Rain gardens -- areas planted near downspouts or low-lying areas where storm water runs -- help slow runoff and also provide attractive landscaping. The Native Plant Society of New Jersey has develop an extensive online Rain Garden Manual to assist in the stages of planning, designing, building, and maintaining rain gardens. Included are links to other web sites on rain gardens and a number of sample rain garden plans. The manual is designed for schools and includes ideas for teachers, but it is useful to anyone interested in this concept.
Essays on Tree Ecosystems
Although trees are the most dominant life form of most undisturbed terrestrial ecosystems, they are often taken for granted. In this collection of essays on familiar trees found near her Maryland home, Salisbury University naturalist Joan Maloof explores the relationships of the plants, insects, birds, mammals, fungi, and people. Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest (University of Georgia Press, 2005; $24.95) combines scientific information mixed with personal observations and a bit of poetry, plus illustrations by 18th-century artist John Abbott.