URBAN ECOLOGY BLOG

June 12, 2018

In our region there is currently a plant in fruit with tasty red or purple berries and with a multitude of common names. The genus of this large shrub or small tree is Amelanchier. Species common in our area include Amelanchier canadensis, A. arborea and A. laevis

T...

June 5, 2018

I can still remember the morning last spring.  I was watching birds at Woodland Cemetery, searching for migrating songbirds.  Then, on the bare branch of a tall tree high above the ground I saw a bird which caught my full attention.  I could see it as a silhouette agai...

May 22, 2018

Permaculture, a term derived from "permanent agriculture," refers to the design and maintenance of productive ecosystems that support sustainability and resilience. Permaculture is all about meeting our daily human needs while being thoughtful about our impact. The pra...

May 9, 2018

You might already know that we rely on the Earth’s ecosystems every day to supply us with clean air, water, food, medicine, climate regulation, recreation, and more. There’s no doubt that preserving pristine natural areas like National Parks is imperative. But why does...

April 20, 2018

Cities are ecosystems of the human habitat, and urban exploration prompts the discovery of this emerging ecosystem. Wherever you find yourself in the city, the land around you is bustling with a complex system of plants, mammals, birds, bugs, and more. Throughout my ow...

March 15, 2018

As urban regions continue to develop, making the best of the spaces in-between is a growing necessity. In shifting cities like Philadelphia, vacant land is a burgeoning opportunity to accomplish this. Philadelphia boasts over 40,000 vacant lots, and stakeholders are wo...

March 4, 2018

Although as I’m writing this on March 2nd, 2018, when Philadelphia is in the middle of snowy and windy Northeaster that makes it hard to believe winter wasn’t a wet cold mess, February 2018 was one of the warmest in memory, matching or beating records that were held si...

February 18, 2018

Over the past few decades, urbanization has transformed natural land into fragmented hardscapes spotted with harmful lawns and ornamental plants. Our obsession with highly-manicured spaces has destroyed vital natural systems. Fortunately, there is a solution: native pl...

January 25, 2018

If you look around at about 1-4 ft off the ground in brush, you can find mantis egg cases. These eggcases are called "ootheca" in science, which means there are multiple babies inside ready to hatch given the cue.  This one was found about 10 feet from one of our green...

January 18, 2018

This four inch mushroom was seen growing at the beginning of December after a rainstorm. This mushroom, called the shaggy mane mushroom, grows in lawns and meadows. It’s clear where its name comes from by looking at the shaggy appearance of the cap (top bell-looking pa...

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