“Imagine the city of Portland with more of the vegetation that makes Maine beautiful and distinct.”
Heather McCargo ’84 is the Executive Director of the Wild Seed Project. She is an educator with 30 years experience in plant propagation, landscape design and conservation. A former head plant propagator at the New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods, she has lectured nationally and is widely published in horticultural journals and magazines.
She recently posted a blog about connecting habitat in Portland and creating corridors of native plants for urban biodiversity.
“In urban areas, green spaces of natural habitat rapidly lose biodiversity if they exist in isolated patches. Many cities across the country and the world are working to promote corridors of native plants in an urban environment. Such contiguous arrays of parks, street plantings, gardens, and even pots, populated with native plants help local flora and fauna to move between big natural areas that have been previously cut off from each other by urban development. Connecting these areas can allow for the development of a more diverse gene pool needed to adapt to our rapidly changing environment.”
In addition to outlining spaces and species that are applicable to the Wild Seed Project’s work, the article also profiles a project done by Conway students Beth Batchelder ’15, Molly Burhans ’15, and Cary White ’15 in the winter of 2015. The report, the Portland Pollinator Vision Plan, outlines the opportunities Portland has to make a network of corridors of native vegetation in the city to enable bees, butterflies, birds and plants to live, reproduce and migrate across the landscape. The project used a combination of GIS analysis and community input to identify opportune areas of the city to prioritize for habitat enhancement.
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