Transforming residential properties into real wildlife habitats is the focus of a new animation launched by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The animation—“Designing Neighborhoods for People and Wildlife”—shows how native plants and designed structures provide what nature needs.
“We have all heard that ecosystem function must be restored to urban landscapes if humans and the life around them are to be sustained in the future.”
Wildlife habitat can be destroyed by development, farms, or mines; or degraded by invasive species, climate change, or pollution so it no longer supports native wildlife. The animation shows that habitat loss, and the corresponding loss of biodiversity, doesn’t have to continue. Starting with homeowners’ properties, fragmented habitats can be rewoven together, creating neighborhoods that are not only healthier for wildlife but also for people. Many residential landscape architects are also helping to stem the losses by creating beautiful neighborhoods that provide habitat for many species.
“We have all heard that ecosystem function must be restored to urban landscapes if humans and the life around them are to be sustained in the future. Using beautiful 3-D animations,” said Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, professor and chair of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, and an expert advisor on the animation.
The animation is part of ASLA’s Designing Our Future: Sustainable Landscapes site. Made possible by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, the site offers 30 case studies in easily understood terms that demonstrate how landscape architects beautify our world while also protecting and working with nature. It also includes ten animations—developed by ASLA with author and Google SketchUp expert Daniel Tal, ASLA—that show sustainable landscape design in action.