SCAPE land and design in the Upper Midwest
The AWARDS ISSUE The best in Minnesota landscape architecture 2007 PLUS: LEED and Landscape Architecture The State of Conservation in Minnesota Specimen Imagery
a publication of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
The border between the warmth of home and the earthâ€™s rich soil. The path underfoot with the skyâ€™s great energy overhead. Natural,timeless and supremely elegant. Discover strength,usefulness,and beauty in the shape of Anchor paving stones.
Anchor Paving Stone Shown: Charleston
Contact a dealer near you for your next paving stone project. Customer service: 1.800.410.3223
On the Cover:
Each year, MASLA gives awards for the best works of landscape architecture by Minnesota designers. This year, sixteen projects were honored in four categories. The
Swenson Science Center at the University of MinnesotaDuluth, by oslund.and.assoc. received this yearâ€™s top award: the Award of Excellence.
Every winner is here in __SCAPE, beginning on page 32
image courtesy oslund.and.assoc.
MASLAâ€™s Annual Design Awards Recognizing excellence in landscape architecture
The State of Conservation
The photography of Regina M. Flanagan
How budget shortfalls are threatening our natural resorces -and what is being done.
whips The Forest for the Trees
Valued Places North Shore Drive Mears Park
In Other Words by Linda Lucchesi Cody
LEED and Landscape Architecture A primer on the national rating system and its outdoor implications
:business Work Study
What the landscape architecture program at the U of Minnesota is doing right (or wrong).
:Magazine Minnesota Conservation Volunteer
by Zachary Q. Zorgensen by Adam Regn Arvidson
__SCAPE is published twice each year by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MASLA). __SCAPE is FREE (in limited quantity). To subscribe, go to www.masla.org and click on _SCAPE. Then, type your information into the subscription box. Send general MASLA inquiries, including sponsorships to: MASLA International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 54 Minneapolis, MN 55405 612-339-0797 FAX 612-338-7981 Send general __SCAPE inquiries, letters to the editor, and article queries to: Adam Regn Arvidson, editor 4348 Nokomis Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55406 612-968-9298 email@example.com issue #7
MASLA Executive Committee Ellen Stewart, president
Bruce Chamberlain, past president Joni Giese, president-elect Karyn Luger, secretary
Jean Garbarini, treasurer Jim Hagstrom, trustee
Matthew Rentsch, director of public relations Kate Lamers, director of programs
Chad Buran, director of academic affairs
Bruce Lemke, co-director of awards and banquet
Stephanie Grotta, co-director of awards and banquet Chris Ochs, director of communications
The Forest for the Trees editor’s note
Based on the relative success of our printed issue produced
Here’s what to expect: Here, in the Awards Issue, you will
found a way to print all the time. Hopefully this produces
from the magazine (The 4 Topics, Valued Places, In Other
last fall for the ASLA National Convention, we have small rejoicing on your part: no more downloading and
printing, no more squinting at the computer screen. And it will still be free. (Now, the rejoicing begins, I bet...).
Yes, _SCAPE is evolving, as are all of MASLA’s publica-
still get the same great content you have become used to Words), accompanied by 32 pages of award winning projects -- in full color. Later, in the Directory Issue, you’ll have new content, accompanied by a full membership directory and firm listing (yes, again in color).
tions. The InCommon newsletter, as you may already
How is this possible? By publishing twice a year, elimi-
of links to masla.org. You will still be able to count on
digital printing technology, MASLA is able (with, of
have noticed, is now being delivered as a brief e-mail full that publication for all the goings on in the Minnesota landscape architectural world.
The big news, however, is that the Awards and
Membership Directory is no more. Since we are printing
_SCAPE, we decided to go all out for the award winners and our members. That’s why this issue is titled the “Awards Issue.” In September, we will produce _SCAPE’s “Directory Issue.”
nating the Directory, and using a new high resolution course, generous help from its sponsors, who are thanked -- in full color -- in these pages) to print and distribute 2 yearly issues of an even larger helping of _SCAPE.
I certainly hope you will enjoy this new incarnation. Your comments, as always, are more than welcome. Read on!
Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Sallstrom, Minneapolis Sales Office 800.480.3636 | 952.898.3230 | 952.898.3293 fax | email@example.com
3/29/2007 1:52:12 PM
Premium Interlocking Concrete Paving Stones
320-363-4671• 800-622-4952 • borgertproducts.com
WE KNOW TREES
OUR COMMITMENT: We are committed to providing great trees and sound advice to landscape professionals. Our extensive network of quality growers means we’re able to quickly locate both common and hard-to-find varieties.
k&s tree brokers, llc
phone 952 475 1229 • www.kstreebrokers.com
Valued Places In 2001, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects published Valued Places: landscape architecture in Minnesota. This glove-box sized guidebook profiles 52 sites in the Land of Lakes, each of which has benefitted from design, care, or stewardship by landscape professionals. Here are a few samples...
North Shore Drive
The late 1800s saw a rise in commercial fishing along the
Lake Superior is the Midwest’s inland sea, and its north
and Little Marais. Many north shore towns still have fish
shore is a dramatic landscape valued for its scenic beauty and rich multi-cultural history. Memorialized by poets ranging from Bob Dylan to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
the shore is today stitched together by North Shore Drive, (also known as Highway 61), which extends from Duluth to the Canadian border.
north shore, and the founding of such towns as Grand smokehouses that evoke the region’s fishing heritage.
Documenting this history, the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum in Tofte is well worth a visit.
Timbering moved into the region between 1890 and 1910, and millions of board feet of red and white pine were cut
from the hills along the north shore. Temporary railroads transported the logs to the lakeshore, where
they were shipped to sawmills in Duluth and Minneapolis.
In 1910, the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse and the shore’s streams
and massive cliffs began to attract tourists. With the completion of North Shore Drive in 1924, tourism became an even greater part of life on the north shore.
numerous family-owned resorts designed
Lundie, merit exploration.
by Frank Edgerton Martin
The first Europeans, French explorers and fur traders, reached the north shore in the early 17th century. By 1780
the region became an important gateway to the interior
of “New France” for exploration, trade, and commerce.
Each summer, Grand Portage hosted a fur trappers’ “Rendezvous,” where voyageurs and traders from the outlying trading posts met their counterparts from Quebec
to exchange furs and goods. Today, Grand Portage is a national monument with numerous visitor exhibits.
By the shore of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, At the doorway of his wigwam, In the pleasant Summer morning, Hiawatha stood and waited. All the air was full of freshness, All the earth was bright and joyous...
