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Book Review

by Stephen Kelly, managing editor








Planting on roofs and walls began in Europe, but it is now becoming popular all over the world. The environmental benefits of roof greening include reducing pollution and run-off, helping insulate against heat and cold, and reducing the maintenance needs of buildings.

In Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls (Timber Press www.timberpress.com) the authors describe the historical development of large-scale commercial and small domestic examples from around the world. The book explores the latest roof and wall greening methods and discusses the practical techniques required to make planting on roofs and walls a reality,including weightbearing considerations, materials, substrates, draining layers and modular systems. There's a chapter devoted to planting choices, outlining the characteristics that make certain plants suitable for the extreme conditions encountered on roofs.

The book explains the various techniques necessary for planting on walls. It details facade greening (where plants grow up steel structures pinned to the wall), and living walls (where plants are established in the wall or are able to survive independently on the wall without rooting).

Supplemental material at the back of the book includes a roof-greening plant directory; facade-greening plant directory; suppliers; a bibliography; and an index.

While the book answers the technical questions, it will also inspire the landscape architect to incorporate green roofs and walls in their upcoming projects.

The chapters are:

  • Why Build Green Roofs?
  • Components of Green Roofs
  • Planting on Green Roofs
  • Facade Greening
  • Living Walls, Structures and Surfaces

About the authors:

Nigel Dunnett is a senior lecturer in the department of landscape at the University of Sheffield. He has developed innovative research programs into naturalistic and ecologically-informed planting for gardens and public landscapes. He writes for leading horticultural magazines and journals and lectures widely throughout the U.K .

Noel Kingsbury is well known writer on plants and gardens who has helped popularize a more naturalistic and sustainable planting style in The New Perennial Garden.



Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, to Lead ASLA in 2005






"The ASLA is growing even stronger. Everything is clicking at the moment and everyone is happy and life is generally good," Mr. Carmichael told LASN via cell phone. "That's the moment when you can really advance the profession. That's why it's a particularly exciting time."


After the ballots were counted on June 26 from the June 15 ASLA elections, it was confirmed that Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, will be the next president. He will assume office at the conclusion of the association's 2004 meeting in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Carmichael, of Alexandria, Virginia, received his degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse. Over the past 25 years, he has been a design leader at EDAW. Projects under his direction include the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta; Sallie Mae Headquarters in Reston; West Main Street Arts District in Louisville; Celebration new community in Florida; and Ross's Landing in Chattanooga.

An ASLA Fellow in 1999, Mr. Carmichael has served ASLA in many capacities, including vice president for information and practice.



Pumpex Launches Environmentally Approved Pump






Pumpex's new submersible drainage pump.


Pumpex, Inc., has announced it new submersible drainage pump (P 601-P 30001), which the company says is the first such pump to receive a certified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for reducing environmental impact with Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), which presents the environmental impact of a product during its life cycle.

LCA is divided into manufacturing, usage, and end of life phase. Environmental impact includes the steps taken from extraction of raw materials to the final product, including energy consumption from points of distribution to the customer through energy consumed by the product and replacement of worn parts.

It also includes the recycling and controlled scrapping of a retired product.

For more information, visit www.pumpex.com



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"It was Horace Walpole in his chauvinistic essay touting the English landscape garden as the culmination of garden history who pointed out that the single most important aspect of the breakthrough in the gardens of the early eighteenth century was the elimination of walls. He praised William Kent for 'calling in' the country and its distant views."----Francis Cabot, The Greater Perfection: The Story of the Gardens at Les Quatre Vents.



Pocket Park Proposed






These venerable, almost 200-year-old white oaks will be maintained in the proposed park design at Spring Valley Park.


Clinton Township, Pa.– The Spring Valley Park Advisory Board is discussing individual pocket parks for the new 77-acre township park.

Rob Jack, a landscape architect for Olsen Engineering and Associates, and board members discussed the pod concept of individual pocket parks that would be linked via a trail system.

Olsen Engineering and Associates are developing a site analysis of the master plan phase, which will include four or five use areas. These individual use areas will be connected with hiking and biking trails. At this point it's thought that horse trails could be a conflict for paths that are only eight feet wide.

Spring Valley Park off Victory Road is being developed as the first community park in the township and is on a former brownfield previously owned by USX. At one point it was a contaminated industrial site, but has been reclaimed as a business park with six to 12 new tenants at the site.

In addition to wetlands, the pocket parks would feature a wildflower meadow, a cluster of trees more than 100 years old, including a 200-year-old bicentennial tree, a stream culvert, two wetland interpretive areas and a railroad observation area.



Maya Lin designs unveiled






Maya Lin, has created new landscape features to mark the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark's expedition. Here Lin visits a Native American site along the Columbia River.


Landscape concepts by Maya Lin will mark two sites along the Columbia River in Washington where the Lewis and Clark expedition passed almost two centuries ago. The features are planned to commemorate the expedition's 200th anniversary and will be installed in 2005 and 2006.

Lin is known for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial design in Washington, D.C.

The Washington-based Confluence Project is overseeing the plans, which will highlight the area's Native American presence in addition to telling the expedition's story.

For Sacajawea State Park near Pasco, Washington, Lin has designed a small amphitheater, or "gathering ring" that will serve as an open-air education area. A marker will list the tribes that have used the area as a fishing camp and will tell an American Indian story about salmon.

