For many of us, January isn’t exactly the month to think about gardening and landscaping projects. Not at all. I can hardly fathom going outside
. But at the United States Botanic Garden
in Washington, DC, things, so to speak, are blossoming. The New York Times
reports that the USBG -- an institution that can trace its history back to 1816 –- will serve as the model for the Sustainable Sites Initiative
. Three years in the making, this joint collaboration between the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
, the American Society of Landscape Architects
, and the USBG proposes a system of national guidelines for sustainable landscaping as well as a point system -- not too dissimilar from LEED ratings for buildings –- that will rate the sustainability of landscaping around
If the suggested landscaping rating scheme is incorporated into the existing LEED system (backers of the initiative are hoping for a 2011 launch date), a building project in its entirety, not just building materials, will be scrutinized for sustainability.
Says Ray Mims, a developer of the initiative:
You could get a platinum-certified building and potentially do a very poor job with the site. We want to make sure that you look at the soil, the vegetation, the hydrology, so that you are improving -- or certainly not harming -- the natural ecosystem.
Read the full article here
and find out what in the world is in bloom
at the USBG…you’ll be surprised.