Keith Bowers - Biohabitats, INC - Pro Landscaper Magazine USA

Keith Bowers – Biohabitats, INC

by | Apr 21, 2022 | Business, People

Healing native landscapes that have been impacted or destroyed.

The vast majority of landscapers are driven by a passion for the outdoors and a desire to help people connect to nature. Their careers began because they enjoy being outside, working with their hands or seeing things grow. Due to the ornamental trends of constructed landscapes, though, a landscaper’s core values and goals are thwarted. Spaces that are designed, built and maintained for aesthetic purposes can strip away or degrade the ecology that exists within a landscape. This not only stops native plant and animal species from surviving and thriving, it can impact the services ecosystems provide to people—like filtering polluted water and air, storing carbon, providing spaces for recreation or restoring habitat for the pollinators we need for agriculture. A nationwide ecological consulting firm is pushing to reverse the decline of natural ecosystems by taking sustainability and conservation efforts one step further. They are focusing on ecological restoration. 

Biohabitats is an ecological restoration, conservation planning and regenerative design firm. A landscape architect launched the company in 1982 by combining applied ecology with landscape contracting. He wanted society to see that land development didn’t need to go hand-in-hand with environmental destruction. 

“The whole landscape industry is grown up around ornamental landscaping for homes, buildings, parks and streetscapes. It wasn’t really geared from an ecological perspective. We are flipping that on its head,” says Biohabitats Founder and President Keith Bowers. “You can do something that is aesthetically pleasing and, more importantly, good for the natural ecosystem.”

Keith found his passion while working along the Chesapeake Bay in the 1970s. The area faced decline for years because of unchecked development within the watershed, pollution and overharvesting of shellfish and marine organisms. He learned from a mentor, Dr. Edgar Garbisch, founder of the nonprofit organization Environmental Concern, who wanted to restore the coastal marshes in decline throughout the bay. Dr. Garbisch’s work made a lifelong impact on Keith. 

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