For Chief Timothy Park near Clarkston, Lin has created a "skybowl," a natural amphitheater and gathering place that will tell the story of the Nez Perce, a local tribe that helped Louis and Clark on their voyage. Camas lilies will be planted inside the bowl to recall a journal entry in which the explorers remark that the plants look like lakes from a distance.

More information can be found at www.confluenceproject.org.



Past ASLA President Gives Seminar at AIA Annual Green Building Fair






Cheryl Barton, former president of the ASLA


Cheryl Barton, former president of the ASLA, will be one of the speakers at this year's Annual Green Building Fair. Expanding on the success of their Sustainability Symposium last year, the Santa Clara, Calif., chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is co-sponsoring the fair along with the City of San Jose Green Building program. This fair, being held on September 18, 2004 at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose Calif., is shifting its emphasis to products and methods serving contractors, design professional and the general public. This year, exhibits and product seminars will be free and open to the public. Educational seminars for contractors and professionals will charge a small fee. Hundreds of building professionals and thousands of people from the general public are expected to attend the fair where they will be able to browse over 40 exhibit booths. There will be 10 seminars, including Peter Rumsey, Rumsey Engineers, Inc., on "Sustainable Design: Mechanical and Plumbing" and David Kaneda, Integrated Design Associates, Inc., on "Sustainable Design."



MIDDLEBROOK GARDENS WINS AWARD FOR SUSTAINABLE GARDENS

Acterra, whose mission it is to protect, promote greenbelts, preserve open space, and protect and restore natural habitats has given its prestigious 2004 Business/Environmental award in the Open Space and Habitat preservation/Restoration Category to Middlebrook Gardens of San Jose. The award is given to companies who work to create greenbelts and protect and restore natural habitats. Middlebrook Gardens was one of 30 companies who were competing for the prestigious award.

Middlebrook designs and builds gardens using California native plants and sustainable practices to save water, lower costs and bring the natural beauty of California into homes and businesses. They have designed and built over 60 gardens throughout the region.

Founded in 1976 by Alrie Middlebrook, firm president, Middlebrook Gardens has become the premiere firm specializing in sustainable landscaping for both commercial and non-commercial properties. The environmental benefits are obvious--they eliminate the need for pesticides, insecticides and extensive irrigation. They attract wildlife and help reconnect people to the natural world, teaching them about basic ecology. After creating a garden, the company establishes a garden management program with the owners. They want to encourage other companies to practice sustainability when designing landscapes, as well as making communities better. places to live.

Acterra: Action for a Sustainable Earth is based in San Francisco, and gives out awards annually to forward-thinking businesses. In addition they maintain a Library and Resource Center, a Native Plants Nursery with over 1,000 species raised in the watershed for the watershed, and The Arastradero Preserve. They also run Green Teams and a High Schools Group in their ongoing effort to encourage sustainable landscapes through stewardship, education and leadership. Examples of techniques they encourage include replacing concrete with more permeable surfaces, strategic tree planting, installing innovative water capture and infiltration technologies, and other sustainable urban landscaping concepts.

For more information go to www.acterra.com or www.middlebrook-gardens.com



Landscaping crossed Olympic finish line late






Last-minute landscaping work raced the Olympics' Aug. 13 opening date at the main Olympic stadium (pictured) and at other venues.


Landscaping at Olympic venues in Athens was finished late--or not at all--according to several reports on last-minute preparations for the games.

The cost of staging the Athens Olympics has grown to at least $7.2 billion, up from initial estimates of $5.5 billion, the Voice of America reported. The biggest cost over-runs were for the sliding roof at the Olympic stadium and for landscaping at the main sports complex.

Due to last-minute construction, landscaping in some areas was put on hold, meaning that bare soil greeted visitors.

In other areas, trees from Italy were so hastily planted that their long-term survival is unlikely.

Some have given Olympic landscaping harsh reviews.

"Any efforts that have already been made at landscaping look like an afterthought," Richard Edwards of the Evening Standard (U.K.) wrote in the days leading up to the games. "Trees (have been) thrown into the ground like javelins and lampposts stuck into the ground in holes only half filled with cement."

Despite delays, organizers say Olympic preparations will benefit the city for years to come. Improvements will include 120 kilometers of new roads, 290,000 new trees and 11 million new shrubs, the web site SupplyManagement.com reports.



Trusted Partners Program Targets Landscape Community

Washington, D.C.– The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) has launched Trusted Partners, a program to connect green businesses with the community and the environment. The new program was developed by the National Landscape Association (NLA), the landscape division of ANLA.

NLA calls this a "self-paced, peer-tested, values-based business development program" that "equips green industry business owners with guidelines and measurement tools for making important changes to their company's culture and to operate at the highest standards of integrity." The Trusted Partners program is initially targeted at the landscape community, but may be expanded to serve all ANLA members.

ANLA members seeking to participate in the Trusted Partners program will receive the Program Guidelines and Self-Assessment at no cost. Participants will work at their own pace to incorporate the values and procedures of the program into their businesses. As participants progress, they will have access to additional fee-based program materials and resources, such as ownership and management training and networking, independent third-party assessments, a program manual and consultants.

