Project Description

A Socio-Ecological Amenity for the American River Parkway

with John Shively, Pamela Soto

While searching for an opportunity to improve the American River Parkway through designed experiments, we focused on addressing three major issues: soil and habitat restoration and disturbance, programmatic use, and species diversity. The resulting designed experiment proposal seeks to enhance public recreation while also supporting ecological restoration efforts.

The project creates a series of habitat “patches” located within the “open” and “closed” ARP landscapes of grassland/savannah and riparian forest/scrub. The patches contain planting plots encircled by coloured fence poles to identify the experiment in the existing vegetation. Accessible plots acting as native gardens are located along the existing parkway bike path allowing for public interaction and educational opportunities. Exclosure plots are located off the bike path but within view for comparative analysis. The plots are to be planted and enclosed with deer fencing at staggered intervals to reveal successional stages of growth. The experiment tests the impacts of herbivores and human recreation on the landscape’s capacity for ecological regeneration.