Recently, I described using natural areas as inspiration for a garden landscape. In the prairie example, I mentioned that the prairie near me was the Central Tallgrass Prairie. In the forest example, the North-Central Interior Dry-Mesic Oak Forest and Woodland was the woodland that my neighborhood was before it was developed.
In my last post, I said I would show you how to find the natural areas near you or anywhere else you like. I will do that over these next two posts.
Today, we start by finding the basic natural area type. We will do it with the help of the Land Cover Viewer from the US Geological Service (USGS).
Land Cover Viewer Instructions
Sure I could print a bunch of screen shots and write a whole bunch of step by step directions on using this, but that would be really boring for me to write and a whole lot more boring for you to read.
So instead, you can just watch this video where I SHOW you how to use it. I obviously needed a big pot of coffee and an upgrade to my $9.99 microphone as the audio quality is not great.
Here is the 4 minute video showing you how to use Land Cover Viewer to identify the natural area types anywhere in the US. To make the video larger, you can hit the Full Screen button in the bottom right corner of the video.
More Information on the Land Cover Viewer
If you want to learn more about the Land Cover Viewer program you can go to this site: http://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/gaplandcover/
If instead you just want to start using the Land Cover Viewer, go here: http://gis1.usgs.gov/csas/gap/viewer/land_cover/Map.aspx
Next time, I will show you how to use another website to find out what types of plants are found in any natural area you find here. The plants from these lists can then be used as the plantings in your nature inspired landscapes.
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nancy nichols says
Hi Jim –
Just found your interesting site and have enjoyed reviewing.
Is it possible for you to tell me specifics about using the data obtained from land viewer to find plants to choose for design purposes? You said a future tutorial would cover this. Am working on a natural small meadow for coastal CT in developed area.
Thank you very much.
The next post, Plants for your nature inspired garden, shows how to find specific plants that are part of the natural area you found here. That post gives the instructions on using another very useful website. I will also probably show an example of creating a simple design based on this info in a future post, but it will probably be a while.