Elliott Menashe is feeling justifiably frustrated. After two decades of teaching the buyers of shoreline properties how to keep their bluffs intact, he thought by now he’d be watching a trend toward better treatment of these important sites.
Instead, this past year he’s witnessed an unprecedented number of slides due to poor management of the slopes above.
“I really need to reach people BEFORE they cause problems for themselves and others,” he says. “I am so tired of restoring the needlessly destroyed!”
Through Greenbelt Consulting, his environmental assessment and consulting service, Elliott helps property owners make informed decisions concerning their land. And he’d really rather do it before the clearing begins, when costs are low, instead of after mistakes have been made and expensive repairs are needed.
Elliott maintains that landowners can minimize the degradation inherent in land clearing, road grading, and home site construction by becoming more knowledgeable about the natural landscape of their property and the forces at play on, around and within the land. Development and long-term maintenance costs can be reduced, and property value increased through coordinated planning and careful consideration of home siting, solar potential, septic systems, and access. Through assessment of your land’s topography and existing natural elements, Greenbelt Consulting can suggest practical ways to maintain ecological integrity while blending comfort, safety, and utility to create the environment you really want.
A familiar face around Whidbey Island and the shores of Puget Sound, you’ll find Elliott involved with, and opinionated about, everything having to do with land use. Back in October he appeared – in disguise – in my South Whidbey Record column about invasive species. Entitled Lookout: Something scary could be coming this way, the piece centered on bamboo, a wildly popular landscape plant that Elliott is growing more and more concerned about. He’s convinced that with its running habit and love of the mild Northwest climate, bamboo will soon be as big a pest as English Ivy. Probably bigger, because you can’t just grab it and yank like you can ivy. Removing unwanted bamboo is a project that often requires a backhoe.
More recently, Elliott has lent his expertise and experience to a group of concerned Whidbey Islanders who see public access to public beaches becoming an endangered species. Islanders for Public Beach Access is a newly formed group of citizens who are tired of watching public rights of way lost to neglect or encroached upon and closed by neighboring property owners. They’re out to find, mark and protect valuable, publicly owned beach access points for future generations.
Elliott’s articles and information about all these things and more are available on the Greenbelt Consulting website, where he generously shares his own writing and photos, as well as official reports and studies that will help landowners successfully manage their own property.
Get face time with Elliott
This coming week Elliott is teaching about beautiful ways to control erosion with native plants at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. He recently shared a recipe for Evergreen Huckleberry Jam with readers of the show’s official blog, The Garden Show Blog. Evergreen huckleberry is one of many beautiful and useful native plants that deserve to be widely planted, especially on shoreline bluffs.
The Northwest Flower and Garden Show is held at the Washington State Convention Center. See the garden show website, www.gardenshow.com for schedules maps and directions.
Here’s the data on Elliott’s class. I highly recommend going to hear him any chance you get. He’s an entertaining speaker, knows his stuff and is thoroughly passionate about helping create wonderful spaces in our wonderful Puget Sound places.
Native Plants for Shoreline Landscapes
Guide for Beautiful & Effective Erosion Control
Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 PM in the Hood Room
Natural resource manager Elliott Menashe is often called upon to consult with homeowners living on shorelines after it’s too late – the property has eroded and damage has been done. Now you can discover which native plants are not only ornamental and beautiful, but also highly effective for erosion control. These plants can also provide valuable habitat for native wildlife, bringing extra beauty to your garden.
Maybe he’ll even serve jam.