Read more about Charles B. Thomas by clicking here.

 From Editor-in-Chief
Charles B. Thomas

Wastelands or Worth-lands?

No question about it. Years ago, people considered wetlands (marshes, swamps, etc.) as wastelands. The best thing for a wetland was draining it or filling it with soil to make it productive.

Today, informed people understand that wetlands perform worthwhile ecological tasks. Water gardeners learned this long ago. We know that aquatic plants enhance water quality; they make a healthier environment for our fish. By extension, we appreciate how wetland plants improve the environment.

Governments from the United Nations to municipalities are concerned about conservation of wetlands, even construction of wetlands. They and individual citizens ask, “Is construction of wetlands economically feasible?”

Founding WGI Member Kevin Kenny answers* this vital question in our Journal’s compelling cover story. Two hundred of Kevin’s marvelous, dramatic photographs document his remarkable chronicle.

Kevin meticulously details concepts and progress of his pioneering wetlands project in the Caribbean. He shows and tells precisely how a major resort developer beautifully imitates nature. His Samaan Grove Wetlands project employs a series of lakes, ponds, and marshes as a stunning garden. Kevin emphasizes why its appearance is so important. Moreover, he explains how his gardens manage what had been chronic sewage and flood problems.

Kevin discusses how the project involves concerns of the nearby human population. He also shows captivating pictures of native and introduced aquatic plants, waterfowl, reptiles, and fish relative to the project.

Very importantly, Kevin reveals the inside scoop about the profit/loss relationship. If he convinces skeptics that his project is economically feasible, expect many imitators. Otherwise, creating needed wetlands may depend on governmental largesse.

Our inaugural Journal cover story was The Oregon Garden Wetlands. There in Silverton and in other communities, aquatic plants serve as part of the municipal wastewater treatment process. Concerning wetlands, conservation and the environment, respected WGI Member Joseph Tomocik (Curator, Water Gardens, Denver Botanic Gardens) reports that DBG is “going conservation in a big way, and looking to be environmental stewards.”

Escalating interest in water gardening has grown the water garden industry for several decades. Today’s expanding interest in wetlands is sparking dramatic growth in the infant wetlands industry.

Kevin’s work is a splendid model for imitators. Wetlands conservation and installation are exciting avenues for water gardeners and everyone interested in a healthy, vibrant environment. Yesterday’s wastelands are today’s worth-lands.

* WGI and Kevin do not give investment advice. Others may or may not be able to match his success.


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