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Landscape

10 Aug. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich in water supply, Great Lakes shrinking, water crisis, water usage

Quenching Humans' Thirst: Depleting our water supply

water supply, droughts, water crisis

When I walk throughout my neighborhood in the middle of the hottest and usually driest months of July and August, I find that I am dodging the water shooting from sprinklers and jumping over puddles of water on sidewalks. Because clean water is so accessible to us, we consequently tend to be wasteful with its uses like leaving sprinklers on too long, creating a saturated yard and those sidewalk puddles. In our ignorance, we are taking advantage of a natural substance – water- without any regards to its limitations.

29 Jul. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich in dandelion greens, weeds, herbal remedies

Mistaken Identity: The common dandelion

dandelion greens, weeds, herbal remedies

The dandelion is probably one of the most common weeds. The bright yellow flower is considered an eyesore whether they are in our yards, thriving on the side of the road or growing between cracks in a sidewalk. By definition a weed is a plant that is considered unwanted and a nuisance, which is a very subjective definition. Meaning, virtually anything could be considered a weed. So what do you know about dandelions besides the fact that they are considered a weed?

28 Jun. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich in land use, sprawl, development, destruction, history

Forests and Fields to Towns and Cities: The history and future of our land

forests, fields, land development, destruction

Although many of us live in an area we are not indigenous to, it does not mean we should not be aware of the history of the area we live in. A clear understanding of what was there and how it became what it is now, is the best way for us to be able to make smart development decisions for the future. Was the area a forest, prairie, desert or swamp? Who were its past inhabitants: Indians, bears or wolves?

13 Jun. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich in single-crop fields, monoculture, agriculture, shade-grown coffee

Single-Crop Fields: Mass-production gone wrong

single-crop fields, monoculture, agriculture

Have you ever known of a forest that had only one type of tree? Taking it a step further, have you ever seen any natural landscape made of just one type of plant? The answer is no because the natural landscape is made-up of hundreds of thousands of plants that developed and evolved based on survival and efficiency. Every plant has a specific and important role in the grand scheme of the natural landscape. And yet we continue to try and defy these natural ways with our single-crop fields. Why?

10 Jun. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich in food not lawns, landscape, lawns, yards, pesticides, composting, rain barrels

Yards: Our love affair with grass

food not lawns, landcape, lawns, yards, pesticides, eco-friendly yard maintenance

It is amazing how grass became what American yards are made of- the canvas in which everything else is put onto and around. And it seems we really do not question this fact. It just is and at this rate forever will be. Now I do not have anything against soft green grass, but our yards are more than this status symbol and conformity. They can serve a much higher purpose, if we put forth a little effort and ingenuity.

1 May. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich

Gray to Green

city parks, landscaping, land use, trees, vegetation, climate change

How important is it to have more "green" in our cities? And by "green" I mean grass, trees and various other plants. Having proper vegetation in any area including a city is important because it influences temperature, air quality and runoff water. Vegetation located in a few city parks or planted between sidewalks and streets are not sufficient and not just because of inadequate quantity but also because of location.