For more information contact Akilah Foster-Bey, ANLA industry relations coordinator, at 202-789-5900.



Artificial Turf Increasing as an Alternative to Natural Grass

A $1.9 million renovation project at Shorty Garcia Park aims to make the six-acre site among the best sports fields in the area. Construction began during midsummer to resurface the existing grass field with synthetic turf, construct initial settings for an outdoor lighting system and upgrade the concession stand. The renovation of the 4-year-old park includes the construction of two full-size soccer fields using FieldTurf, an artificial turf that's made with ground-up tennis shoes and recycled tires.

Not only is the artificial grass cushioned by a “soil” base of sand and rubber, which reduces maintenance costs and improves field conditions, it also allows 24-hour usage of the park. Proponents of the new turf say it's more realistic than AstroTurf, safer to play on and easier to take care of than grass.



The Canada Goose Problem






In the last 50 years, the Canada goose population in Ohio has increased from 20 to 140 thousand.


Every year people all across the United States and Canada watch in awe as flock after flock of Canada geese migrate...and land...and stay on their golf courses, campuses, residential ponds, rural airfields, city parks, even corporate campuses. They're beautiful, they're elegant, but they're also doing what geese have always done. That's the problem. The geese cause messy, unsanitary conditions and increase the costs for landscape superintendents, maintenance directors and operations officers. Even worse, as soon as anyone tries to get rid of them, there is often public outcry and a terrible PR situation. It's illegal to shoot the geese, and trapping them can be inhumane as well as impractical especially when there are high numbers of them. And the numbers are getting higher.

What many people don't realize is that the goose population has ballooned in recent years. The number of Canada geese in Ohio grew from 20 birds that were introduced in 1956 to 140,000 birds by 2002. In addition to Ohio, places like Oklahoma that never had a goose problem before now have one. The number of Canada geese has been steadily rising as more and more of them have discovered the joys of park-like landscaping designs and living close to civilization. As far as the geese are concerned, there's nothing better than a beautifully manicured golf course with ponds, and small wooded areas. City parks are great, especially if they have water features. Airfields are very safe because the geese can see far and wide and protect themselves from predators.

However, each goose deposits a pound and a half of dropping every day. That's manageable if you have 2 or 3 geese. If you have a hundred, it's a terrible headache for maintenance and landscape superintendents, as well as for people who are trying to enjoy the surrounding. Their droppings also carry bacteria. In addition geese are very territorial and get quite aggressive especially during nesting season and when the goslings first hatch. They've been know to attack anyone they think is encroaching on their territory--even if all they want to do is get close to the T's.

Keeping dogs around often works, but it's impractical in most places and caring for the dogs is expensive. Superintendents have tried many different approaches to make the geese uncomfortable--ranging from motorized toy boats in the lakes, rubber alligators, bells, balloons, owl decoys, pop-guns--and all to no avail. The geese just come back in an hour. They are creatures of habit, and prefer to stay in their favorite choice spots, returning year after year.

Dr. Philip C. Whitford, a professor of biology at Capital University in Columbus Ohio had been studying goose behavior and vocal communication for decades. His Ph.D thesis centered on the communications of birds. Geese recognize and respond instinctively to alert calls. They get very uneasy about possible threats. The alarm calls mean immediate danger, so in reacting to the calls they leave immediately without waiting to figure out the source of the alarm. Recently he teamed up with a company called Bird-X that specializes in bird control devices. Using Dr. Whitford's extensive knowledge of goose behavior to try and determine what would upset a nesting goose without hurting it, they developed a machine that would record the distress calls of the geese and then play these alarms back at varying volumes and random intervals. After testing the device at corporate parks, sports parks and golf courses they found that it worked.

While the noise doesn't harm the geese in any way, it makes them just uncomfortable enough to leave. "Even the Humane Society is favorably impressed," says Dr. Whitford. After all, the geese are quite intelligent--one of the reasons it's so hard to get rid of them--and with all that stress being broadcast at them, the geese probably would rather just move someplace peaceful to raise their goslings--and they do. In that respect they aren't much different from people.



Connecticut Petition to Ban Pesticides

A petition to ban the use of lawn care pesticides in Connecticut has been started by The Ecological Health Organization, Inc. and the Grassroots Coalition, both of Connecticut. Their goal is to collect 5,000 signatures over the next year in preparation for presenting it to their legislators. A similar petition in Quebec started a movement resulting in statewide legislation banning the use of lawn pesticides in Canada. Several Canadian municipalities now have bylaws restricting the use of pesticides on both private and public properties. The current EPA standard regarding non-food use pesticides has the stated goal of a "risk/benefit balancing" standard of "no unreasonable adverse effects." The majority of pesticide products used by lawn and landscape professionals are identical or closely related to those used by homeowners, and many anti-pesticide groups wish to discontinue the use of pesticides on residential properties. They make the case that residential pesticide use takes place only for cosmetic purposes.



ASLA Selects 2004 Medal and Firm Award Recipients






Peter Walker, FASLA, will receive the ASLA Medal for lifetime achievement.


The ASLA Board has announced its annual Medal and Firm awards to be presented November 1, 2004 at the association's national meeting, this year in Salt Lake City.

