We often think of nature as existing only in wild places far from the city, but life abounds even in the cracks of sidewalks—if you know how and when to look. Orion assembled a panel of urban ecologists from across North America—Beatrix Beisner, Liam Heneghan, and Kevin Anderson—for a wide-ranging discussion of urban nature and how this fascinating field of study is evolving.
How do you go about getting very conservative urban authorities and neighbors to respect a yard devoted to an ecology of neglect? I am watching with wonder my garden bloom wildflowers, volunteer vegetables, and intentional veggies this spring.
Hi Anne – here in Austin, there is a formal program “Habitat Stewards” that our Parks and Rec Department oversees in partnership with the National Wildlife Fed. where you take a course and get certified and your yard gets certified. They also provide signs for the yard. All of this helps folks understand that it is not just neglect and gives coverage against hostile homeowner and neighborhood associations. But even here, it can be a battle over aesthetics.
Please send me that bibliography you mentioned at the end of the interview on The Wide World of Urban Nature.
Also, if you havenÂ´t given away Beatrix BeisnerÂ´s book, I would be interested.
Thanks for posting this kind of stuff. Fascinating.