Make It Right Foundation Does It Right for Cypress ForestsThe Make It Right Foundation and BNIM Architects have joined the Save Our Cypress Coalition, making yet another real commitment to sustainability and the long-term survival of New Orleans. Cypress forests are important natural storm and flooding protection, but they are being clear-cut solely to produce garden mulch.By choosing alternatives to cypress mulch and explaining the choice to residents and project participants, Make It Right is helping to enhance the sustainability of the entire Gulf region.Cypress forests are the best natural storm protection for coastal communities and defend inland communities by absorbing flood waters. If historical wetlands and cypress forests had still been in place, the impacts of Katrina on places like the Lower 9th Ward would have been greatly reduced. Unfortunately, Louisiana is rapidly losing its coastal wetlands, and cypress harvesting for mulch exacerbates the problem. Along with natural storm protection, cypress forests provide important habitat for wildlife and many recreational and eco-tourism opportunities.Many homeowners and gardeners choose cypress mulch because they just don’t know the impact the product has on our natural wetlands. As a model for sustainable building and landscaping that chooses sustainable alternatives like pine straw and recycled building materials, Make It Right is informing concerned consumers.Upon learning of the dangers of cypress mulch, Make It Right and Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell Architects (BNIM), the group in charge of the landscape design, moved quickly to ensure cypress mulch would not be used on the project in the future. They will also help to educate the public about sustainable mulch alternatives.********The Save Our Cypress Coalition is a group of over 160 environmental organizations, churches, eco-tourism businesses, landscapers, and civic groups from all over the country that are working to end unsustainable harvesting of cypress forests for mulch products. The Coalition has focused on educating consumers and calling on Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s to live up to their environmental commitment by halting the sale of unsustainable cypress mulch, wherever it is logged. The Make It Right Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst for redevelopment of the Lower 9th Ward, by building a neighborhood comprised of safe and healthy homes that are inspired by Cradle to Cradle thinking, with an emphasis on high quality design, while preserving the spirit of the community’s culture. BNIM Architects is committed to producing work that maximizes human potential, productivity, and health. Each of their projects works to minimize consumption of resources, reducing waste and pollution and restoring natural systems. They have provided the landscape design services for Make It Right at no charge.*********Dan Favre is the Campaign Organizer for GRN who knows more about mulch than he ever thought possible.

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