ASLA Medal--Peter Walker, FASLA, for lifetime achievement

Mr. Walker and his friend and mentor, Hideo Sasaki, FASLA, created Sasaki, Walker and Associates, which evolved into the SWA Group. He has been chairman of the landscape architecture department and acting director of the urban design program at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. He was head of the department of landscape architecture at the University of California at Berkeley and is currently the Glimcher professor at Ohio State University's School of Landscape Architecture. Most recently, Mr. Walker partnered with architect Michael Arad to win the commission for the World Trade Center Memorial.

ASLA Design Medal-- M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA, for exceptional accomplishments in design

Mr. Friedberg's projects have been recognized with 85 national and international awards. He is noted for the landscape model for low-income housing (Riis Plaza) on New York's Lower East Side, and downtown plaza design, including Pershing Park in Washington, DC; Peavy Plaza in Minneapolis; and Olympic Plaza in Calgary, Canada. Recently, Mr. Friedberg has collaborated on Battery Park City World Financial Plaza in New York City; the Fulton County Government Center in Atlanta, Georgia; and Transpotomac Canal Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

Jot D. Carpenter Medal--Marvin Adleman, FASLA, for sustained and significant contributions to landscape architecture education.






Professor Adleman, FASLA, of Cornell, will be honored for his contributions to landscape architecture education.


Professor Adleman joined the Cornell faculty in 1972 as head of the landscape architecture program, with the encouragement of the late Jot Carpenter. Adleman built a department considered one of the foremost undergraduate and graduate programs in the nation. He continues to carry a large teaching load and advises students.

LaGasse Medal (landscape architecture category)--James Bedwell, ASLA, leadership in management and conservancy of natural resources and public lands.

The LaGasse Medal is in honor of the late Alfred LaGasse, a former ASLA executive vice president who championed management of public lands and natural resources. Mr. Bedwell began his career with the U.S. Forest Service in 1979. He was its chief landscape architect from 1996 through 2000, lauded for his leadership in outdoor recreation accessibility, scenic byways, scenery management, and providing the tools and resources to the more than 300 LAs who work for the Forest Service. He also helped develop the Forest Service's Built Environment Image Guide. He is now the forest supervisor for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland in Northeast Colorado.

LaGasse Medal (non-landscape architect category)–Virginia Anderson, achievements in the management of natural resources and public lands

Virginia Anderson is the director of the 87-acre park-like Seattle Center in Washington state. Appointed in 1988 to preserve the 1962 World's Fair site and to create new facilities, she lead over 100 community meetings to develop a master plan. The Seattle Center is now home to ballet, opera, and theatre companies; three professional sports teams; 23 cultural festivals; three museums; a public high school; an amusement park; a skateboard park; the Space Needle; the monorail; and 23 acres of open space.

Landscape Architecture Medal of Excellence--The Urban Land Institute, significant contributions to landscape architecture policy, research, education, project planning and design

Founded in 1936, ULI has a membership of 20,000 professionals, including landscape architects, who help direct and influence land usage with an eye to environmental impact. The ASLA asserts that "ULI members are community builders who develop, own, or enhance the value of more than 80 percent of the U.S. commercial property market."

Olmsted Medal--Joseph Riley Jr., Honorary ASLA, environmental leadership, vision, and stewardship

Joseph Riley Jr., has been the mayor of Charleston, SC, for 30 years. He has earned acclaim for revitalizing the city's downtown area and restoring the city's rich design heritage, while carefully planning for future development. Mayor Riley has worked to restore parks and create new projects to draw people back to the waterfront. As president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, he created the Mayor's Institute for City Design to provide basic design education for hundreds of mayors, showing them how to shape and protect the public realm and improve people's lives.

Landscape Architecture Firm Award--Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC, distinguished work influencing the professional practice of landscape architecture.

For 41 years, WRT's landscape architects, architects, urban designers, and planners have collaborated on public and private sector projects. Beginning in 1963 with Ian McHarg, FASLA, and William Roberts, FASLA, two of the firm's founding principals, and through a new generation of landscape architect principals, WRT has maintained a position of international prominence in the advocacy and practice of environmentally responsible design. WRT has won 132 awards for planning and design excellence. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, Lake Placid, Coral Gables, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco.



Landscape industry feeling effects of prolonged drought






Marco Montague with Cutler Landscaping buries an irrigation line in the yard of a customer. Landscapers are educating their customers on the need to save water. PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS RICHARDS / ARIZONA DAILY STAR


Persistent drought conditions in the western United States are impacting landscape-related businesses, a Colorado State University study reports.

Close to 2,000 landscaping jobs in Colorado were lost between 2002 and 2003. The jobs include landscape architects, landscape contractors, nurseries, garden centers and commercial florists. Total revenue dropped by almost $60 million last year, study author Dawn Thilmany said.

On the other hand, the industry has grown substantially since 1994, adding 11,000 jobs for a total of close to 34,000. Drought-related declines have been limited by landscape-related businesses expanding winter work such as snow removal and Christmas tree sales, the report concludes.

The "green sectors" showing the most growth from 1993 through 2001 "were landscape design and maintenance, public and private golf courses and nursery/garden centers." Florists and tree and nursery production reported "flatter" sales. Landscape architecture firms "lost sales" in 2003, the report noted.

