The title noted above was a question posed in a recent opinion piece by Hattie Hartman and posted February 26, 2018 in The Architect’s Journal. It is a thought-provoking question that tends to raise the blood pressure of architects, engineers, landscape architects, and other allied professionals associated with master planning.
The process of evapotranspiration is quite a phenomenon. Tree roots pull water from the ground, and evaporate it from their leaves during photosynthesis – they use energy from sunlight to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water. During the process, oxygen is formed, (air purification is another benefit provided by trees, but we’re focusing on stormwater here).
Dr. Amy Wagenfeld is an occupational therapist, therapeutic design consultant, researcher, educator, and author who focuses on collaboratively designing and researching therapeutic gardens for people of all ages and abilities and how outdoor spaces can be designed to maximize the benefits for those who spend time in them. We interviewed Amy so that our readers can better understand how these healing and therapeutic places can be designed to incorporate a wide body of research to provide positive impacts.
The title caught my attention: Lack of Humility Could Hold Back Senior Housing Providers.
The gist of the article in Senior Housing News was that you can’t be all things to all people. Providers need to learn to partner with others in specialty niches, who can add value to the organization. Don’t be too proud to reach-out to ask for help. Do you really need to do it yourself? No.
A common theme during yesterday's Design for Aging Forum was the importance of bringing the outdoors inside of buildings - introducing natural light, connections to outdoor spaces, and contact with nature all enhance the wellbeing of the building's occupants. I did that myself today - Took it Outside. After walking the Expo floor and attending a mind-expanding session about the future possibilities for "Boom Town", it was so enjoyable to get outdoors to enjoy the natural environment.
The best of times, and the worst of times
The Ocala area is known for its beautiful Oak canopy, rolling hills, and horse farms. But when Irma brushed by, huge trees were downed – unfortunately, they took power lines with them. Upon further review (as they say in the NFL), many of these were Laurel Oaks – a species that has a short lifespan, and often decays from within, causing large limbs to split in a storm.
By 2050, it is projected that 16 million people will be living with dementia (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016), with nearly 90% of these individuals experiencing emotional and behavioral disturbances during the disease process (Cohen-Mansfield, 2008; Kales, Gitlin, & Lyketsos, 2014). These emotions and associated behaviors create great stress for individuals experiencing them and their caregivers (Kales, Gitlin, & Lyketsos, 2014).
Why Plants Should Fear the Shear
So, here we are! The #1 most notorious and costly mistake in landscape maintenance is shearing plants in the landscape. The overuse and misuse of shearing is arguably one of the most common forms of landscape “mismanagement.” While there are a few plants that tolerate shearing (small leaf Boxwoods, Japanese Yew, etc.) most species that are sheared have received premature death sentences. By far shearing is the most prevalent maintenance mistake and is usually the sign of an un-trained and un-knowledgeable maintenance staff. Not only are gas shears bad for plants, their pollution-generating two-cycle engines are bad for the environment.