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Full season blooms, pollinator host plants, and a rainwater harvesting system create a model sustainable landscape in the center of Northampton.

Urban Pollinators

When the law firm Curran & Berger moved into a historic building in downtown Northampton, MA, they approached Regenerative Design Group with a vision of an entry that welcomed clients and urban pollinators, while reducing the amount of water entering the stormwater sewer system. Despite having only a narrow four-foot wide strip of land around their new building, they wanted to maximize its potential and create a model ecological landscape.

This project was led by associate designer Rachel Lindsay. Together with Bas Gutwein, they designed and installed an automatic irrigation system fed by rainwater runoff from the roof of the building. The rainwater collection system, part of which utilizes recycled agricultural tanks, captures over 300 gallons of water during a one-inch storm, and slowly releases it in the garden through soaker hoses. The perennial garden includes both larval host plants and nectar plants for monarchs, swallowtails, and other New England butterflies.

Key Features

  • Rainwater collection system
  • Pollinator habitat
  • Urban streetscape

Services Provided

  • Site analyses
  • Schematic design
  • Detailed planting plans
  • Implementation oversight

Have a look at your yard/garden with a critical eye. Are your plants healthy and thriving, or do you have to chemically support them? Does your yard buzz with activity in summer, or is the air silent and still? Does your vegetable garden produce bumper crops, or are your harvests undependable and scant? In short, are there ample pollinators in your yard?


Karen Zaworski, garden writer and photographer

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