Center for Urban Habitats (CUH) advances biodiversity education and conservation by offering the following services:
We conduct education-based biological surveys for private and public entities. We offer this service on a variety of scales, from simple single-day natural resource assessments, to detailed and involved plant community classification and mapping. Want to know what natural resources you have on your piece of land and how best to manage them? Want to know the unique natural history story that your landscape holds? Want an exhaustive list of all biota on your property? Our surveys accomplish these goals.
We are passionate about conservation landscaping. CUH creates and restores native plant communities using a strict ecological model, for private and public entities. The installations double as biodiversity education efforts by involving clients in all aspects of the project, to the extent desired. An identifying characteristic of our projects is that we create gardens and landscapes built of rich plant communities that are modeled after natural plant communities nearby.
Our designs and installations integrate native systems and cultural landscapes
CUH creates programming related to our projects, for schools, clubs, and other public and private groups, all focused on local ecology and biodiversity. We work regularly with private and public groups and individuals to provide quality consulting, training, and education on matters pertaining to natural resources in the Piedmont. In addition to natural history training and curricula development, we offer custom natural history and ecology presentations and expeditions.
We publish materials related to native plants, animals, and habitats. These include presentations, flyers, posters, articles, exhibits, and interpretive signs. Well researched creative writing and high quality illustration are the backbone of the publications. Our vision is to help foster ecological literacy in the general public through our services and publications. A signature feature of our publications is that, while they may pertain to a specific species or habitat, the information published draws attention to connections and plant community dynamics as they exist on local landscapes.
We offer research project solutions that explore the relationships between biodiversity renewal and urban ecosystem restoration. These include detailed comparative analysis of natural and anthropogenic contexts. We are also involved in many local and regional conservation efforts. For example, we are engaged with a developer and the community to install wildlife road crossings at an ecologically sensitive site in Albemarle County. We are also directly involved in assisting municipalities inventory, assess, and track biological resources.
We are in the beginning phases of creating a network of local genotype native plant growers. We hope this will not only fulfill all of CUH's native plant installation needs, but also provide the general public with quality local native plant material. We currently grow around 4,000 plants and our network of growers, including Hummingbird Hill Native Nursery, Farfields Farm Native Nursery, and others, produces several thousand more. While options for purchasing our Local+Native plants are limited, we do offer our surplus of plants to the public for sale throughout the season. In 2018 the general public will also have access to plants that were produced with CUH seeds at the nurseries mentioned above. Please contact us if you wish to see a list of available species.
Our trail designs integrate cultural and natural landscape elements. The language of your landscape drives the design. We aim to create an experience of tranquility while maximizing the ability of users to learn more about the natural and cultural resources on the landscape. CUH employs a unique trail design approach that doubles as a biological survey and cultural resource inventory. With this approach CUH identifies experiential hot-spots and unique opportunities previously unseen. Our trails utilize existing historic paths/roads and allow unique cultural and natural resources to direct navigation. We route trails with the contours to minimize impact and reduce erosion and always try to involve the clients in a way that fosters biodiversity education.