Our eyes were opened to the prospect of using the natural functions of the landscape
Vail, Colorado (PRWEB) February 19, 2013
In September 2012 a group of highly respected place makers from across the globe met in Vail, Colorado at the Elevate: Creating and Sustaining Special Places Symposium to discuss what it takes to make and sustain special places. Following the success of Elevate a consortium of delegates have gone on to work together to create a multi national plan of landscape restoration, which has the ability to change our ideas about the practical ways human can learn from and partner with nature.
Mark Woodberry, one of the leaders of the Elevate Symposiums, explains the significance of the event, “We know that there are times when certain people meet and something extraordinary happens – this happened last September in Vail.” He went on to say that, “Some of us went on a picnic and horse ride at the Colorado River Ranch following the Elevate Symposium and came away that afternoon determined to work together on a program of restoration and repair based on the natural functions of the landscape.“
Mr. Woodberry went on to say that, “Peter Andrews, renowned landscape function expert and land restoration pioneer, was at this picnic and his insights as we traveled across this very dry landscape here in Colorado opened all of our eyes to the prospect of using the natural functions of the landscape, apparent all around us, as the baseline for restoration of what has become, due to historical deforestation, climate change and previously damaging land practices, a mere shell of a once abundant place.”
As a result of these experiences a number of visits to Australia have been organized to see the evidence of Mr. Andrews work including the famous Baramul Park thoroughbred horse-breeding stud. The visits to Australia are not coincidental as it is considered by many leading international scientists to be the optimum “landscape laboratory” for revealing landscape functions and therefore provides some of the fundamental answers about landscape restoration.
Will Marcus, international architect and master planner was among the Elevate speakers and has been part of the contingent visiting the properties in Australia in January this year and came away with a powerful impression and equally powerful determination to act. As Mr. Marcus explains, “This January in Australia was one of the most significant examples of climate extremes: Fires; floods and record high and record low temperatures, all within 30 days and all within a relatively small geographic area. But amongst all this we also experienced some of the best examples of landscape restoration, reenergized and expanded biodiversity and the amazing capabilities of the land and plants to restore the health of a habitat – without having to resort to applied irrigation in the driest continent on earth.”
The next group to visit will be from Colorado. A representative from the Colorado River Ranch (home of the now famous picnic) in central Colorado will be joining the Australians at the end of this month to further examine how nature is able to lead the way. Scott Schlosser, from the Colorado River Ranch is excited about the prospect of restoring the ranch to its natural abundance. He says, “No longer do we need to accept that our only alternative is to adjust and adapt to the results of the devastation of the landscape, which even the most blinkered skeptics has to admit is evident everywhere. There is a simple message and that is the landscape itself holds the keys to understanding how it functions and the landscape can advise us how to repair it.”
“My time with Peter at the Symposium and at the ranch really opened my eyes to what is possible and I look forward to my trip to Australia to see the results of this approach to land management.” He went on to say that, “As we see it, this approach, based on the natural functions of the land, is not just a good way to restore the Colorado River Ranch but also is a way to improve the economic health of the property.” He explained that, “ the Colorado River Ranch will remain a working ranch and will not be lost to commercial residential development, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to prove that the ranches of the West can be economically viable and environmentally sustainable.”
Elevate LLC invites anyone interested in learning more about the Land Restoration group to contact: Constance Woodberry by calling 970 471 6455 (US) or (043 8879 768) or at constance(at)elevatesymposium(dot)com for interviews or further information. More information is available on the Elevate website.