One Week Left for SITES Comments

New seating area outside Mann Library
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
image: Schmidt Design Group, Inc. 

SITES™ Public Comment Period Closes November 5: Give Your Feedback!

The deadline to submit comments on the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) proposed 2013 credits is Monday at 5:00 p.m. CST, November 5, 2012. SITES™ is the most comprehensive set of voluntary, national guidelines ever developed for sustainable landscapes. The proposed revisions are based on experience gained through the two-year pilot program, which involved 150 projects, 11 of which have been certified so far.

The proposed 2013 credits will serve as the basis for transitioning SITES to open enrollment in mid-2013. This update is available for comment and download at the SITES™ website.

All industry professionals and interested parties are urged to participate during this public comment period to ensure the quality and applicability of the revised guidelines. Responses will inform the SITES 2013 Reference Guide, which will be released in mid-2013.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative is a partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden to create a system to evaluate sustainable landscape design, construction, and maintenance.

Confessions of a Dinosaur

Perspective sketch by the author for a recent project
image: PRI

CAD is the worst thing to happen to the landscape architecture profession.

There, I said it.

I feel better already.

I’m sure there were some who said the same thing when tree stamps, Kroy machines, and the overlay method of drafting arrived on the scene.  Each has come and gone and the profession has survived.  CAD, however, is a little more insidious, because I believe it has not only changed how we represent our ideas, but how we think of them.

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Reflections on the Annual Meeting

therapeutic garden
Emanuel Hospital Children’s Garden, Portland, OR
image: Therapeutic Landscapes Network

As I was flying home on the plane leaving behind what remained of the 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting, I had time to reflect on the many great sessions that I attended.  I was left with images still fresh in my mind from the presentations, from the beautiful therapeutic gardens to the solar panels and wind turbines providing renewable / sustainable energy.

Whether you were able to attend the convention, but missed these sessions or you were unable to make the trip to Phoenix, I have identified what I believe to be the highlights among the presentations. After each session title is a link, which will provide more information about the presenters or subject of that session.  Take a look. They are all well worth your time!    Continue reading

National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference

image:  NTHP
image: NTHP

Go Beyond Boundaries at the National Preservation Conference with LA/CES credits

Activists in allied fields of architecture, green building, landscape architecture, planning, and preservation spend lots of time talking about sustainable design, neighborhood revitalization, and sound transportation investments – just not always at the same time or in the same place.  Beyond Boundaries the National Preservation Conference in Spokane Washington, October 31- November 3 is just the place to make that happen.

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Congratulations 2012 HALS Challenge Winners!

Mission La Purisima Concepcion Site Plan (Douglas Nelson, 17 July 2012, HALS CA-79)
Mission La Purisima Concepcion Site Plan (Douglas Nelson, 17 July 2012, HALS CA-79)
image: LOC

Results of the 3rd annual HALS Challenge, Documenting the American Latino Landscape, were announced at the HALS Meeting of the Phoenix, Arizona ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Sponsored by the National Park Service, cash prizes were awarded to the top 3 submissions. This challenge has resulted in many valuable donations to the HALS collection.

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NEA Grants for Creative Playmaking

A yarn-bombed statue, Bombshells Flea
A yarn-bombed statue, Bombshells Flea
image: ArtWorks

National Endowment for the Arts releases funding guidelines for Our Town
Grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 available to support creative placemaking projects
On October 11, 2012, the NEA will post guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the agency’s primary creative placemaking grants program. Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000.
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Revised SITES Credits Open for Public Comment until November 5th

New seating area outside Mann Library
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens    image: Schmidt Design Group, Inc.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) has initiated a public comment period for revisions to the 2009 Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks, the underlying document for the most comprehensive set of voluntary, national guidelines ever developed for sustainable landscapes. Performance, which is measured by the benchmarks, serve as the basis for certifying the SITES pilot projects, 11 of which have achieved that goal. Many more continue to pursue this distinction.

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