A master plan for the Gitchi Gami Trail, on Minnesota’s north shore, just A W A R D WINNER won a MASLA honor award. Learn about it (and other award winners) beginning on page 32.
-- From “The Song of Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow SCAPE spring 07
ADAM REGN ARVIDSON, TOP; MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, BOTTOM
and the remarkable Lutsen Lodge,
Mears Park occupies a two-acre block at the heart of
Lowertown, Saint Paul’s turn-of-the-century warehouse district. One of the city’s oldest parks -- its plot was
donated to the city in 1849 -- it originally featured spacious lawns and stately elms flanking diagonal walks
leading to a central fountain. Mears Park served as the hub of Lowertown’s thriving commercial and residential
neighborhood until well into the 1980s, when it began to deteriorate.
The designers of the present day park (Don Ganje, ASLA,
with Saint Paul Parks and artist Brad Goldberg) returned the park’s circulation to its historical precedent of walks
along one side. The walkway is the demarcation line
At the same time, they lowered the southeast corner,
side, a low limestone seating wall provides visitors with
converging on a central gathering space, or “civic arena.”
which had been raised in an ill-fated 1974 restoration attempt that merely cut off views. Encouraging barrierfree movement, this revision also links the park back to
its historical design. Responding to the different noise levels within the park, the team designated one side as
“formal” (classically defined an open to urban sounds)
and the other “informal” (a space of natural beauty). A
prime perches for people watching. A curving garden
walk planted with thousands of red tulips and perennials and punctuated by teak benches further distinguishes this area. In the civic arena where the formal and informal meet, red sandstone forms a continuous circular seating wall 135 feet in diameter.
water feature unites the formal, informal, and civic arenas,
The stream, with rapids and pools created by its gradual
spire birches, wildflowers, and ornamental grasses. it is
while alluding to Lowertown’s past as a center of river ADAM REGN ARVIDSON, BOTH
between the formal and informal areas; on its informal
The “new” park, completed in 1993, includes (on the
formal side) a grid of 59 summit ash trees and a diagonal brick-paved walkway with green metal benches arranged
10-foot drop in elevation, is flanked by Japanese whiteanimated by a computer-controlled pump located in an
underground mechanical room at the end of the stream. A pavilion used for lunch-hour concerts echoes the facades of surrounding buildings and recalls the metal shed roofs of 19th century train stations.
Also in Conservation Finance is an online conservation course, a Conservation Handbook, and an online
In Other Words
Conservation Almanac. The latter is a summary of the
status of land conservation for federal and state lands in thirteen western states. Learn about the Conservation
Campaign (www.conservationcampaign.org), an affiliate of TPL that helps mobilize public support for ballot measures.
Items of interest in the broader printSCAPE...
If this gets too detailed, you can always click on “Success
Story,” a small green square on most pages. Visit a city
Trust for Public Land
park in Indianapolis, IN, or P.S. 38 Elementary School in New York City. These are quick links to the more in depth
Case Studies section.
review by Linda Lucchesi Cody You’ve heard of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), right? They are perhaps best known as a partner in the effort
to set aside parcels of land as open space. They’ve been doing that for years, fairly quietly and pretty much below
the designer’s radar. But did you know that TPL has a website that might actually be a good resource for land
planners, park planners, and landscape architects? It’s a site dedicated to the topic of land conservation at its many
scales and is backed by some serious research. Want to know about initiatives on the federal level? It’s here. Want to know about a specific project on the Mississippi
Minnesota is well represented on the site. Aside from the
many conservation ballot measures and projects (such as sensitive lands in the North Woods, the Mississippi River
corridor, and community gardens in Minneapolis), TPL has also partnered with other nonprofits and city agencies to raise awareness about threats to parks and natural areas
in the Twin Cities Region through the Embrace Open Space Program (www.embraceopenspace.org).
live in this region their E-Newsletter may be of interest. (Read more about Embrace Open Space and the state of conservation in Minnesota in topic:nature.)
River in Minnesota? It’s here.
Want to know more about the big picture?
Though at times a bit convoluted in navigation and
Watch” for the latest news on conservation legislation.
certainly not a designer’s dream graphically, the site is packed with good info. Let’s take a brief tour.
Programs (in the main left hand menu) offers “Washington They also have a newsletter that will keep you posted on the latest.
On the left hand side of the homepage (under the big green
Now let’s head back to Conservation Services and click
Initiatives, Conservation Services, and Conservation
ments seeking new strategies for preserving parks and
“donate now” button) you’ll see titles like Conservation
Research. This menu will (thankfully) stay with you as you browse -- important because you might suddently find yourself in a new topic.
Click on Conservation Services, then Conservation Finance.
The best thing here is LandVote.
This is a
database of tables and graphs detailing conservation
ballot measures by state, finance mechanism, and jurisdiction. The database will also allow you to customize
on Conservation Vision. This section is for local governopen space. You can read a short description and listing
of related links; or by clicking on ‘more’ unleash a trove of information, some downloadable and all potentially
useful. The site offers PDF files of work in North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, and Washington; as well as the documents “Preview of New Economic Research on Regional Land
Conservation” and “Creating an Action Plan for Parks and Land Conservation.”
queries and research requests. LandVote will let you see
Getting the picture? The resources here are seemingly
over $200 million). LandVote Mapping is a GIS system
the layers deeper into the heart of TPL but don’t worry
ballot measures by state, region, year, and amount (those that helps the user to see the location of these ballot measures.
endless. You just need a little persistence. Keep following
about getting lost. The left hand menu lets you always find a way home!
SCAPE spring 07
Minnesota Conservation Volunteer
mental threats. You can read a first-person essay about
turkey hunting. The “Young Naturalist” section (for kids of whatever age) is about bird song: how they do it and what they are saying. There is a photo essay on early
review by Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA
spring river kayaking.
It seems so perfectly Minnesotan, this little bimonthly
Conservation Volunteer’s core mission is to educate. It is
glove box or purse. It is unassuming, with simple covers
with that agency’s policies. Consistency with the state’s
magazine. It is easily small enough to be tucked into a usually depicting animals. Even the name, “Conservation Volunteer,” makes reference to the chip-in-and-help spirit
of upper Midwesterners. According to editor Kathleen Weflen, “Many readers refer to it as their Minnesota Geographic.”
The magazine has been around
since 1940, when its overseer, the
of Natural Resources (DNR), was called the Department of
thousand people got the first issue.
