Monday, May 21, 2012

Urban Conservation and Biodiversity Is Right Around the Corner

Photo by: Sarah Tilotta

By Patty Wetli

To the untrained eye, the Northcenter Neighborhood Association’s Parkway Corners Initiative appears to be little more than a beautification effort, swapping out turf for pretty plants and flowers. To Laurel Ross, Urban Conservation Director at the Field Museum, it looks like part of a biodiversity recovery plan.

“A lot of conservation focuses on the protected areas,” said Ross, who also works with the North Branch Restoration Project. “Those are all very much islands.” In linking NBRP with Parkway Corners, the goal is to connect those islands and create a corridor of friendly habitats for birds, butterflies, bumblebees and bats in between traditional preserves. In that vein, think of street corners like rest areas along the highway.

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