The mechanisms that create and support an ecosystem are interconnected and inter-dependent. Disturbances in the ecology can break these connections causing the ecosystem to collapse. Restoring the ecosystem requires repair of all these interconnected ecology's. United Designers uses natural systems to repair and restore ecosystem services.
Within many damaged landscapes are the people that have long lived there.
As the stream beds, farm soils, and hillsides erode, practices failed in adapting to preserve soil and water resources. Building new strategies and cultural practices to benefit the stakeholders and stewards ensures the protection of the watershed and appreciation for its benefits.
GIS Resource & Drone
Assessment and Planning
Remote sensing by satellite, planes, and drones supplies detailed images and data for assessing the site conditions.
We use it to assess the land and soil practices. Using this information in the United Designers assessment and design process we create solutions and measurable outcomes to monitor success.
Homestead & Farm
Every landscape has a limited carrying capacity. To extract resources beyond that carrying capacity will cause the natural systems to collapse. Soil will become infertile and erode. Organic matter will diminish causing a loss of nutrients. Water will run off the land rather than infiltrate for the best irrigation source for plants. The goal of homestead and farm design is to raise the carrying capacity by increasing the natural capital each season. The natural capital of the property is the richness and depth of the soil, the diversity of plant life and habitat for beneficial insects, and the ability to continually regenerate and expanded harvests for the stewards of the land. A well-managed farm system delivers multiple harvests in multiple seasons in an ever-increasing abundance each year.
When it comes to benefiting from nature’s natural systems and the resilience of using available ecological resources, agroforestry is the solution that combines the ecological services that nature has to provide with the best practices of sustainable agriculture. In combination, harvest is expanded from the soil surface to the tree crops above and fruiting shrubs alongside annual crops. The rich habitat supplies pest control, soil water, organic matter, intermittent grazing for livestock, pollination, and multi-seasonal harvests.
Not only farms and homesteads benefit from a resilient design. Keeping energies on a property, lowering irrigation, freeing you from chemical dependencies, implementing small circular systems, with or without small animal systems, can not only raise biodiversity and save you money on the long term but also make your property more self-sufficient and Climate ready. And choosing the right array of plantings all be it edible or ornamental, can provide equally important ecological functions to a garden.
Many acres of productive land is held by institutions like schools, colleges, churches, and municipalities. Recently many of these organizations have decided to model the best use of the land by redesigning and improving the land for farming and gardens.
Well-designed garden spaces not only educate but also represent the values of the organization. Taking the manicured turf and replacing it with flowering fruits and vegetables creates a value statement, helping build a new paradigm for the best use of open spaces that are otherwise high maintenance with no appreciable human benefit. This breaks the long-term landscape assumption that a lawn is the best use of space within a campus or building perimeter. The gardens are inclusive, proactive, attracting and involving participants that share the experience, fruits, and knowledge.