Today, due to two
administrative policy changes
over the past two decades, Conservation
entirely funded by, well, volun-
teers, as in reader donations.
Though the magazine is free, an annual donation drive keeps the content coming.
That unique funding situation has not hampered circulation. According to Weflen, there are Minnesota Conservation Volunteer / Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
the trout streams of the Driftless Area and their environ-
currently 145,000 subscribers, and the DNR sends a copy to
every school and library in the
a production of the DNR and, as such, must stay in line mission, however, says Weflen, “is kind of a complicated issue because not everyone in the DNR is always of the
same opinion [on a particular issue].” To stay balanced, Weflen and her staff check with experts to make sure the
entire story is there; and, she explains, since different internal
disagree on the relative importance of different aspects of a story, she pushes writers to tackle all sides.
the goal,” she stresses, “but
accuracy is also the goal: find
the facts, show the facts, but we also need to interpret the facts. It can be a challenge.” Asked
Weflen returns to her educational mission.
a landscape architect has to
know about the land,” she says. “Our objective here is to tell you about the place where you live: about all the
communities that inhabit a
place, the plant communities, the bedrock, the soil -- all of
state. “It has a very healthy pass-along rate,” she adds,
that is part of our magazine. I have been editing this
around 500,000. Additionally, about 83% of readers say
I didn’t know. I definitely think a designer could [use
meaning that readership (based on surveys) is actually up they go cover to cover, unusual for a magazine.
What makes it so popular? The content is quite varied and speaks in an unpretentious but quietly passionate
tone that resonates with its Midwestern audience. There
are articles for just about every kind of land-lover. In the March/April issue, on shelves now, you can learn about issue #7
magazine for 18 years and I am always amazed by what Conservation Volunteer] to learn more about the place
that they’re working in.” Well said. And it’s an easy read that won’t take up too much space in your ice shanty, tackle box, or Prismacolor drawer. To become a subscriber, go to
Wet Meadow and Prairie Swale Common Wool Grass, Scirpus cyperinus, is not a true grass but a densely-tufted sedge. Up to 6.5 feet in height, it is found in the savannaâ€™s sedge meadow and prairie swale. This plant is useful for wetland- and lake-edge restorations.
Savanna Portraits In photographing a Twin Cities area natural landscape, artist and writer Regina M. Flanagan finds just as much interest in the individual plants.
SCAPE spring 07
Photographer Regina M. Flanagan has spent more than 15 years exploring and creating images of the Helen Allison Savanna. She captures both the broad landscape, as in “Long Meadow, Approaching Storm” (August 2004), below, and the intricacy of individual plants, opposite and following pages.
ow well do we know the landscape around us? While walking in the woods, if we concentrate,
we can feel a letting go of ourselves into our
surroundings, beyond the boundaries of the self. Because
experiencing nature connects us with the best in ourselves and to the universe broader than the self, I believe we have an ethical obligation to become acquainted with nature on
an ecological level, and on its own terms. But it seems we often want (or need) nature to remain mysterious.
more than 240 species of plants, forbs, and grasses; and
in 1960 he successfully convinced TNC to acquire the
property. It was subsequently named in honor of botanist Helen Lowry Allison. In 1962, the first prescribed burn
on any TNC tract nationwide was conducted at the savanna. In 1991, Barbara Delaney, one of the co-authors
of Minnesota’s St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandplain: A Guide to Native Habitats, updated the plant list. She introduced me to the savanna during a field trip coordinated by TNC that year.
Revealing both the ecological and the aesthetic qualities
I can walk the eighty-acre savanna from one end to the
Allison Savanna. The savanna is my Central Park – I
every square foot of a landscape of this scale. My images
of a place motivates my long-term chronicle of the Helen
learn as much by studying nature’s design of this gently rolling landscape and its native plants (albeit mediated by human intervention and care) as by experiencing the
famous New York City greensward. The pictures register
my observations and introduce the savanna to viewers by using beauty to evoke empathy and understanding.
The Helen Allison Savanna is owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and administered by the Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources as a Scientific and Natural Area. It is located at the junction of Anoka
other in around twenty minutes. It is possible to know
range from close-ups of individual plants to panoramic
diptychs showing habitats and landforms. I often photograph one tree or view in different seasons and weather,
and over many years, so comparisons can be made.
Particular trees have become friends; I look forward to seeing them when I visit. I have photographed this place for more than fifteen years, and as I have explored this
landscape, I have found that over time my perceptions and
understanding begin to parallel the cumulative history of the place, and we grow and evolve together.
Highway 26 and County Road 15. Dr. J. Roger Bray discov-
These plant portraits, photographed on site, were made
had seen of a bur oak savanna, on sandy soils, containing
na’s plant communities, and these specimens represent
ered the tract in 1959, promoting it as the best example he
the original prairie understory. He documented the tract’s issue #7
during several months in 2000. I was studying the savanthe site’s diversity.
Prairie and Oak Savanna Rough Blazing Star, Liatris aspera, the only liatris native to the site, is 1-3 feet tall with a spikelike cluster of purple flowers beloved by butterflies. It is a highlight during August and September.
Savanna Plants and Plant Communities In his 1960 assessment of the Helen Allison Savanna, Dr. J. Roger Bray of the Cedar Creek Natural History Area found four major vegetation communities. • a dry to mesic tall-grass prairie with scattered Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), Northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) and Northern red oak (Quercus borealis) • several patches of sand blowouts and dunes • numerous low, marshy swales with rich species variety • sedge meadows with some cattail.
SCAPE spring 07
Prairie and Oak Savanna Sweet Everlasting, Gnaphalium obtusifolium, is a 1-2 foot tall annual with fragrant foliage. Woodland Native American tribes burned the leaves to make a sweet-scented smoke to revive people from fainting spells and to dispel ghosts that cause bad dreams.
Dr. Bray also found the savanna particularly valuable because of the type of research that could be conducted on it regarding maintenance by fire. In 1962, the savanna was the site of the first prescribed burn ever conducted by The Nature Conservancy. Burning has controlled tree invasion and today the rolling landscape has an open, park-like ground plane with scattered trees. Annual hand-pulling of old field invasives like mullein, sweet clover and sandburs has ensured the survival of valuable native plants. issue #7
Prairie and Oak Savanna Grasses including Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium (shown here), along with Big Bluestem, Andropogon gerardii, Triple-Awn Grass, Aristida tuberculosa, Hairy Gramma, Bouteloua hirsuta, Prairie June Grass, Koeleria macrantha, Indian Grass, Sorghastrum nutans, and 16 species of Sedge, Carex spp., comprise the savanna’s open ground plane.
