Thursday, November 01, 2007

Standards & Guidelines for Sustainable Landscapes

I am delighted to be able to serve as a Sustainable Sites Initiative member on this project, which addresses, among many things, invasive species and our garden designs; and to be given the opportunity to assist in the creation of a new paradigm for landscaping and land development in our dynamic environment. Many of my past posts have commented on the need to have a voluntary conservation alternative when we choose how to address our world and our eco-systems.

"The Sustainable Sites Initiative is developing national, voluntary standards and guidelines for sustainable land development and management practices as well as metrics to assess site performance and a rating system to recognize achievement. It is a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the United States Botanic Garden and a diverse group of national stakeholder organizations. The U.S. Green Building Council, a major stakeholder in the initiative, has committed to incorporating these guidelines and standards into the future evolution of the LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System.

The initiative is in the process of developing the Standards and Guidelines for Sustainable Sites - a compilation of current research, technology, and practices to provide technical guidance and performance benchmarks. The Preliminary Report on the Standards and Guidelines ( is now available for comment. The purpose of this report is to provide a snapshot of the first findings of the initiative with the intention of collecting feedback from professionals and stakeholders. It is critical to receive knowledge and input from other professionals and stakeholders to ensure that the products of the Sustainable Sites Initiative are relevant to those who influence land practices. Please share this document with other colleagues. An online feedback form ( is available to submit comments on the preliminary report. The public comment period will be open until January 11, 2008.

Many local and regional efforts now provide guidelines for improved land development and management practices. Sustainable Sites recognizes the importance and relevance of these programs and is interested in information sharing and partnering.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact"

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