Entries by Emily Freehling

Volunteers turn a public library landscape into an educational pollinator garden

Across the U.S., there’s a growing realization that pockets of public land that would otherwise house fertilizer- and water-dependent sod can be put to better use through the use of native plants. Pollinator gardens—landscapes designed to attract the bees, butterflies and birds that are necessary to plant life and food production—are becoming a popular project […]

Virginia Master Naturalists care for public landscapes and educate visitors

The public landscapes of Virginia benefit from an active corps of volunteers. Devoted to protecting the state’s natural ecosystem, these citizen scientists and stewards do everything from monitoring the health of important pollinators to transporting recycling materials at state parks. These volunteers are certified members of the Virginia Master Naturalists program, which started in 2006 […]

Granite Ridge builds smart home with connected landscape technology

In fall 2014, Granite Ridge Builders opened its NextSTEP Innovation Home Gallery in Fort Wayne, Ind. The home is packed with hundreds of gadgets and tools that allow homeowners to control or automate everything from lawn irrigation to lighting through wireless apps and remotes. The “STEP” in the name stands for smart technology and energy […]

Virginia’s Chesterfield County transforms turf into an urban orchard

In discussions of water quality and environmental stewardship, you often hear people talk about the need to eliminate “managed turf.” The term refers to those big grassy expanses that must be fertilized, watered and mowed, and that generally aren’t as good as more natural landscapes at trapping and filtering rainwater. Virginia’s Chesterfield County had just […]