Working Process and Equipment Flanagan says that making landscape photographs requires patience and a meditative frame of mind. “I use two types of cameras,” she explains, “slow and slower.” She prefers cameras that are non-digital and entirely manual, which require the use of a hand-held light meter. She does use a digital camera, however, for making photographic “sketches,” but never finished works. The “slow” camera is a medium-format Hasselblad 500C with a Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 lens. It uses 120mm roll film and produces negatives that are 6 cm x 6 cm. The “slower” camera is a 1940s era Graflex Crown Graphic Field Camera fitted with
a contemporary Nikkor-W 135mm f5.6 lens. This large format camera produces 4” x 5” negatives. Flanagan develops the black and white film herself and has the color film processed by a service bureau. She does all her own printing, either in her own color darkroom or in a rented black and white darkroom. “It’s inconceivable,” she says, “for me to turn my work over to a stranger to interpret.” The finished prints are typically 15” x 15” or 15” x 19”. SCAPE spring 07
Dune Blowout Coast Joint Weed, Polygonella articulata, is a coastal disjunct of the family including smartweeds and knotweeds that has made its way to the dune blowouts. The plant’s attractive form disguises its invasive character.
Resources Additional photography may be viewed online at www.mnartists.org/Regina_Flanagan Plants including those of the Helen Allison Savanna may be referenced on the Cedar Creek Natural History Area web site at www.cedarcreek.umn.edu/plants1/
Editor’s Note: Regina M. Flanagan is a frequent contributor to _SCAPE Magazine. She has previously authored articles on the public art program of the Hiawatha Light Rail line, wastewater treatment sculptor Viet Ngo, and, most recently, the art that inspires landscape architects (Fall, 2006). Though she writes regularly about others’ artistic endeavors, she is an artist in her own right. We thought we’d give you a taste of the work behind a common name in these pages.
The State of Conservation Minnesota is viewed (and views itself) as being quite conservation-minded. Is this still true? by Linda Lucchesi Cody
The trouble with land is that theyâ€™re not making any more of it. - Will Rogers In Native American tradition, land was held collectively.
has made the conservation of its natural areas a priority.
(suggesting private ownership), rather the users belonged
on natural resources: rapid population growth, changes
This did not mean that the land belonged to the users to the land. For later Americans (and their primarily
European forbears) this has not always been an easy concept. Still, efforts to conserve land for the public good
Today, however, Minnesota faces unprecedented pressure in corporate land management, and a decrease in funding for land protection.
have a long history in the United States. Land west of the
Minnesota is the fastest growing state in the Midwest,
domainâ€? as the country was settled. Ironically, even as
period (1970-2000). Current projections add another 1.2
the young American government was displacing indigenous peoples, it was reserving large tracts of land for the enjoyment (in common) of all Americans.
In 2008, Minnesota will celebrate the 150 anniversary th
of its statehood.
Throughout this history, Minnesota
having added more than 1 million people in a 30 year million people to the state by 2030. More than one million
acres of natural areas and farmland are expected to disappear during this boom. And in the face of this population increase is a significant decrease in dedicated funds for conservation. A decline in available federal dollars has shifted the burden of funding land conservation efforts
US Census Bureau
first thirteen colonies was originally considered â€œpublic
SCAPE spring 07
to the state. At the same time, state funding
for conservation and environment is steadily decreasing. A 2005 analysis by the Minnesota League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCVEF) found that direct appropriations from
the state’s general fund for the primary conser-
vation agencies (in actual dollars) dropped from $228 million in 2001 to $123 million in 2007. This now represents only 1.1% of the state
general fund. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts an analysis of natural resources spending and surveys state government finances.
suggests that Minnesota’s ranking among states
for natural resources funding is slipping, down
from 10th in 1999 to 17th in 2003 (the last year for which data are available). In 2001, total conservation expenditures in the state (which include
appropriations, fees, federal funding, and funds from other sources) for the primary conservation agencies (the
Department of Natural Resources, the Pollution Control Agency, the Board of Soil and Water Resources, and the
Department of Agriculture) was $547.8 million. In 2007, total expenditures will be $540.4 million. Total spending on conservation then, in inflation adjusted dollars, is
US Census Bureau, TOP; Minnesota League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, BOTTOM
down 15% in just seven years.
Minnesota’s ranking in natural resource funding has slipped from 10th in 1999 to 17th in 2003. Total spending on conservation is down 15% in just seven years.
t is our natural wealth that is at stake,” says John
Other states, like Colorado (Great Outdoors Program) and
for Conservation (CFC).
large amounts of land through conservation programs.
Curry, Director of the Minnesota Campaign By natural wealth,
he means natural areas and farmland that contribute to
Wisconsin (Stewardship Program) have been protecting
the public health, support the economic engine, sustain
Does Minnesota need to catch up? When the citizens have
February, 2006, CFC released Minnesota Calling, a compel-
passage rate for local conservation ballot measures since
property values, and attract workers to the region. In ling argument for addressing these critical pressures and a call to action for the citizens of Minnesota. The report
notes that Minnesota has slipped to 37 in terms of the th
percentage of the state budget allocated to state parks.
been asked the response has been “yes.” The statewide 1988 is 81% (27 total ballot measures / 22 approved). This
success rate is higher than the national average of 74%, and has raised $111 million for land and water conser-
vation. But the state is still lacking a strategic plan and
Minnesota has slipped to 37th in terms of state budget percentage allocated to state parks. issue #7
dedicated funding for conservation measures.
Several statewide planning and analysis initiatives are
Case Study: Washington County, MN
Minnesota. The organization has asked each of 14 delin-
Washington County presents an interesting example of how one community built a successful conservation financing campaign. While Dakota County successfully passed a bond to support open space in 2003, Washington County waited until this past November, when voters approved, with 61% approval, a $20 million bond measure to improve water quality, protect drinking water, to protect land along water bodies, and to preserve wetlands and woodlands. According to Jane Harper, Planner for Washington County, the significance of this referendum is that it establishes long-term, dedicated funding for land conservation. This will cost the average homeowner in Washington county approximately $26/year. But the result in land conservation and its effect on the natural resources of the county will be lasting. How did Washington County turn things around? They built a strong conservation campaign, with technical assistance from the Trust for Public Land, leading up to the November election. TPL’s Conservation Finance program helps local communities design and enact public funding measures. Their strategy for a successful campaign includes performing public opinion polls, getting the word out through a series of targeted messages to educate voters, designing the ballot measure itself, creating a strong communications campaign, identifying potential donors, and enlisting the skills of local leadership. Working with TPL staffers, a carefully crafted campaign blueprint was formed and tested. A model now exists for other communities. County staff caution that getting the bond measure passed was just the beginning. Communities must have in place the local capacity to provide leadership, staffing, and organization to direct the use of a $20 million bond. Requests for proposals, expected to come out in May, will allow landowners or their agents to protect land mainly through conservation easements.
