Native Landscaping

Natural Pool

A Natural Swimming Pool

By Native Landscaping, Naturalistic Hardscape, Ponds and Streams

A natural swimming pool is constructed so water is clarified and treated by wetland plants rather than chemicals and UV lights. While Europeans have decades of experience with these pools, they are just starting to become popular in the United States. ESC has recently melded its decades of experience with created wetlands for urban runoff treatment with construction of traditional swimming pools and natural fish ponds, using natural Hill Country…

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Plants and Phytoremediation

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping, Ponds and Streams

Plants and Phytoremediation Unlike raingardens, wet ponds are designed to capture and hold runoff from impervious cover.  Urban runoff can carry pollutants such as gasoline, motor oil, heavy metals, fertilizers, pesticides, aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, lead, synthetic organic compounds, zinc nitrates and phosphorus.  Phytoremediation is the use of plants for cleaning up contaminants in soil, groundwater, surface water and air. Fortunately, the plant communities  ESC establishes and…

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Rain Garden

Green Infrastructure for Your Yard

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

Green Infrastructure for Your Yard With increasing pressure to better handle flood events and improve water quality, many municipalities (including the City of Austin) are implementing measures to slow down, retain, and treat stormwater on-site, allowing it to permeate into the groundwater while carrying less runoff pollution. The methods for accomplishing this are collectively known as green infrastructure. While cities are funding these projects with public money and installing them…

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Oak Springs Restoration

Daylighting and Restoring an Urban Creek at Oak Springs

By Ecological Restoration, Native Landscaping, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

ESC Completes Two Year Program Daylighting and Restoring Urban Creek at Oak Springs In late 2016, ESC completed the restoration of a creek that had been previously capped off and channeled underground.  Existing vegetation was limited to exotic turfgrass and other quick-cover species. ESC’s restoration work was performed in conjunction with the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department. The site, at the  corner of Tillery St. and Oak Springs Dr.,…

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ESC Water Quality Projects

By Ecological Restoration, Native Landscaping, Parks and Preserves, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

ESC Leading Numerous Water Quality Projects in Austin’s Urban Core Over the past three years Environmental Survey Consulting (ESC) has engaged in numerous projects along Lady Bird Lake and contributing creeks, all of which serve to stabilize vulnerable riparian slopes, catch and treat runoff from impervious cover, and slow down and dissipate storm flows to reduce flood severity. By using the principles of ecological restoration on these projects, ESC is…

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Palatabilty Ranking of Texas Native Plant Species for Deer

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping

A Palatability Ranking of Central Texas Hill Country Forb and Woody Plant Species for White-Tailed Deer David Mahler has ranked central Texas hill country forb and woody native plant species on their ability to survive white-tailed deer browse pressure. Species ranked 1 can survive under very high browse conditions while species ranked 5 can only survive under very low browse conditions or in protected areas. As an interesting note, some…

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Six Native Texas Plants That Can Tolerate Flood And Drought

By Native Landscaping

Six Native Texas Plants that Can Tolerate Flood and Drought Texas weather can be fickle to extremes, especially when compounded with global climate change and changes in storm patterns. In the past year Central Texas and the southwest experienced both extended drought and historical flooding resulting in altered landscape conditions. ESC has observed a few plants in both our residential landscape projects and ecological restoration efforts that have achieved a…

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AISD’s Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden

By Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping, Naturalistic Hardscape

 AISD’s Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden Approaches One Year Anniversary This coming May, ESC will mark the 1st anniversary of completion on a key project in the local wildlife habitat restoration movement.   On May 16, 2013 AISD’s Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden officially opened to a well attended crowd of volunteers, sponsors, workers, teachers, parents and children. The garden was a project of the National Wildlife Federation and AISD, with generous…

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Alternatives To Turf Grass

By Native Landscaping

Given the challenges with the persistent drought and the concern about using too much water, many people are considering getting rid of their lawns.  ESC encourages people to reduce water usage in their landscapes.  (See our previous blog post regarding ideas for responsibly modifying an irrigation system.)    The issue of water is real, and it’s expected to become more pressing in the future.  While the latest rating by the…

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