Great Ecology is an ecological and environmental consulting firm focused on the restoration, planning, and design of both natural and urban environments through sustainable solutions. We integrate science with design to solve complex ecological challenges to achieve environmental, social, and business goals.
Great Ecology has been part of several projects in the Stapleton planned community. These projects have included park and open space planting plan support; biological surveys; and remediation of a 27-acre pond site. Great Ecology also developed and executed an adaptive management plan for a 60-acre non-irrigated, stormwater detention basin. Great Ecology developed vegetation, soil erosion, and wildlife monitoring protocols and conducted monthly site visits to provide management recommendations for the newly constructed open space and detention basin.
Great Ecology used soil testing to inform planting plan development and management recommendations. The revegetation efforts have primarily been no- to low-irrigation plantings of a mix of cool and warm season grasses and forbs, which provides aesthetic appeal. Great Ecology’s monitoring of the revegetation projects included monitoring for prairie dog and state-listed noxious weed encroachment and recommendations for management and removal of these species. The Stapleton North open spaces project, developed by Civitas with ecological support from Great Ecology, was awarded the 2017 ASLA-Colorado merit award for Water-Resilient Park Design
Landscape Typology is a process of categorizing parks, open spaces, and other habitats using desktop analysis and field surveys. Collected habitat type data combines semi-quantitative and qualitative data tied to a Geographic Information System (GIS) geodatabase. This multi-disciplinary approach to understanding systems level processes for connectivity and ecological function can be used to prioritize for restoration and inform efficiencies in open space management decisions.
Identification of landscape typologies, habitat sub-types, and associated hydrologic systems, as well as assessing and scoring certain qualitative parameters for each Town of Erie open space will assist in site-specific management decisions, allowing for management and maintenance to be more cost-effective, while still meeting the community's needs. This includes evaluating existing plant communities and wildlife habitat features as well as understanding how the public is utilizing the area and any impacts that may be evident. Landscape typology, in this way, is well suited as a baseline for informing management and maintenance actions. Great Ecology will use information gathered during the landscape typology process to develop an Open Space Management Plan for the Town of Erie
Great Ecology is the ecological consultant on the Arup and Thomas Balsley team for Phase II of the Hunter’s Point South Infrastructure and Waterfront Park Project. Commissioned by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the project is part of the masterplan to revitalize the 37.5-acre former industrial site along the East River. The site is currently partially developed as a waterfront park and mixed-use commercial area.
In support of Phase II, Great Ecology designed the ~1 acre tidal wetland mitigation and habitat creation as well as provided extensive permitting support, including a Wetlands Functional Analysis. Great Ecology staff conducted an Evaluation of Planned Wetlands (EPW) to quantify the wetland functional capacity of the pre-existing wetlands onsite. The EPW informed design modifications to enhance ecological function and uplift of the proposed wetlands, resulting in a reduced amount of compensatory acreage required by the USACE. Another key component of our design recommendations included adjustments for sea level rise to ensure long-term success. The complex project requires extensive coordination between stakeholders and city, state, and federal agencies including the NYC Department of Transportation, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Phase II opened in Summer 2018
Great Ecology is providing ecological design support for the CH2M team in redesigning a reach of First Creek in northeast Denver, Colorado. The intent of the redesign is to create a 6 acre nature play themed park, the first in Denver. Over half of the park is in the floodway and Great Ecology is tasked with developing a planting plan that is conducive to exploration and imagination while still being sustainable and low maintenance. Great Ecology is working withproject geomorphologists, landscape architects, and engineers to develop a landscape that will function within the context of the landscape and engage park users in a way that enlivens the senses and encourages out-of-the-box thinking. The project is currently at 50% design and construction is anticipated to begin Spring 2018. Image by Valerian
Great Ecology is working on the second phase restoration of a former overflow parking area south of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The project will revert the parking lot to a viable salt marsh and upland habitat at the San Dieguito lagoon located in Del Mar, California. Our work includes acting as the Restoration Ecologist in charge of oversight for the installation, maintenance and monitoring of this highly degraded site. In addition, the project is located in direct proximity to an eelgrass critical habitat. As part of the contract services, Great Ecology has developed solutions to improve the quality of highly saline soils prior to plant installation to ensure better plant establishment. Additional project tasks include the identification of native plant seed collection locations, reference site locations, review of construction submittals, construction oversight, installation of monitoring cameras, and monitoring and reporting compliance with the 5-year maintenance and monitoring of this sensitive habitat restoration area