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American Society of Landscape Architects


March 2004 Issue

Starting an Environmental Nonprofit
An untapped opportunity for landscape architects.
By Theodore Eisenman

Starting an Environment Nonprofit
Low Impact Development Center

When landscape architects consider ways to ply their trade, three standard options might come to mind: private practice, public institutions, and academia. Absent from these alternatives, however, is a common but often overlooked organizational type—the nonprofit, sometimes referred to as a non-governmental organization (NGO). The Low Impact Development Center (LIDC) is one such NGO, started by a landscape architect.

"We didn't want to be consultants selling services," says Neil Weinstein, executive director of the LIDC, an NGO that develops and shares solutions for protecting the environment through innovative site design techniques. "We wanted to develop a cross-disciplinary approach to solve critical water-quality issues and disseminate our research and design solutions to a broad audience. An NGO allows us to do that." (For more information about the practical steps involved in starting and managing an NGO, see "Do Well Doing Good," Landscape Architecture, February 2003.)

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