Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sustainable Landscapes

Another movement toward growing healthy plants and reducing the use of fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides is Sustainable Landscapes.

On November 1, 2007 a “Preliminary Report on the Standards & Guidelines Sustainable Sites Initiative TM” was published.
An impressive list of experts worked to create “. . . an interdisciplinary partnership to develop 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.”

As stated in the preliminary report:


“Establish Sustainable Sites as the standard which recognizes and provides direction for achieving sustainable land development and management through the creation and implementation of clear and rigorous design, construction, operations, and maintenance criteria.

Intended Audience

“The products of the Sustainable Sites Initiative provide tools for the land development and management industries to create positive change and lead the way to a sustainable future. The standards and guidelines are available for those who influence land practices to address increasingly urgent global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion. Sustainable Sites is intended to stimulate an open dialogue among a broad and diverse group of stakeholders.”

A few additional research projects and publications:

The National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and have combined efforts to create a sustainable, organic lawn area at the National Mall.

Virginia Cooperative Extension published a long Sustainable Landscape Management Series

In 2003, Rodale Institute and Pennsylvania State University started experiments with compost tea on crops.

(Picture: Longwood Gardens at dusk 12/4/07)


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