This two-part workshop series hosted by Trees Atlanta (www.treesatlanta.org) and led by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (www.wildflower.org), with classroom and outdoor components, will focus on specific techniques with the intent to provide an understanding of the principles, and specific practices, design and implementation of projects featuring sustainable landscapes, particularly urban prairies. The goal of this series is to help train contractors and design professionals for efficient and successful projects which incorporate sustainable features, such as ecological restoration, native plants, low-maintenance and water conservation landscapes. For moe than ten years, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has created designs and specifications for, and overseen the installation and maintenance of, sustainable landscapes throughout Texas. Partnered with ASLA and U.S. Botanical Garden, the center has also led the development of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™), which includes a series of metrics and guidelines for sustainable designs.
Making landscapes sustainable is an increasing national practice due to voluntary green rating systems such as SITES™ and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™), as well as local city incentives and regulations. Improved landscape practices increase the ecosystem benefits of the landscape and create landscapes that go beyond conventional amenities to provide valuable performance benefits such as clean air and water, stormwater mitigation, and improved habitat value.
The workshops will be held at the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center (225 Chester Avenue, Atlanta, Ga. 30316) from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on March 1 and 2. Each class will consist of an outdoor field component to get hands-on experience with concepts and methods. Spaces are limited. To find more details and RSVP, visit the site.
Topics will include services of functional landscapes, soil specifications, soil testing, compost, compaction, species selection, and establishment techniques. Participants will be introduced to soil-plant relationships, soil testing and results, and testing for soil compaction and infiltration, soil preparation and protection strategies, mineral soils, compaction testing and BMPs soil protection and site hygiene. Installation of plant material will focus on species selection, seeding rates and timing, supplemental irrigation and fertilization. Additional discussions will reinforce concepts of site ecological hygiene, erosion control, and germination.
Day 2—Maintenance & Monitoring
Topics will include short- and long-term establishment, invasive and native species, BMPs Integrated Pest Management and monitoring techniques. Participants will be introduced to maintenance strategies to maintain establishment and vigor of desired landscape plant material. Techniques considered include irrigation and mowing frequency, prescribed fire use, plant succession, overseeding, and monitoring of plant health. Additionally, monitoring and treatment (cultural, physical, and chemical) of invasive species is discussed following the Integrated Pest Management strategy. Participants will discuss appropriate benchmarks in relation to establishing and maintaining sustainable landscapes. Finally, the research opportunities presented by the Atlanta Beltline project will be discussed. Visit the Trees Atlanta website for more information.