Read about Green Infrastructure

Thinking about Ourselves in Nature
Reading Suggestions from Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek

Bringing Nature Home : How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens.

Douglas W. Tallamy
Portland, OR: Timber Press, 2007

Updated and expanded edition, 2009

Restoring natives to suburbia -- The vital new role of the suburban garden -- No place to hide -- Who cares about biodiversity? -- Why can’t insects eat alien plants? -- What is native and what is not? -- The costs of using alien ornamentals -- Creating balanced communities -- Gardening for insect diversity -- Blending in with the neighbors -- Making it happen -- What should I plant? -- What does bird food look like? -- Answers to tough questions -- Afterword: The last refuge -- Appendix 1: Native plants with wildlife value and desirable landscaping attributes -- Appendix 2: Host plants of butterflies and showy moths -- Appendix 3: Experimental evidence.

Read Douglas Tallamy's article, "A Call for Backyard Biodiversity," published in the August 2009 issue of American Forests.

Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities

Mark A. Benedict and Edward T. McMahon
Washington, DC: Island Press,  2006

With illustrative and detailed examples drawn from throughout the country, Green Infrastructure advances smart land conservation: largescale thinking and integrated action to plan, protect and manage our natural and restored lands. From the individual parcel to the multistate region, Green Infrastructure helps each of us look at the landscape in relation to the many uses it could serve, for nature and people, and determine which use makes the most sense. In this wide-ranging primer, leading experts in the field provide a detailed how-to for planners, designers, landscape architects, and citizen activists.

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows
White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Co.,  2004

In 1972, three scientists from MIT created a computer model that analyzed global resource consumption and production. Their results shocked the world and created stirring conversation about global 'overshoot,' or resource use beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. Now, preeminent environmental scientists Donnella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows have teamed up again to update and expand their original findings in The Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Global Update.

The Diversity of Life (New edition)
Edward O. Wilson
New York: W.W. Norton, 1999

Edward O. Wilson describes how the species of the world became diverse, and why the threat to this diversity today is beyond the scope of anything we have known before. A classic text in its definition of a new environmental ethic – our obligation to rescue ecosystems, not simply individual species – and its prescient call for an end to the conservation versus development argument.

Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity                                                                                                     

Edited by Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein           


Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008

The Earth's biodiversity-the rich variety of life on our planet-is disappearing at an alarming rate. And while many books have focused on the expected ecological consequences, or on the aesthetic, ethical, sociological, or economic dimensions of this loss, Sustaining Life is the first book to examine the full range of potential threats that diminishing biodiversity poses to human health.

Edited and written by Harvard Medical School physicians Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein, along with more than 100 leading scientists who contributed to writing and reviewing the book, Sustaining Life presents a comprehensive--and sobering--view of how human medicines, biomedical research, the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, and the production of food, both on land and in the oceans, depend on biodiversity.

A forum featuring Eric Chivian was held at the Wilson Center, January 14, 2009. Watch the video.  

Climate Change: Picturing the Science                                       

Gavin Schmidt and Joshua Wolfe                                                                      

New York: W W Norton, 2009. 

Particularly recommended is Chapter 5, "The Life of the Party," by Shahid Naeem, pp. 113-131, on biodiversity.

More reading

Chesapeake Bay

The Resource Lands Assessment (RLA) provides a regional multi-state look at the most important remaining resource lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

The Conservation Fund

Includes descriptions of completed Green Infrastructure plans

Center for Watershed Protection

Includes "Managing Stormwater in    Your Community"and "The Next Generation of Stormwater Wetlands"

City of Bowie Green Page

Includes link to Bowie's Green Infrastructure Plan

Metropolitan Council of Governments

Green Infrastructure resources

Watershed Forestry Resource Guide

Central clearinghouse for all things related to forests and watersheds

Maryland State Greenprint 

State environmental initiatives and mapping.

Urban Stormwater Management in the United States

Committee on Reducing Stormwater Discharge Contributions to Water Pollution, National Research Council

    Suggestions for changes in EPA   stormwater program. Full text online.

How to Make a Community Green

EPA site, including information on new booklet, Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Guide to Local Governments  and "Green Communities" program

Planting for Biodiversity

Guidance from Douglas W. Tallamy

Learn More

More sources and courses for understanding Green Infrastructure issues.