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SITES Certifies 12 New Projects

Twelve new projects have been certified by the SITES program, including (clockwise from top left) Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas; Anacostia Watershed Society Headquarters, Bladensburg, Md.; Boeddeker Park, San Francisco; and Swaner EcoCenter, Park City, Utah.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) program has certified sustainable landscapes at 12 new locations across the country for meeting rigorous standards for environmental design and performance. These 12 projects are the last to be certified using the 2009 pilot version of the SITES Rating System. They join 34 others that have achieved certification for voluntarily applying the SITES system to incorporate sustainability into their planning, design, construction and maintenance.

The newly certified projects incorporate sustainable features that were evaluated using a rating system with certification levels of one to four stars. These landscape projects include the following:

Luci & Ian Family Garden at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, which received two stars, is a 4.5-acre native plant garden in Austin, which features over 180 native plants and expanded the existing rainwater collection system.

U.S. Federal Office Building, in Miramar, Fla., received two stars. It is currently seeking LEED certification, and includes a parking garage with a green wall and photovoltaic panels.

New Orleans Festival & Recreation Center, a repurposed abandoned golf course, received one star. The park was designed to create a community space with native plants and stormwater management systems.

Hempstead Plains Interpretive Center in Garden City, N.Y., received two stars. This now "off the grid" building serves as both visitors' center and learning lab.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas received one star. Native landscapes intended to "inspire minds through nature and science" blend with the building's architecture.

Tuthill Corporate Headquarters Campus in Burr Ridge, Ill., is a one star commercial workplace that was among the first in the region built green. A recent redesign added permeable pavers and green roof products.

Swaner EcoCenter, a one star project in Park City, Utah, credits the use of Great Salt Lake trestlewood and the unique construction method for the Center's boardwalk as most influential in earning the SITES certification.

Helix Environmental Planning Inc. Headquarters in La Mesa, Calif., earned one star for its water conservation methods. Climate-appropriate plants replaced the heavily irrigated landscape, and a rainwater catchment system was implemented.

Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park in Silver Spring, Md., earned three stars. This recreation facility was expanded following the acquisition of an adjacent empty lot. Part of the park's concrete stream lined channel was naturalized as part of the renovation.

Environmental Laboratory for Sustainability and Ecological Education, or ELSEE, is a one star project in San Jose, Calif. This former broken concrete parking lot was given new life as a native plant garden that practices sustainability.

Boeddeker Park in San Francisco received two stars for the use of sustainable systems integrated throughout the community-driven park, including water conservation and stormwater management systems.

Anacostia Watershed Society Headquarters in Bladensburg, Md., earned three stars by providing a practical and aesthetic example of stormwater management through permeable paving, rain gardens, and more.

For more information on these and all the certified Sustainable SITES, visit

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August 18, 2019, 12:58 am PDT

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