STAMFORD, CT (June 3, 2019) – The Ashforth Company, a 123-year-old diversified real estate operating company, announced it has partnered with Audubon Connecticut to renovate over an acre of landscaping on and bordering Ashforth’s Greenwich Plaza property located in Greenwich, CT as a healthy habitat for migrating birds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
The Greenwich Plaza Urban Oasis project recently broke ground and will be completed over the next few growing seasons. Establishment of this kind of planting develops over time.
“Given Greenwich Plaza’s location between I-95, the Greenwich train station and Long Island sound, we saw an opportunity to create something very special that would benefit the environment, birds and people. We greatly appreciate Audubon Connecticut’s expertise and guidance on this project and we thank the Town of Greenwich and CTDOT for supporting the effort,” said Andrew Ashforth, Co-CEO of The Ashforth Company.
The new area is specifically designed to be a high-quality habitat for the millions of songbirds that traverse the Atlantic flyway twice a year so they can rest and find food on these remarkable journeys. A combination of a meadow, trees, shrubs, groundcovers, and grasses will be of native species, as this is the best way to attract birds and other wildlife while protecting the ecological landscape from invasive plant species.
“The conservation of migratory birds, many of which are experiencing serious population declines, requires a protection of stopover sites along their path. The challenges only increase as the vast areas of natural habitat along migration pathways are altered or eliminated,” said Ana Paula Tavares, Executive Director of Audubon Connecticut and Audubon New York, and VP & Senior Advisor to International Alliances, National Audubon Society.
“The addition of the Greenwich Plaza Urban Oasis will help support the many species of birds, bats, butterflies, and other wildlife that have been declining. Many of these organisms are important pollinators and play a vital role in healthy ecosystems as well as food crop production. We are pleased to partner with The Ashforth Company to create an important place that helps people and wildlife thrive,” added Tavares.
In addition to providing a safe haven for birds and other wildlife, the Greenwich Plaza Urban Oasis will also benefit the surrounding environment. This habitat will provide a buffer between I-95, the nearby neighborhood and Long Island Sound, helping to filter pollutants carried with storm water after heavy rains and making the Sound a cleaner and healthier place for the people and wildlife that depend on it.
Ashforth worked with Audubon Connecticut and Eric Rains Landscape Architecture, LLC to develop a plan to rehabilitate the section of land that runs along the exit 3 off ramp on I-95 southbound, between Arch Street and Steamboat Road at its Greenwich Plaza complex. Brightview Landscaping, LLC is performing the landscape work.
The increased diversity of trees and shrubs at the Greenwich Plaza Urban Oasis will aid the migration of birds. Other plants and shrubs include varieties of native hollies, Spicebush, Blueberry, Witch Hazel, Ferns and more. The diversity in plantings from low mow lawn to the native grasses, perennials and shrubs increases the insects which are food for many birds, and increases the potential berry and seed food sources.
The entire plan encompasses three areas. The first area, along Arch Street, includes ornamental plantings and garage screening. The other two areas, along I-95, include a planted meadow and slopes, a pollinator area with low grasses and perennials and a food habitat area with trees and shrubs. These plantings will help provide habitats for birds, serve as windbreaks, help stabilize the soil, and improve water quality.
17 new native trees, 12 Serviceberry (Amelanchier), 2 Red Oak and 3 American Holly, will be planted along the exit 3 off ramp, replacing the existing nine trees. 15 River Birch trees will be planted along Arch Street replacing existing non-native trees. The current canopy coverage will increase about 25 percent. The Serviceberry tree, also known as Shadbush, blooms in early spring with a profusion of small white flowers. The hard red fruits ripen in June, providing an early summer feast for over 10 species of birds including Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Cedar Waxwing, and Blue Jay.
Audubon Connecticut has partnered locally to create several urban oases in Fairfield County including Armstrong Court Urban Oasis, Greenwich, Mianus River Park Urban Oasis, Stamford, and Cove Island Park Wildlife Sanctuary, Stamford. In addition, they have also created numerous oases in the Greater New Haven area. Several years ago the CT General Assembly added a Public Act noting that given available funds, it will now work to plant vegetation that includes pollinator habitat, including, but not limited to, native flowering vegetation, in areas that have been deforested along state highway rights of way.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Kim DePra, VP, Marketing & Communications, The Ashforth Company
Sharon Bruce, Communications Manager, Audubon Connecticut
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About The Ashforth Company (www.ashforth.com)
Headquartered in Stamford, CT, The Ashforth Company is a 123-year-old diversified real estate operating company that owns, develops, and invests in assets on the East and West Coasts, and provides third party services including asset and property management, general contracting, and construction management. Directly and through its affiliates, the company is invested in or manages over 14 million square feet of office space, and over 1,000 multifamily units.
About Audubon Connecticut (www.ct.audubon.org)
Audubon Connecticut, a state office of the National Audubon Society, protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.ct.audubon.org.
About Eric Rains Landscape Architecture, LLC (www.ericrains.com)
Eric Rains Landscape Architecture (ERLA), located in South Norwalk, Connecticut, is a practice that focuses on both corporate and commercial properties – mixed use and high density residential spaces, as well as single-family projects. The firm is built upon the belief that landscape architecture can create living environments that are useful and enjoyable for people, as well as the other living things we share them with.