[Post author: Wayne Duke]
On Earth Day, Governor Pat Quinn signed Exeuctive Order 11. This Executive Order covers the topics of Waste Prevention, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Water Quality and Conservation, Sustainable Transportation, plus Education and Outreach. The Green Government Coordinating Council is responsible for the implementation of this Executive Order. The P2 Programs at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (on behalf of the University of Illinois) were involved in crafting the Executive Order and will be involved in overseeing the progress of the Order throughout state government, as well as colleges and universities in Illinois. To read the entire Executive Order visit http://www.glrppr.org/docs/GOVExecutiveOrder11.pdf.
For many years, the GLRPPR home page and subsequently the GLRPPR Blog have featured a “site of the month.” This feature was invented as a way of highlighting sites from organizations within the Great Lakes region and beyond which GLRPPR members might find particularly interesting or useful. This feature was created before there were RSS feeds for each Sector Resource on the GLRPPR web site, and before there was an RSS feed devoted to all new additions to the GLRPPR Sector Resources in general.
Upon recent consideration, GLRPPR staff members have decided to retire the “site of the month” and instead do more to highlight a variety of resources as they are added to the GLRPPR web site. Watch in the near future for blog posts highlighting recent additions to the web site or describing resources on the site that you may have overlooked. We’ll also be featuring themes for blogs posts to better foster the sharing of information on specific topics and networking among organizations in the region. More information on themes will be posted soon. Since the LINK newsletter was recently folded into the GLRPPR Blog, we’re hoping that you’ll come to use the blog as a source of information in the same way as you did the newsletter. If you have suggestions for resources or information that you would like to share with other members via the blog, please send your suggestions to our blog coordinator Wayne Duke.
Note that the “site of the month” category will remain on the blog as an archive of the sites that were so featured. The posts describing these sites are of course also cross referenced in appropriate topical categories (i.e. a post about a site related to agriculture would also be found in that category as well). An older list of sites of the month featured on the GLRPPR web site prior to there being a related blog category can also be found at http://www.glrppr.org/news/site_of_the_month.cfm.
The Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. The information on the site is meant to be applied to sites both with and without buildings, including, but not limited to:
- Open spaces such as local, state and national parks, conservation easements and buffer zones and transportation rights-of-way.
- Sites with buildings including industrial, retail and office parks, military complexes, airports, botanical gardens, streetscapes and plazas, residential and commercial developments and public and private campuses.
The Initiative site provides a copy of the report Sustainable Sites Initiative Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks – Draft 2008, which focuses on measuring how a site can protect, restore and regenerate ecosystem services – benefits provided by natural ecosystems such as cleaning air and water, climate regulation and human health benefits. This report contains over 50 draft prerequisites and credits that cover all stages of the site development process from site selection to landscape maintenance.
Case studies, dates for upcoming presentations on sustainable sites, and information on the Initiative’s areas of focus (Why Sustainable Sites?; Hydrology; Soils; Vegetation; Materials; and Human Health & Well-being) are also provided.