SAWS reports drought sparks interest in water-saving yards in San Antonio

Read the full story at Texas Public Radio.

The San Antonio Water System reports the drought is sparking interest among customers about how to install a water-saving landscape.

The city-owned water utility offers education, water-saver coupons, and other rebates to make it easier to replace thirsty lawns with native or drought tolerant vegetation and do away with automatic sprinkler systems.

Mitigating the impacts from stormwater runoff in solar construction

Read the full story at Solar Builder.

The scale of solar deployment required to meet the various state and federal goals for decarbonizing our economy will require that additional open, cleared land be leveraged to support this buildout.

As such, it’s critically important that as our industry scales up, environmental impacts such as stormwater runoff are properly managed both during and after construction.

Landscape industry seeks to transition to zero emissions

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

The landscape industry is seeking to transition to zero emissions but two industry organizations warn that the shift will require investment in expensive equipment and infrastructure. The American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) will work together on an approach to the responsible transition from gas to zero-emission equipment in the industry.

Florida’s 76,000 stormwater ponds emit more carbon than they store

Read the full story from the University of Florida.

As Florida and other states become more urbanized, an increasing number of stormwater ponds are built. Florida already has 76,000 such ponds. The newer ones emit more carbon than they store, a new study finds. Researchers hope this finding will inform policy makers and others about when, where and how to install stormwater ponds.

The grass isn’t always greener

Read the full story at Q Magazine.

America’s largest irrigated crop is not corn, soy, or anything else you might find in the commodity marketplace. It’s turf grass: the crop that American homeowners grow in pursuit of the dream of a lush, green, manicured lawn. According to NASA, the United States has around 40 million acres of turf grass, which is an area roughly equivalent to that of the state of Wisconsin. This makes turf grass our largest irrigated crop and one that has replaced scores of diverse habitats for wildlife. Turf grass helps lawn-owners achieve a long-cherished suburban fantasy, but it does not produce food or anything else useful for the environment. In fact, the dream of a pristine lawn comes at a high cost, requiring excessive inputs like water, gas, and chemicals. What might it take to reimagine the American lawn?  

She reclaims toxic waste dumps, and she just won a major landscape architecture award

Read the full story from NPR.

Landscape architecture has never quite gotten the adulation of capital-A architecture, but perhaps a new prize can help change that — especially since it’s being given to an innovative designer who’s been respectfully referred to as “the toxic beauty queen of brownfield remediation.”

The inaugural winner of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize is Julie Bargmann, a professor at the University of Virginia and founder of a studio called D.I.R.T – Dump It Right There. The award, announced today by the Cultural Landscape Foundation, is intended to confer the status of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, as well as a similar purse — $100,000 for the winner.

New book celebrates Illinois couple’s turning back time in their own backyard

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Wildflowers peek their heads through the grass. An eastern tailed-blue butterfly flits among the tall, swaying blades as a red-winged blackbird flies overhead. When Fred Delcomyn looks outside, this is what he might see.

In 2001, when he and his wife, Nancy, moved to their home outside of Urbana, Illinois, it looked a lot different…

They’re also co-authors of the new book, “A Backyard Prairie. The Hidden Beauty of Tallgrass and Wildflowers.”

‘Native landscape’ bill would make Minnesota cities more pollinator friendly, one lawn at a time

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Post.

Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St Paul, has introduced a bill that would require all cities to permit native landscapes.

Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Biennial Report 2021

Download the document.

The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy 2021 Biennial Report is the third report
to provide the public with updates on the implementation of the Illinois Nutrient Loss
Reduction Strategy, released in 2015. The strategy continues to be guided by Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and University of
Illinois Extension, with input and feedback from the Policy Working Group and several other stakeholder groups and councils. This biennial report provides a 2019-20 overview of the efforts and investments made in reducing nutrient loss to Illinois waterways from source sectors: agriculture, point sources, and urban stormwater.

10 Years of Innovative Stormwater Solutions: The Campus RainWorks Challenge Brings the Next Generation of Environmentalists to the Table

Read the full story from U.S. EPA.

In 2012, EPA’s Office of Water began the Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design competition open to undergraduate and graduate students at colleges and universities in the United States and its territories. The challenge requires multidisciplinary student teams specializing in engineering, landscape architecture, life sciences, and other disciplines to identify a stormwater management problem on campus or at a local elementary or high school. Student teams work with a faculty advisor to help design green infrastructure solutions. Students can compete in either of the challenge’s two competition categories, demonstration projects or master plan. Demonstration projects focus on site specific applications for green infrastructure. Master plan entries apply green infrastructure across a broader area of campus.

Since the inception of this challenge, more than 700 teams from 272 academic institutions across 48 states and Puerto Rico have participated. The challenge helps EPA engage the next generation of environmental professionals and showcases the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.