Case Study: Plymouth, MN After raising $2.23 million in 1995 to acquire parkland and build trails, voters overwhelmingly approved $9 million last Fall to create community playfields, parks, and the Northwest Greenway (a wide conservation corridor incorporating preserved areas and recreation amenities) that will serve the new residents the city expects through 2030. The Comprehensive Plan that the city is currently updating calls for one park within 6 blocks of every residence, one city park in each of the four districts, and ten sports fields complexes throughout Plymouth. A carefully designed Greenways plan provided the city with a strong tool to educate voters and enlist public support.
underway. The CFC is developing a 50-year Vision for
eated regions to study their particular needs and issues while developing 50-year goals for their region. This group is comprised of three committees, made up of key
stakeholders from throughout Minnesota’s conservation community. Represented are citizens, the watershed districts, and non-profit environmental organizations, as well as the University of Minnesota and state and regional agencies.
Working meetings of CFC committees are
planned for March and April with the goal of presenting a unified vision for the state by April. Citizen input is welcome through their website (see Resources).
The statewide passage rate for local conservation ballot measures since 1988 is 81%, compared to the national average of 74%. While the non-profit CFC is working toward a strategic
plan, the Conservation Legacy Council, appointed by Governor Pawlenty in November, 2006, and consisting of
11 citizens and 4 state legislators, is working at the broader
state-wide level to take a fresh look at the way Minnesota’s approach to conservation is funded, governed, and delivered. The Council recognizes that funding for conservation has been inadequate and unstable. Chaired by Mike
Kilgore of the University of Minnesota, the Council has an extraordinary opportunity to combine their skills with those of many state agencies to consider what is best for
Minnesota and for its conservation policy. A report is expected in May.
The legislature and the Governor approved funding during the 2006 legislative session for the Legislative-
Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) to initiate the preparation of a statewide conservation and preservation plan. CR Planning and Bonestroo’s natural
resources group have been hired and are being led by the
University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.
State agencies and the CFC are working cooperatively with this group. The team has begun work on a plan
that will identify, analyze, and prioritize (based on sound science) current and emerging conservation issues, as well as provide strategies to address them. A draft document is to be prepared by June, 2007, with a final plan in place by June, 2008.
SCAPE spring 07
n the funding front, current state bills HF 293
response to requests for help. Collectively, they provide a
passed as submitted) would appropriate the
One such collaborative, housed within the Minnesota
(which has passed the House) and SF 450 (if
total amount of lottery funds available (estimated at approximately $23.4 million/year) to conservation efforts, rather than the current $19 million/year. The CFC is also
developing a funding initiative that has been gaining
momentum. This proposal includes issuance of conser-
vation bonds, the creation of a conservation authority,
and creation of a 1/4 cent sales tax which, it is predicted, would raise $187 million by 2009.
A possible state program to match local funding would provide between $200 and $290 million of conservation funding per year for 25 years. A new 1/4 cent sales tax would raise $187 million for conservation by 2009.
wealth of experience to communities throughout the state. Chapter of the Trust for Public Land, is Embrace Open Space (EOS).
EOS includes fifteen different organiza-
tions all working toward the same fundamental purpose: to provide data and communications tools to support
decisions that result in increased land conservation in the Twin Cities region. In January, 2007, EOS sponsored a
policy and funding workshop. Summarizing the many conservation projects that saw success in the November, 2006, election, as well as ongoing efforts to achieve stable
funding for natural resource protection, the workshop provided examples at state, regional, and local levels.
And, of course, there is money from the local
ballot measures. Unlike other states Minnesota
does not yet have a specific program committed to matching local funding for land protection. But
looking to 2008 voters may be asked to consider a statewide ballot measure to increase and dedicate funds for water quality, wildlife, parks, and natural area protection. That funding stream
would provide stable and significant support of
between $200 and $290 million per year for 25 years. The prediction of growth and the reality of decreased funding certainly do not present a new challenge for either
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Strategic Conservation Agenda
Minnesota or the nation. Judging by recent ballot measure
approvals, Minnesotans are among those who have come to a new understanding of what it will take from every
citizen to direct future growth and simultaneously protect the resources that enrich the quality of life in the state.
Increasingly, communities who want to preserve and
protect open space are working locally to write legislation, propose referendums, and look for private donors who will support these conservation efforts.
They are not alone. Many public and private organizations
who work to preserve open space have formed collabora-
tions to provide a variety of resources and a coordinated issue #7
Key 2006 Conservation Ballot Measures In 2006 Minnesota citizens in several counties demonstrated strong support for conservation by passing ballot referendums that will dedicate funds for conservation. • In June, voters in Tofte, Cook County, raised $160,000 to acquire park land with a 77% approval rate. • Andover, Anoka County, passed a $2 million bond for water, wildlife, and natural habitat areas. This was a critical measure for this fast-growing community, which currently has 40% of its land area in unprotected open space. • Washington County passed a $20 million bond to protect water quality, wetlands, woodlands, lakes, rivers, and streams with a 61% approval. • Plymouth, Hennepin County, passed a $9 million bond to acquire land for open space, greenways, parks, and recreation with a 64% approval.
could step out in front of the nation to set a vision and create
precedents that could become national
models of conservation. Statewide buy-in and funding, however, are crucial to the success of this effort. Will the legislature appropriate more dedicated funding for conservation?
Will state agencies put
teeth to current recommendations?
the planning efforts spearheaded by LCCMR, CFC, and
the Conservation Legacy Council be implemented or will they sit on a shelf? Will local communities be supported in their conservation-mindedness through matching money from the state?
The concept of “public good,” at least at a local level, is
seeing a rebirth. Though the struggle between that and
private property rights will always exist, we are now considering anew the concept of “limits to growth.” It may then follow that our attitudes about land use and
land ownership will slowly change. Perhaps the circle is
closing. Perhaps we will begin to think of the land not as belonging to us, but that we belong to the land.
