A 1995 survey of 51 U.S. universities revealed that 11 had graduate programs in restoration ecology (at that time, many European universities had undergraduate degrees in that subject, but not graduate programs). Bottom line: you’ll be shocked to see how much restoration is going on around you, once you’re sensitized to it.

What does this mean for you or your organization? If a sizeable portion of your business, your investments, or your community economic development plan is not related to restoration in some way, you’re missing out on the greatest growth frontier of the twenty-first century.

—Storm Cunningham, The Restoration Economy, p. 5

That’s a strong statement. Of course, he’s including restoration of the built environment as well as the natural environment. Restoration of the natural environment is harder to see because so much of it takes place away from where people live, that is, cities and suburbs.

The current interest in landscaping with native plants, as well as the installation of green roofs on buildings, will make restoration more visible to those not immediately involved in it.

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