few of our projects specific to conservation, green infrastructure, and restoration.
If you would like to stay in the know about what’s happening to conserve and restore natural habitats in Missouri, visit the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and subscribe to receive notifications of news.