This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who studies humans and environments, but it’s nice that it’s getting some “official” research attention. I can just hear the calls of suburban population now: “What do we want? Dirt! When do we want it? Now!” 🙂


Who knew that wildlife refuges are actually “economic engines” in disguise? A recent study by North Carolina State University researchers for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that metro-area homes near wildlife refuges are worth more than those farther away from these havens. The report surveyed homes in urban areas near refuges in the Northeast, Southeast, and California-Nevada region. The report didn’t include the Southwest because reserves there tend to be too far from dense, urban cores.

While many developers have known for some time that being near to open space somewhat improves property values — with natural parks and woodlands providing the most value — perhaps it’s less known that wildlife refuges have a greater impact. According to The New York Times’Green blog, “for homes that are less than a half-mile from a wildlife refuge and within eight miles of an urban center, property values were 7 to 9 percent higher on average in…

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