Toward Conservation of Magnolia Bogs on Utility Rights-Of-Way: Increasing Imageability

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Magnolia Bogs are a rare wetland type known only to the gravelly sands of the inner Chesapeake Bay watershed. Scattered across upland landscapes just east of the fall-line, these habitats occur where lenses of clay intersect the rolling terrain and groundwater seeps along the faces of hillsides.

Most Magnolia Bogs have been lost to development, but remnant habitats have in several cases been inadvertently preserved on lands managed to support that very development – utility rights-of-way. Magnolia Bogs have become the focus of targeted conservation efforts, but despite intentions, bog remnants on rights-of-way often go unrecognized by maintenance crews and are unintentionally damaged during management procedures, particularly mowing.

By adopting the perspective of a mower in the field, the patterns and forms of that experience are investigated. Cognitive mapping concepts are then applied to create suggestions for increasing the apparency of magnolia bogs to maintenance crews.