Sustainable Landscaping encompasses a host of related ideologies, all with an overarching goal of improving ecological function within constructed environments.
According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA):
“Sustainable landscapes are responsive to the environment, re-generative, and can actively contribute to the development of healthy communities. Sustainable landscapes sequester carbon, clean the air and water, increase energy efficiency, restore habitats, and create value through significant economic, social and, environmental benefits.”
The Sustainable SITES Initiative™ is an interdisciplinary partnership led by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), 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 through the nation’s first voluntary guidelines and rating system for sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program of the United States Green Building Council that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.
When it comes to choosing vegetation for sustainable landscapes, native plants are fast becoming a preferred choice.
Common features of sustainable landscaping include rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, pollinator gardens and meadows. Because these constructed sites might include upland and wetland environments, you should consult the appropriate section of our Planting Guide for tips on establishing these sites.
You can also find more information and helpful links in our Links page.