Some businesses are weathering the dry conditions by specializing in drought-tolerant plants and artificial turf.

"Customers as well as our industry have really tried to adjust," Beth Zwinak of Tagawa Nursery in Aurora, Co. told the Associated Press. "I think it's probably hurt parts of our industry more than others. When there (are) lawn planting or sod bans, that (is) devastating."

Rules implemented by the Southern Nevada Water Authority are now limiting landscape options in the Las Vegas area. The agency has banned sod in new residential front yards and limited lawns in back yards to 50 percent of the total area. It is also offering a $1 per square foot incentive for homeowners to remove their front lawns.

Rainfall is expected to stay below average this winter in the western U.S., according to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska.



Landscape Forms Receives the Forest
Stewardship Council's Chain of Custody Certification

Landscape Forms, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of commercial outdoor furniture and accessories made from maple, oak, redwood and ipe, has received the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification for its Kalamazoo headquarters facility. FSC is an international, non-profit association of members from environmental and social groups, timber trades, forestry professions, indigenous people's organizations, community forestry groups and forest product certification organizations. They develop responsible forest management standards, accreditation and monitoring certification.

Chain of Custody is the process by which the source of a forest product is verified. In order for products originating from certified sources to be eligible to carry the FSC Trademark, the certified timber or raw material has to be tracked, traced, and identified from the forest through all the steps of the production process until it reaches the end user.

Bill Main, President of Landscape Forms, stated, "We are very pleased to achieve our FSC Certification and, as the first in our industry to do so, are gratified that our efforts towards embracing sustainability have been recognized with this significant accomplishment which is directly beneficial to our customers."



Landscape Contractor Opts for Safety








A landscape and construction company in St. Louis has opted for client safety by using a 100 percent environmentally friendly fertilizer for their customer's landscape needs.

The fertilizer, SoylMicrobial made by EcoOrganics, Inc., is made using 13 percent natural organic nitrogen, which is the highest level of natural organic nitrogen currently available, and is a safe odorless soy-based product that can be applied at any time, including mid-summer.

"Our customers had a growing concern about protecting their plants in a more environmentally safe manner," said Richard Poynter, president of Poynter Landscape and Construction. The fertilizer offers a low application rate, greener foliage color and disease suppression and is used by many turf managers.

For more information contact www.ecoorganicsfertilizer.com.



ASLA Honors Scofield CEO






Phillip Arnold, president and CEO of L. M. Scofield Company


The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conferred honorary membership on Phillip Arnold, president and CEO of L. M. Scofield Company, at their mid-year meeting. Arnold received the highest honor ASLA gives to recognize persons other than the Fellow distinction given to landscape architects.
"Phil has been a strong partner of the landscape architecture profession for many years, supporting cutting edge research on sustainable design and sponsoring professional development conferences," said Susan Jacobson, FASLA, president of ASLA.

Mr. Arnold serves as president-elect of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), where he has been a member of the board since 1999. "Our long professional association and collaboration with landscape architects has given me and my colleagues at Scofield a deep appreciation for the ideals, the artistry and the dedication which we see shape projects of every size and description," Arnold noted.

Since 1915, L. M. Scofield Company has pioneered concrete technologies that improve its versatility and durability. Scofield's colored and textured concrete is used in many award winning streetscapes, public areas and buildings around the world. The company also supports the landscape architecture profession as a corporate sponsor of ASLA and a patron-level donor to the Second Century Endowment and the American Landscape Fund sponsored LAF.

Mr. Arnold assumed the leadership of Scofield in 1994. He holds an engineering degree from Caltech and an MBA from Stanford.



Artificial Turf Increasing as an Alternative to Natural Grass








A $1.9 million renovation project at Shorty Garcia Park aims to make the six-acre site among the best sports fields in the area. Construction began during midsummer to resurface the existing grass field with synthetic turf, construct initial settings for an outdoor lighting system and upgrade the concession stand. The renovation of the 4-year-old park includes the construction of two full-size soccer fields using FieldTurf, an artificial turf that's made with ground-up tennis shoes and recycled tires.

Not only is the artificial grass cushioned by a "soil" base of sand and rubber, which reduces maintenance costs and improves field conditions, it also allows 24-hour usage of the park. Proponents of the new turf say it's more realistic than AstroTurf, safer to play on and easier to take care of than grass.



Middlebrook Gardens Wins Award For Sustainable Gardens






Alrie Middlebrook, President, Middlebrook Gardens and Laura Teksler, Chair, Business Environmental Awards/Member, Board of Directors.


Acterra, whose mission it is to protect, promote greenbelts, preserve open space, and protect and restore natural habitats has given its prestigious 2004 Business/Environmental award in the Open Space and Habitat preservation/Restoration Category to Middlebrook Gardens of San Jose. The award is given to companies who work to create greenbelts and protect and restore natural habitats. Middlebrook Gardens was one of thirty companies who were competing for the prestigious award.

Middlebrook designs and builds gardens using California native plants and sustainable practices to save water, lower costs and bring the natural beauty of California into homes and businesses. They have designed and built over sixty gardens throughout the region.

