Starting an Environmental Nonprofit
An untapped opportunity for landscape architects.
By Theodore Eisenman
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 typethe nonprofit, sometimes
referred to as a non-governmental organization (NGO). The Low Impact
Development Center (LIDC) is one such NGO, started by a landscape
"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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