Resources The Minnesota League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is at www.mepartnership.org/documents/losing%20Ground.pdf The U.S. Census Bureau’s information by state can be found at www.census.gov/govs/www/state/html The Trust for Public Land, including the Embrace Open Space Initiative, is at www.tpl.org (see also whips:in other words) The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is at www.dnr.state.mn.us
Linda Lucchesi Cody is a marine biologist and educator who has turned her interests to landscape architecture. She particularly enjoys researching landscape history and exploring the evolution of vernacular and cultural landscapes. When not writing about landscape preservation and conservation issues, she enjoys writing poetry and nonfiction essay.
The LCCMR (Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources) is at www.lcmr.leg.mn More information on the Conservation Legacy Council is at www.governor.state.mn.us/mediacenter/pressreleases/2006/ august/PROD007764.html
Key Conservation Bills currently before the state legislature: descriptions from the Legislature’s website
HF 293/SF 450 Environment and natural resources funding provided, Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources meeting requirements modified, and money appropriated. (This bill has passed the House and is now before the Senate). HF 1449/SF 1379 Natural resources and clean water purposes dedicated funding provided, sales tax increased, funds and council established, bonds issued, and constitutional amendment proposed.
HF 2285 Natural resource and cultural heritage dedicated funding provided through increased sales tax revenue, funds established, Natural Heritage Enhancement Council created, and constitutional amendment proposed. SF 6 Constitutional amendment for sales tax dedication to natural and cultural resources purposes; arts, humanities, museum and public broadcasting, heritage enhancement, parks and trails and clean water funds and heritage enhancement council. SCAPE spring 07
Minnesota Department of Administration
The Campaign for Conservation is at www.campaignforconservation.org
)NSTALL #ONlDENCE )NSTALL 2AIN "IRD
! WELL CONCEIVED IRRIGATION PLAN REQUIRES SOUND THINKING AND RELIABLE PRODUCTS THAT DELIVER LONG AFTER INSTALLATION &OR NEARLY SEVEN DECADES PRODUCTS THAT BEAR THE 2AIN "IRD NAME HAVE BEEN SPECIlED MORE OFTEN BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MEASURE OF PERFORMANCE
&OR MORE INFORMATION ON 2AIN "IRD PRODUCTS CONTACT
"RENT 2 .EUBAUER !3,! !REA 3PECIlCATION -ANAGER 2AIN "IRD #ORPORATION -OBILE BNEUBAUER RAINBIRDCOM
Landscape Architecture The current national standard for sustainable design and construction is expanding rapidly. Are landscape architects being left behind? by Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA ®
is all the rage. Since its roll-out in 2000 it has
landscape architect with LHB, Inc., in Minneapolis, “then
on their sustainability. A product of the non profit U.S.
works at a multi-disciplinary firm, alongside architects,
become the recognized gold standard for rating buildings ®
Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED , or Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design, sets parameters and gives credits for sustainable building practices ranging
from water consumption to pollution control to controllable lighting. It is a major movement: at latest count ®
there are 781 LEED rated projects and more than 35,500
accredited professionals worldwide, and organizations as
wide ranging as Bank of America and the United States ®
Air Force have committed to LEED practices for new construction.
Overwhelmingly, LEED is the realm of the architect and ®
developer. LEED focuses on buildings, and places a lot
of emphasis on the resource-consumptive systems that
power them. So what about the other design professions,
namely landscape architects, who often work with architects and who pride themselves on being leaders in the
sustainability movement? “If I’m actually going to claim I’m sustainable,” says Cassie Neu, a LEED
I should be up to date on the most current model.” Neu ®
and that fact has influenced her perception of LEED . “Architects think they’re the first ones to discuss the
issues of global warming and sustainability,” she says.
“They have to [discuss those issues] because they have an immediate effect [on resources]. But I felt I wanted to ®
be part of that discussion.” As far as LEED goes, she has ®
little company. She is one of only three LEED accredited
landscape designers in Minnesota. Three. Compared to about 250 architects.
ut let’s back up for a moment. How exactly does ®
Here are some basics.
cardinal rule number one: see that “registered
trademark” symbol after LEED
every time it appears
in this article? That is the inherent power of the system. ®
No project or professional can claim LEED unless the
USGBC, who owns the trademark, says they can, just like ®
no one can hang out a shingle and serve up a Big Mac or ®
a Slurpee . And the way the USGBC gives permission is
SCAPE spring 07
LEED® for New Construction: Version 2.2 Available Credits The credits to which landscape architects could make a significant contribution are highlighted in dark green. Sustainable Sites Credits (SS)
Materials and Resources Credits (MR)
Prereq Construction Activity Pollution Prevention SS1 Site Selection SS2 Development Density and Community Connectivity SS3 Brownfield Redevelopment SS4.1 Alternative Transportation: Public Transit Access SS4.2 Alternative Transportation: Bike Storage and Changing Rooms SS4.3 Alternative Transportation: Low Emitting and Fuel Efficient Vehicles SS4.4 Alternative Transportation: Parking Capacity SS5.1 Site Development: Protect or Restore Habitat SS5.2 Site Development: Maximize Open Space SS6.1 Stormwater Design: Quantity Control SS6.2: Stormwater Design: Quality Control SS7.1 Heat Island Effect: Non-roof SS7.2: Heat Island Effect: Roof SS8 Light Pollution Reduction
Prereq MR1.1 MR1.2 MR1.3 MR2.1 MR2.2 MR3.1 MR3.2 MR4.1 MR4.2 MR5.1 MR5.2 MR6 MR7
Indoor Environmental Quality Credits (EQ) Prereq Prereq EQ1 EQ2 EQ3.1 EQ3.2 EQ4.1 EQ4.2 EQ4.3 EQ4.4 EQ5 EQ6.1 EQ6.2 EQ7.1 EQ7.2 EQ8.1 EQ8.2
Water Efficiency Credits (WE) WE1.1 WE1.2 WE2 WE3.1 WE 3.2
Water Efficient Landscaping: 50% Reduction Water Efficient Landscaping: No Potable Water Innovative Wastewater Technologies Water Use Reduction: 20% Water Use Reduction: 30%
Energy and Atmosphere Credits (EA) Prereq Prereq Prereq EA1 EA2 EA3 EA4 EA5 EA6
Storage and Collection of Recyclables Building Re-Use: Maintain 75% Walls/Floor/Roof Building Re-Use: Maintain 100% Walls/Floor/Roof Building Re-Use: Maintain 50% Interior Non-Struct. Construction Waste Management: Divert 50% Construction Waste Management: Divert 75% Materials Re-Use: 5% Materials Re-Use: 10% Recycled Content: 10% Recycled Content: 20% Regional Materials: 10% Regional Materials: 20% Rapidly Renewable Materials Certified Wood
Fundamental Energy Systems Commissioning Minimum Energy Performance Fundamental Refrigerant Management Optimize Energy Performance On-Site Renewable Energy Enhanced Commissioning Enhanced Refrigerant Management Measurement and Verification Green Power
Minimum IAQ Performance Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring Increased Ventilation Construction IAQ Management: During Construction Construction IAQ Management: Before Occupancy Low-Emitting Materials: Adhesives and Sealants Low-Emitting Materials: Paints and Coatings Low-Emitting Materials: Carpet Systems Low-Emitting Materials: Composites and Agrifibers Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control Controllability of Systems: Lighting Controllability of Systems: Thermal Comfort Thermal Comfort: Design Thermal Comfort: Verification Daylight and Views: Daylight 75% of spaces Daylight and Views: Views for 90% of spaces