Founded in 1976 by Alrie Middlebrook, firm president, Middlebrook Gardens has become the premiere firm specializing in sustainable landscaping for both commercial and non-commercial properties. The environmental benefits are obvious--they eliminate the need for pesticides, insecticides and extensive irrigation. They attract wildlife and help reconnect people to the natural world, teaching them about basic ecology. After creating a garden, the company establishes a garden management program with the owners. They want to encourage other companies to practice sustainability when designing landscapes, as well as making communities better places to live.

Acterra: Action for a Sustainable Earth is based in San Francisco, and gives out awards annually to forward-thinking businesses. In addition they maintain a Library and Resource Center, a Native Plants Nursery with over 1,000 species raised in the watershed for the watershed, and The Arastradero Preserve. They also run Green Teams and a High Schools Group in their ongoing effort to encourage sustainable landscapes through stewardship, education and leadership. Examples of techniques they encourage include replacing concrete with more permeable surfaces, strategic tree planting, installing innovative water capture and infiltration technologies, and other sustainable urban landscaping concepts.

For more information go to www.acterra.com or www.middlebrook-gardens.com



Clean Beaches Initiative Awards Millions








The Calif. State Water Resources Board has approved grants totaling $5.6 million dollars. Los Angeles will receive $4.1 million to keep urban run off from polluting the ocean along Santa Monica Bay beaches and $1.5 million will go to San Diego to keep runoff from polluting the waters along Mission Bay beaches. Funding for the projects comes from the Clean Beaches Initiative, part of proposition 13, the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection and Flood Protection act of 2000. Passed by voters, the $1.97 billion bond program funds projects that protect the state's waterways, drinking water and beaches. The initiative seeks to alleviate the health hazards, beach postings and beach closures cause by non-point source pollution which is urban runoff contaminated by pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, oil, grease, sediments and other toxics used in our everyday lives. According to Greg Nowell, Principal of Nowell & Associates, "Every landscape project over one acre now has to handle and treat its own run off. Large projects use bio-swill which channels the runoff into street frontage grasses. When a beach is closed due to contamination, the economic effect can be devastating to local business owners. Clean Beaches projects are construction projects that demonstrate sustained, long-term water quality protection benefits. These projects get to the causes of beach closures and use diversion, repairs and treatment to alleviate bacterial contamination and keep beaches open.

For more information, go to: www.swrcb.ca.gov/cwphome/beaches/index.html.



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38– Number of projects scheduled for implementation by California's Clean Beaches Initiative Grant Program.

46 million– Additional dollars appropriated in 2002 for CBI grants to help agencies that implement projects that protect and restore California's coastal water quality.

Source: California Water Resources Control Board



Auburn Promotes Green Space, Forming Land Trust Organization






City of Auburn, Ala. Green Space and Green Way Master Plan.


AUBURN, ALA– Lee County is rapidly growing, adding more and more people to the most beautiful city on the Plains. According to figures from the 2000 U.S. Census, Lee County, specifically the city of Auburn, is one of the fastest growing areas in Alabama, currently with a population of about 46,000. Of the 67 counties in the state, Auburn is one of the five fastest growing counties.

The state of Alabama has 10 percent of America's surface and subsurface water. With all of the benefits associated with continued growth and development, there is one downfall -- the loss of green space.

"The majority of green space in Auburn is residential and only available for private use," said Wendy Raines, a senior in horticulture and a member of the American Landscape Contractor's Association.

This lack of green space for public use has led some fellow Auburnites, including government officials, teachers, professors and natural resource managers, to form a local land trust organization.

Shelia Eckman, Executive Director of the Land Trust of East Alabama and an Auburn City Council member, said that the organization was formed in 1999 after a group of citizens became concerned about the amount of development and "the loss of green space to impervious surfaces, like concrete and pavement."

Besides Kiesel Park, there are few areas in Auburn available for residents to enjoy the beauty of nature, Eckman said. The LTEA lists among its goals the "protection of watersheds, preservation of land with special biological value and the promotion of sound development."

"Our town is growing by leaps and bounds," said Eckman. "It has a good public school system and has experienced tons of growth. We had a group in town that wanted to save some of the green space, so the LTEA was formed."

Auburn put together a green space task force and recommended a land trust. The conservation easement is a legal contract with an agreement reached between the land owner and land trust, said Eckman. Property owners have rights to timber, grazing, development and water use and in return gives up his development rights.

"We haven't had any response yet and haven't asked anyone to donate their land yet," said Eckman. "We've spent a lot of time deciding the territory to cover and go over procedures. Currently we're in the midst of a feasibility study, which should end in a month."

Among the points LTEA wants to study include: 1) Do people in the community know about the land trust? 2) Have they heard of LTEA? 3) Do they agree with the concept of having a conservation easement? 4) Is there funding available and will the people embrace the concept? The city of Auburn adopted a green space plan and took the city map so areas could be made green they desired to be made green, said Eckman. LTEA asked for easement along streams. In some cases the city and LTEA will work together. They may work with the city easement by either city or land trust. There's been talk about incorporating public parks, but it hasn't been implemented yet. A long range plan could have wetlands parks.



WSU-Spokane Has Ideas for Sprucing Downtown








SPOKANE, Wash.– During the first week of classes, students at Washington State University-Spokane had only two days to turn around a design concept for the downtown corridor. The design and construction competition involved 22 teams, consisting of four or five WSU-Spokane students, each from the school of landscape architecture, interior design, construction management and architecture. Their task was to produce a concept to improve the Division Street entrance to downtown Spokane and for creating a unique gateway feature at the Division-Trent-Spokane Falls junction.

