The Malletts Creek Master's Project:
discovering the potentials of the residential landscape

A group of six graduate students at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources is researching one component of the Malletts Creek restoration activities that are going on under the auspices of the Washtenaw County Drain Commissioner.  This project is yet in its beginnings, but will be carried out in full by May of 1999.  Results will be posted on this web page.

Main Goal of the Project:

To discover what types of ecological residential landscape designs are acceptable, or preferred, by Malletts creekshed residents.

Main Objectives of the Project:

Study Methods:

The Design Team will use Oakbrook Villas, a relatively new residential construction in the creekshed, as a study site.  They will create a series of design alternatives to both the pervious (driveways, paths, etc.) and the pervious (lawn, gardens) areas of the site to simulate ecological and cultural design criteria that the group recommends in the Malletts creekshed.  To find out more about the effects of impervious and pervious residential areas, click here!

The Survey Team will use a version of this draft survey to better understand how creekshed residents feel about their residential landscapes and how willing might be to implement the group's "alternative lawn" recommendations.  We will be joining community meetings over the winter to show slides and ask folks about how they like certain landscapes.

The Geographic Information Systems Team will provide an analysis of the ecological effect of implementing the alternative lawns across the creekshed and also will provide an analysis of the possible diffusion of innovation that could occur as a result of an education program targeting a certain "norm-setting" homeowner(s) in particular neighborhoods.  Again, we have selected Oakbrook Villas as our experimental neighborhood, at this stage in the project, and have begun the simulation in the center of the neighborhood, using the color blue to show the sequential adoption of alternative lawn design and behaviors across time.  For more information on the mathematical process behind the diffusion of innovation method used here, please click here!

Images of the study site for ecological landscape designs:
Click on the title in the creekshed shape to view!
Design Site Area: 
Oakbrook Village
Soil types on Site
Site Contours: 
2 foot increments
Site Connectivity  
to Washtenaw County  
Greenway System
Thanks for reading about our Master's Project!
Please stop by later to see how we've made progress.
 If you are interested in finding out how to implement an ecological landscape on your property,
here are some useful contacts:
Wildbirds Unlimited
How to attract birds to your yard.
National Wildlife Federation
Backyard Wildlife Habitats Program
City of Ann Arbor
Parks and Recreation Department
Natural Areas Preservation
1831 Traver Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI  48105