First National Rating System for Sustainable Landscapes to Fill Critical Green Building Gap


What:  The Sustainable Sites Initiative will release the nation’s first rating system for the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings. A partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Initiative’s rating system represents four years of work by dozens of the country’s leading sustainability experts, scientists and design professionals, as well as public input from hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations. This essential missing link in green design will foster a transformation in land development and management practices.            

Why:  Existing rating systems offered little guidance beyond a building’s skin and focused on reducing a building’s environmental impact. Unlike buildings, sustainable landscapes can even give back by cleaning the air and water, reversing climate change, restoring habitat and biodiversity – with the potential to provide significant social and economic benefits.

Who:  Holly Shimizu, Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden
Nancy Somerville, Executive Vice President and CEO of ASLA
Susan Rieff, Executive Director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin

When:  Thursday, November 5 at 10:00 AM

Where:  United State Botanic Garden Conservatory – West Gallery
About the Sustainable Sites Initiative
The Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary partnership led by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to transform land development and management practices with the nation’s first voluntary rating system for sustainable landscapes, with our without buildings. Major funding for the Sustainable Sites Initiative is provided by the Meadows Foundation and Landscape Structures. For more information, visit


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