Before classes started, the students arrived a week early and were given their charette task, said David Wang, as associate professor of architecture. In the seventh year of the contest, the students got introduced to an interdisciplinary setting, so they had a chance to work with the community. Each team was limited to one 30 inch by 40 inch board for its charette.

"A charette is essentially an intense design process to gather information and put together a design or a plan.

"The university district is adjacent to the downtown core with Interstate 90 going through the Gateway," said Wang. "We envisioned the city having several gateways with the other ones on the west end of the city."

Downtown Spokane Partnership promoted the contest and City Planning Visions, Avista Power Company and the Mayor's Office of Economic Development sponsored it.

"It's amazing what the students can come up with in a two-day turnaround," said Wang. "Prize money was given for the top six teams, but it's more about the recognition of having the most outstanding project."

The sponsors are aware the charettes were used for educational purposes, although some of the design elements may be eventually implemented. All ideas were taken into consideration, although it could be years before a project is completed.

"For the winning project some of the innovations included having a large open mall open with vertical sculpture features that reflected the city's history," said Wang. "Lots of greenery was added to the axis intersections. Several new structures have been proposed along the axis."



Landscape Architects Struggle to Save
Urban Parks from Skateboarder Damage








During the past decade, communities across America have spent millions of dollars on skateboard parks, eager to get kids off the street and protect private property. Jim Fitzpatrick, executive director of the International Association of Skateboard Companies, estimates that 1,600 to 1,700 skateboard parks have been built nationwide during the past six years, at an average cost of about $100,000.

But the current construction of skateboarding parks can't keep up with demand, according to professional skateboarders like Rob Dyrdek who complain that finding adequate venues has become increasingly difficult.

This lack of venue has many skaters thrashing urban and commercial parks. The problem has escalated to the point that landscape architects now design parks with skateboarders in mind. They make benches shorter, out of tougher materials, and anticipate anything that could be used as a potential runway or obstacle.

Perry Cardoza, a landscape architect at Nuvis Landscape Architecture and Planning in Costa Mesa, CA is trying to stay one step ahead of skateboarders, by designing parks using ultra tough materials to withstand skateboarder abuse.

Skater Dyrdek has taken the park shortage into his own hands and formed a nonprofit. The Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Skate Plaza Foundation is working to build a new breed of skateboard park, which looks like a business park complete with urban benches and concrete obstacles. The "skate plazas" will have steps and handrails instead of the typical concrete bowls and transitioned embankments.

Currently, the Foundation is looking for cities in California to partner with in the design and development of skate plazas.

Log on to the Foundation's web site, www.skateplaza.com for more information.



Water Resources Conference Coming in November








The American Water Resources Association will hold its annual conference November 1-4, 2004 in Orlando, Florida. This is a forum for all persons involved in the water resources community. Water resources in states like Florida are facing enormous pressures from population growth, difficult planning, volatile politics and rapidly changing demographics.

On hand will be water resources managers from all levels of government; consultants and academics providing scientific and technical background; social scientists and attorneys trying to make the science and the legal, economic and social issues mesh; and designers and consultants working hard to manage and improve the use of water resources.

For more information, visit www.awra.org.

Topics covered will include:

  • agricultural hydrology
  • aquifer storage and recovery
  • brackish groundwater desalting
  • conservation practices
  • cultural issues
  • drinking water source protection
  • economics/finance
  • environmental watershed stewardship and education
  • hydrology and watershed management
  • innovative treatments
  • lakes and ponds
  • ocean desalination
  • riparian and aquatic ecosystems
  • stormwater management
  • sustainable recycled water use
  • transboundary water issuesl
  • water information management
  • water quality and TMDLs
  • water policy, planning, and management
  • water supply issues
  • watershed management plans
  • wetlands
  • wildland hydrology



Ammonium Nitrate Security Initiative Unveiled








In July, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) launched a campaign aimed at securing ammonium nitrate against criminal misuse. The campaign, known as "America's Security Begins With You", urges everyone handling ammonium nitrate to implement security plans, maintain records of sales of ammonium nitrate and alert law enforcement officials of suspicious activity through the toll free hotline (800) 800-3855. The hotline is operated by the ATF. Campaign materials include a poster, a brochure and a window sticker for use at the distribution and retail outlets that handle ammonium nitrate. In addition to urging retailers to keep records of all sales of ammonium nitrate they also require all purchasers of ammonium nitrate to furnish a government issued picture identification to verify both their identity and address.

For more information contact: information@tfi.org.



Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden






Judy Ouderkirk


The Idaho Botanical Gardens in Boise has begun work on its Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden. Lewis and Clark recorded hundreds of varieties of native plant life they encountered during their historic journey, many of which are native to Idaho.

Judy Ouderkirk, the executive director of the Idaho Botanical Gardens, said visitors that walk the garden trail will get some historical knowledge of the duo's expedition, while learning about the native plants.

"At each node in the path is what we call a travellers' rest and it would have a specific theme," explained Don Brigham Jr., a landscape architect. "One would look at Native American use of plants, another would look at Lewis as a botanist, Lewis as an herbalist, and even Sacajawea's influence in gathering plants."