Innovation and Design Process Credits (ID) ID1 ID2
Innovation in Design LEED® Accredited Professional
to operate a certification process, which the organization
for a series of “credits” in six categories (see sidebar for a
(more on that later). By holding, essentially, franchisees,
line, an actually quite handy project management process
manages, periodically updates, and charges money for ®
to a strict set of standards, the hope is that LEED can be trusted as an honest measure of sustainability. ®
LEED cardinal rule number two: projects are certified, professionals are accredited. The USGBC doles out the ®
LEED name in two ways. Most recognizeably, it certi®
fies projects, that is, it stamps them with its LEED seal of approval, at which time they can advertise that fact, ®
as in cardinal rule number one. To become LEED certi-
fied (at one of 4 levels: basic certification, Silver, Gold, or Platinum), a building owner or consultant must fill out a worksheet, also providing supporting information that proves they have done what is required. Points are given issue #7
listing of all the credits). All of this can be managed on that allows different consultants to work on certain credits and upload their back-up information. The owner pays a
fee when starting the process and another to secure final certification. The fees pay for the USGBC to review the materials (no site visits with LEED
to basically continue to exist. Some say the fees are too
steep, running quickly to the thousands of dollars, and
several recent Twin Cities metro area projects have opted ®
to follow the LEED process but forgo actual certification,
spending the money instead on aspects of the building and site. In fact “Could-Be LEED” is rapidly becoming a common phrase.
tecture impacts other systems, namely water use, heating
and cooling, stormwater management, and transportation: ®
The USGBC has different certification systems for ®
different types of projects. Currently, it offers LEED for New Construction (by far the most popular), for Existing
Buildings, for Commercial Interiors, and for Core and Shell. Currently under development are more specific new construction methods for schools, health care facili®
ties, and campuses, as well as LEED for Neighborhood Development and for Homes (both perhaps of particular interest to landscape architects).
all of which are potential LEED credit items. But to pass
the test, knowledge of other building systems is crucial. In a random selection of multiple choice questions, a test
taker will just as likely be asked about stormwater and bicycle parking as about indoor air quality and heating/ ventilation energy modeling. Hartberg feels anyone can pass, with study. “Even the architects,” he says, “are
learning new systems they’re not intimately familiar with.”
LEED Cardinal Rule #1: USGBC owns the trademark.
That’s how they regulate sustainability
LEED Cardinal Rule #2: buildings are certified, professionals are accredited LEED Cardinal Rile #3: it’s for people, not for buildings ®
Professionals (architects, landscape architects, developers,
Theoretically, the LEED
by taking a multiple choice test available through the
around a table together and game-plans what credits
interior designers, etc.) can become LEED
USGBC. Upon passage, the organization allows them to ®
put “LEED AP” (LEED accredited professional) after
their name. That tagline serves as proof that the professional knows the system for getting a building certified
and, by extension, understands green design principles.
Anyone can sit for the test: there are no professional tenure or specialty requirements. The test currently costs $250
for USGBC members (an annual sliding scale fee paid
by firms or organizations, not individuals). The USGBC periodically updates the system, and the most recent, unveiled in January, is Version 2.2. Passing the test makes
a professional accredited for any previous or subsequent rating system or version. ®
Finally, LEED cardinal rule number 3: it is ultimately for
people, not for buildings. “It is all about comfort and user experience in and around the building,” says Benjamin ®
AP landscape designer with Damon
Farber Associates. He goes on to state that the interior
and exterior are inherently linked, thereby, one would suppose, creating an essential role for the landscape architect.
feel that landscape architecture has a profound impact on the rating system itself,” continues Hartberg. He became accredited because he
wanted to speak intelligently about how landscape archi-
certification process sets up a
collaborative design environment where everyone sits to pursue. In so doing, the theory goes, the building in question becomes more sustainable from the input of a
wide variety of professionals, and from the understanding that many decisions affect other decisions.
describes a recent project where the team was going to
incorporate a series of photovoltaic “trees” to help provide
power for the building (and get a credit point or two). Initial parking lot landscaping concepts planted the site
heavily with shade trees to reduce the heat island effect (another point). Unfortunately, the real trees were likely to eventually shade the photovoltaic ones, so the parking lot was reconfigured so it could be shaded with smaller,
ornamental trees; and berms planted with prairie grasses were created to screen the lot. Now the project can get its
points for the photovoltaics, reduction in heat island, and
landscape water reduction, while still providing what is ®
likely to be an interesting design. LEED advocates argue
that those compromises (ultimately leading to greater
sustainability and better overall design) would not have happened in a typical building-first, landscape-later design process.
Heidi Bringman, ASLA, is a LEED AP with LHB Inc., in Duluth. She worked on the Whole Foods Co-op in ®
Duluth, one of only four LEED
Certified buildings in
Minnesota listed on the USGBC website. (NOTE: there could be others, but the USGBC only lists projects whose
SCAPE spring 07
owners have consented to be listed. Bringman’s firm was
LEED® Case Study 1: Whole Foods Co-op
currently listed on the site.) She worked with the firm’s
Location: Duluth, MN Architect / Landscape Architect: LHB, Inc., Duluth, MN Square Footage: 18,600 building, 15,800 site Estimated Project Cost: $1.9 million Description: Essentially an adaptive reuse project, the co-op gained the bulk of its LEED® points for reuse of building and materials, and its urban location. The landscape designer, Heidi Bringman, assisted with site selection and siting of alternative transportation parking (bicycles and carpools), both key LEED® considerations.
involved in another certified project in Duluth that is not architects on site selection and some subsequent tricky
access issues associated with the urban brownfield site (see sidebar). She describes a fascinating climate within her office, where she has become a go-to person for all
things sustainable. “My colleagues assume I know every-
thing about sustainability,” she admits, “which is not the case.” She often has to do additional research, which she enjoys, but the end result is more information on how to
make a project sustainable – information perhaps no one ®
would have asked for without a LEED AP at the next
desk. It could be said the mere fact of her accreditation is
pushing sustainability in a large multi-disciplinary firm. And much of that respect comes from her understanding (as Hartberg stressed) of other systems.
