History and Habitat at Thomas Wales Park

Located in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, the Thomas C. Wales park was completed in 2010 and opened to the public in October of that year. The park was dedicated in early 2011 in honor of late Assistant US Attorney and Queen Anne resident Thomas C. Wales who was tragically murdered, a case which still remains unsolved. The park’s previous life as a gravel quarry had altered the landscape, leaving a large hole in the side of the hill in the shape of an amphitheater, where an unintended wetland had formed at the center. It was later used as a materials depot and previous to being turned into a park the site was neglected, the steep slopes overrun by invasive plants.  Surrounding the site are several multi-family buildings.

Artist Adam Kuby and Landscape Architecture firm Site Workshop (collaborated to bring a new…

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Growing Rivers of Flowers in the City

Whittington Park Meadow (River of Flowers North London) Photo Credit: River of Flowers

If you visit London, you may just notice trails of flowers winding through the city humming with pollinators. River of Flowers is the brainchild of Kathryn Lwin and while started in London, it now winds through much of the U.K. and is currently expanding into Europe and North America. The idea is simple and starts with the desire to create a connecting pathway of flowering plants for pollinators. Then you find and map three wild spaces in the area and finally partner with the local community to plant the areas in between with flowering plants.

In more detail however, they provide a number of guidelines on their websites which address the pollinators needs more than simply providing flowers. Among those are using “native, wild plants of known origin”, being pesticide…

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Friday Film:: My suburban front yard wildlife garden

This short video mixes photographs and short video clips which demonstrate the beauty of a suburban wildlife garden. It also offers a stark comparison to a house with the more commonly seen lawn front yard. This garden is certified at National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat and also includes a Pollinator Habitat sign from the Xerces Society. Among the variety of wildlife to be found in this garden are many species of butterflies, featured in each stage of their life, as well as moths, bees and other insects.

Read more posts about backyard (or front yard) habitat.

My suburban front yard wildlife garden on YouTube.

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Friday Film:: New Wild Garden

Today’s Friday Film features an inside look at the New Wild Garden from the 2011 Chelsea RHS Flower Show designed by Nigel Dunnett filmed by Dusty Gedge. The garden features a great many elements for wildlife including a stone wall for habitat with built-in insect shelters as well as an insect wall for solitary bees and other insects on the shelter. The shelter is constructed out of a reused shipping container by Green Roof Shelters and includes a green roof designed for biodiversity. Also part of the design is a beautiful rain garden which captures overflow water from the green roof on the shelter and a wild planting area for pollinators.

From the Vimeo description::

The centre piece of the Chelsea RHS Flower show silver gilt New Wild Garden designed by Nigel Dunnett. The…

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Friday Film:: The Muse Green Roof

Today’s Friday Film features a green roof in Islington, London designed by Bere Architects, Kim Wilkie and Dusty Gedge. It’s been a great success in attracting wildlife including goldfinches, house sparrows, butterflies and a variety of bees. The video features photos of a variety of plants from the roof and many of the insects which make use of those plants. The green roof was also highlighted in Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living which was featured in a past book review.

The Muse, home and the office of Bere Architects – http://www.bere.co.uk/ – is one of London’s exemplar green roofs. The combination of intensive, semi-intensive and extensive green roof on one building shows how amenity, enjoyment and biodiversity can designed into one building to provide as wide a range of environmental and ecosystem service benefits.

The building is…

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Magnuson Park:: Reconstructed Wetlands

Magnuson Park is located in Seattle along Lake Washington, north of the University of Washington. The park has a long history of dramatic land use change and part of it has now come back full circle. In the days of early settlers the area was a wetlands, alder grove, and Douglas fir forest with trees up to six feet in diameter. In the following years the site saw a homestead, brickyard, shipyard and post office.  This landscape was altered in 1917 with the building of the canals and Ballard Locks when the level of Lake Washington was lowered by nine feet on the shores of Magnuson Park. The previous creek dried up and Mud Lake shrunk into a small pond. Later the land was changed even more dramatically when the Navy took it over. Nearly the entire area of the park was paved over for runways and Mud…

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