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Earth Day, March 20, the spring equinox, an international day of recognition to take better care of Mother Earth.

The garden will cover about three acres and take three years to complete.



EPA's New Rules for Small Firms








The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided it will not demand small firms to comply with last year's federal Phase II storm water program regulations designed to curb pollution from storm water run-off. Small construction and landscape construction firms now no longer have to file the same state paperwork with an EPA office in Washington. The EPA's decision was based on the comments and concerns of small construction and development companies that additional federal permitting would duplicate and possibly conflict with existing state and local water run-off regulations and permitting requirements. The representatives recommended that the EPA focus on better enforcement of existing rules and, and improvements in state and local permitting systems.



Greener Pastures for Western Nursery
and Landscape Association Trade Show








The Western Nursery & Landscape Association has moved its yearly get-together to the Overland Park Convention Center. This new, larger, state-of-the-art facility will add 100 booths to their show space and make every aspect of the upcoming trade shows and conventions easier and more convenient for exhibitors and attendees.

The Western Nursery and Landscape Association is a regional association which includes the following participating associations and their members: the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association; the Kansas Greenhouse Growers Association; the Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association; the Missouri Nursery and Landscape Association; the Nebraska Nursery and Landscape Association and the Oklahoma Nursery and Landscape Association.

The 2005 trade show and convention is scheduled for January 9 to 11, 2005 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas.



News in Brief

Virginia Tech is celebrating the 30th year of its landscape architecture program. Paul Knox is the dean of the college of architecture, and Dean Bork the dean of the department of landscape architecture. Robert Weygand recently visited the campus to speak with students about the profession. Weygand, an administrative vice president at Rhode Island University, is a former Rhode Island congressman, lieutenant governor and state representative.

Walter Hood, 45, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, was recently the subject of an article in the New York Times for his work to rejuvenate the downtrodden Lafayette Park in Oakland, Calif. The article touted Hood as the "Frederick Law Olmsted of the city’s dispossessed neighborhoods."



Floating island will be Toronto centerpiece






Toronto's HtO park will feature a floating island with steps descending to Lake Ontario. An aquatic plant community located under the structure will cleanse the lake's water.


An innovative floating island that will double as a water purifier will appear on Toronto's Lake Ontario waterfront over the next year. Designed by the firm of Janet Rosenberg and Associates, the project will combine a public open space with an aquatic wetland that will filter chemicals and other impurities from the lake water.

Swimming in the lake "is not encouraged," but the system will enhance the look of the city's waterfront, project manager Pete North said.

"It will have a definite impact on water quality and it should boost the clarity as well," North said.

The structure will be built of concrete supported by a skeleton of plastic tubes. The deck will extend 10 meters over the water from the lake's current edge, with the aquatic plant community underneath. Steps will let visitors descend to lake level. Grassy mounds on the top will set the shoreline park off from the city. Steel-mesh umbrellas, weeping willows, multi-stemmed maples and other trees will complete the effect.

The $10 million project has been given the name HtO. The Rosenberg firm won an international competition to capture the assignment. Quebec landscape architect Claude Cormier collaborated on the design. Construction is expected to start in October, with the park opening in about a year.



Subsurface Drip Most Efficient, Study Concludes

A U.S. Department of Agriculture study examining four means of irrigating juvenile peach trees (furrow, microject, surface drip, and subsurface drip) has concluded that trees irrigated by subsurface drip systems were the best at getting water to tree roots. Microsprayers were the poorest performers, judging by the smaller fruit produced by the trees so irrigated. The microsprayer results may be due in part to the lack of shade in young orchards and the subsequent increase in evaporation of water from the jets.

Trees irrigated by the surface and subsurface drip also outperformed the furrow method.

The study was in conjunction with the Center for Irrigation Technology and the Agricultural Research Initiative.

The complete report, "Irrigation Management Practices for Improving Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency and Crop Productivity in Peach," is available at the website of the Agricultural Research Initiative (http://ari.calstate.edu).



Bleeding Beach Trees Not Sudden Oak Death

For the last 30 years, scientists have been trying to figure out why showpiece European beech trees, some that are hundreds of years old, are dying. The problem in finding a suspect lay in the fact that by the time someone called in George Hudler, a plant pathologist at Cornell University, it was too late. Only recently has he gotten calls before one of these majestic trees had become a skeleton.

Thanks to field tests of the bleeding cankers that form on the trunk, microscopic analysis and gene sequencing, Hudler has discovered that the culprit is Phytophtor infestans, a variation of the microbe that caused the Irish potato famine. Initially, they'd thought this disease was an East Coast outbreak of sudden oak death, a current scourge for oaks on the West Coast. Plants and trees have been quarantined in nurseries, and that microbe is still on the move.

The symptoms found in beech trees are very much like those of sudden oak death: thin cracks in the bark that ooze sap, and a color change under the bark in the fall. Once a tree starts to get sick, it is attacked by a huge number of other pests and pathogens, and it becomes hard to tell which attacker is the cause of death. However, since getting samples from trees that were just starting the process, Hudler was able to classify the thread-like organisms and determine that they were much closer to brown algae than a fungus as they'd origi


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