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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Are Tree Species Diversity and Water Quality Related?


    How important is tree species diversity? Does species diversity affect water quality? How is it related to stormwater management? This presentation will show how the 1970’s outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease (DED) correlates to declining water quality in Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes. After canopy cover decreased dramatically, over 15 square miles in 20 years, in Minneapolis following the 1970’s DED outbreak, water quality also significantly declined. It took tens of millions of dollars to turn the water quality clock back to 1970, pre-DED. If Minneapolis’ 1970’s urban forest had been more diverse, canopy cover would not have changed as dramatically due to DED. How will Minneapolis’ urban forest be affected by Emerald Ash Borer? How can we protect the Chain of Lakes, Minneapolis’ crown jewel, from future impacts of massive loss of tree canopy? This presentation will present strategies to increase urban forest species diversity to minimize canopy cover loss from major pest and disease outbreaks, thereby also minimizing the effects of canopy cover loss on surface water quality.


    L. Peter MacDonagh, RLA, FASLA, LEED AP, RHS

    Director of Design + Science, Kestrel Design Group, Inc.

    He specializes in state-of-the-art ecological restoration, urban forestry, stormwater planning and green roof technologies. He has over 28 years of experience providing ecological and sustainable site design for stormwater management, lake and river restoration, natural areas management plans, botanical inventories, urban forests, green roof installations and mining reclamation. Peter is a Registered Landscape Architect in 7 states and 1 Canadian Province, serves as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Design and continues to build his professional credentials and carry the message of alternative future scenarios by speaking across the world about green technologies in the landscape.

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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