Urban Ecosystem Restorations, Inc. (UER) is a nonprofit urban conservation land trust created to work with landowners in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to preserve or develop value-enhancing green spaces that serve multiple ecosystem functions. These spaces which we call Eco-Functioning Spaces® or EFS serve multiple environmental needs simultaneously, using landscape designs, plant selections, and the latest environmental science to clean the air, reduce heat island effects, provide habitat for birds and pollinators, and retain and filter rainwater. UER engages site users with these spaces and ensures that these spaces also add value and reduce the operating and maintenance costs of a site. UER then protects these spaces, and their functions, over time.
UER provides the following:
(a) EFS development assistance UER offers a menu of services to site owners and developers who are planning for new construction or landscape retrofits, or who may be trying to preserve natural areas of their sites. These services assist owners (on an as-needed basis) in the optimal location and/or design of EFS within their site(s) to maximize eco-function, and in some cases, UER will assist with government relations or zoning or permit approvals.
(b) EFS management and protection As a key component of UER involvement, UER negotiates rights to protect and steward the EFS for a term of years or longer. In exchange, UER will (i) obtain, oversee, and, where appropriate, provide specialized maintenance services to ensure EFS aesthetics and eco- service functionality, (ii) monitor ecosystem service performance, and (iii) when agreed upon by UER and landowner, ensure safe and controlled access to the natural areas.
(c) EFS programming for education, engagement, and health In order to build connections to the EFS and enhance the site user experience of EFS, UER will work with landowners and site users to develop STEM programming for EFS, health-oriented uses of the EFS, and tours or signage that teach people about the space. Where desirable and appropriate (and if approved by landowner), UER will open the EFS to the public for health and educational purposes as well.
(d) EFS aggregation/strategic regional EFS placement UER works within larger regional planning initiatives to locate and aggregate EFS in areas that buffer protected natural lands and/or build greenway corridors between densely populated areas and pristine islands of wilderness.
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Listing Title: Rachel Toker