ARBORETUM CHOSEN FOR GREEN TEST
Results Will Help Determine National Green Practices Rating System
LISLE, IL (June 10, 2010) - The eco-friendly, permeable paver brick parking lot at The Morton Arboretum, which has served as a model of green infrastructure for public and private projects, is now part of an international test of our nation's first rating system for green landscape design, construction, and maintenance. The Arboretum's restored Meadow Lake is also part of the test.
"The parking lot and lake projects showcase The Morton Arboretum's commitment to sustainable design and construction as part of our vital work to save and plant trees," says Kris Bachtell, Arboretum Vice President of Collections and Facilities.
The Sustainable Sites InitiativeTM (SITESTM) selected more than 150 projects from 34 states as well as from Canada, Iceland and Spain as part of an international pilot program to evaluate the new SITES rating system for sustainable landscapes, with and without buildings. Such landscapes can clean water, reduce pollution and restore habitats, while providing significant economic and social benefits to land owners and municipalities.
SITES, a partnership of 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, selected the Arboretum projects "based on their extensive environmentally-friendly elements," according to SITES.
The Arboretum's Main Parking Lot project uses best management practices for dealing with storm water runoff and contaminants. The surface is a permeable, interlocking concrete paver system. Beneath it, four feet of gravel filters storm water and slows its progress through the groundwater system. Water also temporarily collects in bioswales along the parking lot aisles. Plants within the bioswales filter contaminants in the water biologically, assisted by mechanical filtering on the gravel bed under the parking lot. The cleaner and slower moving water enters nearby Meadow Lake and eventually the DuPage River.
The Arboretum restored Meadow Lake by draining and reshaping the lake, installing a wall and several devices to stabilize the lake's water level, regrading the shoreline, amending the soil, and planting 68,000 native plants.
SITES will use feedback from this and the other selected projects during the pilot phase, which runs through June 2012, to revise the final rating system and reference guide by early 2013. The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the Sustainable Sites Initiative, anticipates incorporating the guidelines and performance benchmarks into future iterations of its LEED® Green Building Rating SystemTM. More information is available at: http://www.sustainablesites.org.
The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned leader in tree science and education, working to save and plant trees. The 1,700-acre outdoor museum features magnificent collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission - the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time until sunset. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.