Mapping landscape dynamics in South Florida.
The Captiva Plant Inventory was completed in partnership with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation as part of the design and adaption of a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. Species composition, overall size, health, habit, cultural significance and location of woody plants were recorded in a field and then translated into a plant inventory catalog, corresponding reference spreadsheet, and shareable web-based map. The plant inventory sets the course for a design that works with plant life and the changing landscape.
A “site plan” evokes permanence, a static reading that outlines the formal imprint of design. But design for a changing climate necessitates temporal attention in order to keep pace with urgent, and sometimes fierce dynamics. A “plant inventory” informs the “site” beyond formal outlines, as it charts the dynamic transformation of plant life, establishing a baseline for past and future change. A site without an inventory is blank, seemingly devoid of life beyond circulation routes and building footprints.
The landscape is not the background of these vectors and figures, it is a living source of adaptive feedback. The suggestion is that the knowledge of how to create and maintain a “plant inventory” is becoming more crucial to landscape practices, informing the effects of accelerated climate change beyond research institutions and arboreta.