“I know more
than just site-related things,” says Bringman. know what different materials mean
[to certification] or what an electrical or
mechanical engineer has to be aware of.”
EED is not perfect. But sustainability is such a complex and opinion-laden word, how could
any sustainability program be perfect? The cost is raised as a primary downfall. It costs $450 for USGBC members to register their project, that is, begin the certification process and get access to the
website for project management. For actual certification,
Bicycle, vanpool, carpool, and compact car parking were located near the front entrance, securing LEED credits
the scale slides a bit, starting at $1,750 for buildings under 50,000 square feet up to a maximum of $17,500 for those over 500,000 square feet. Considering the millions spent on a typical project, the cost seems reasonable. For instance,
at green infill condo development E2 Homes (see sidebar page 26), the total fees will break down to $550 per unit.
As of last December, the USGBC is refunding all certification fees for projects that achieve the highest (Platinum)
rating. The big money, however, is in the additional consulting fees associated with compiling, keeping track of, and submitting project documentation, as well as the prerequisite building systems comissioning. ®
LEED has been criticized for being purely a marketing
The re-use of an existing site necessitated careful service access design. Though at times more difficult to work with, the existing urban site lent a large number of LEED credits
tool, for the developers, their buildings, and the architects who design them. Well, if developers are using LEED
sustainability as a desirable aspect of a building. LEED
LHB, Inc., ALL
as a marketing tool, it means the public has embraced prevents greenwash – keeps developers from selling false
sustainability. The USGBC’s entire point is to create a issue #7
firms, however, in browsing LEED
on line, designers are not listed, seemingly a marketing ®
New LEED® Credits recommended by a LEED® AP landscape architect Cassie Neu, ASLA, of LHB Minneapolis suggests several new credits that might better integrate building and site, as well as recognize holistic site design. Creative Solutions & Ecological Interpretive Design: This credit would honor design intent as a full expression of sustainable design taken as a whole. Many “sustainable” projects are a collection of pieces (a rain garden here, permeable paving there, etc.) but they don’t tell a story about the total design. A project based on great design that interprets the land and tells its story, while at the same time being sustainable should be rewarded for that. Long-term Maintenance-Free Solutions: This credit would find value in effective solutions that last. Credits are currently given for 50% recylable material and for local materials but there is no examination of what these products actually are. Sometimes these two credits are at odds, and sometimes neither solution helps with design longevity. For example, should recycled glass from California be worth more than a hearty bark mulch from a local farm? The bark mulch might increase the longevity of the vegetation while supporting the local economy. Master Planning / Siting: Site selection is already included in the point system, but this credit would go beyond that. It could emphasize sound development planning as well as placement of buildings on the land. This could be difficult to gauge, but very important. Site-adapted vegetation: This credit would reward landscape plans that not only reduce water need, but restore native plants and systems. Such vegetation might also contribute to the permanence and maintenance-free character of the design.
drawback for all the LEED AP’s out there.
“I wasn’t a believer at the beginning,” says LHB Minneapolis’ Cassie Neu, “but we had a group discus®
sion [in the office] and decided that if LEED is broken, we should become accredited by the rules they have and then try to change them.” What would she change? Some points seem at war with each other. Credits are
given for water reduction, i.e. lack of an irrigation system. Establishing a quality plant layer, however, has immense benefits for the long-term quality of the site (cooling,
habitat, eventual water reduction, open space), and sometimes requires irrigation to get started. Neu says sometimes these conflicts cause the overall intent to be
missed. She suggests the long-term view is lacking, and more points should be given for total environments that
can be tested over time (see a list of Neu’s recommended additional credits in the sidebar).
“That,” she says,
“would require more landscape architects to be involved in the establishment of the actual points.” In order for ®
that to happen, since new versions of LEED are vetted by USGBC members, more landscape architects need to sign up – and that’s not happening in droves.
ill Bleckwenn is a landscape architect with
Pioneer Engineering. He recently attended the ®
LEED 101 Workshop, essentially an introduction
to the process. “I want to be familiar with the guiding principles,” he says, “and how to provide that type of
design. I am also encountering this thinking in some
city ordinances, such as density bonuses for employing ®
LEED principles.” (That was in Afton, in their cluster development ordinance, which has since been rescinded.) ®
He may wait to take the test, though, until LEED for Neighborhood Developments (LEED-ND) is up and ®
running. This new LEED
offering would certifiy not
just individual buildings, but entire developments. According to the USGBC website, it will “integrate the
principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into the first national standard for neighborhood design.”
climate where being green is a badge of honor. The more
LEED-ND is being developed jointly by the USGBC,
will seek it, and the better that is for the environment.
Resources Defense Council. A pilot process exists, and
or is overwhelmingly skewed toward energy systems
Linkage,” “Neighborhood Pattern and Design,” “Green
projects that are more sustainable than they would have
programs, “Innovation and Design Process” (see sidebar
stylish LEED is, the more developers and organizations ®
the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Natural
Even if LEED leaves some things out of its assessment
gives credits in the categories of “Smart Location and
(common complaints), it rewards (perhaps even inspires)
Construction and Technology,” and, as with other LEED
been. And, isn’t energy consumption one of the primary
for a complete listing of proposed credits).
problems with buildings? Unfortunately for the design
SCAPE spring 07
LEED® for Neighborhood Development: pilot project credits This is a listing of the proposed credit items for the forthcoming LEED-ND. Though the titles give some sense of what will be required for certification of a neighborhood, more information is available on the USGBC website. Go to www.usgbc. org and click “LEED Rating Systems,” then “Neighborhood Development.” Smart Location and Linkage (SLL) Prereq Prereq Prereq Prereq Prereq Prereq SLL1 SLL2 SLL3 SLL4 SLL5 SLL6 SLL7 SLL8 SLL9 SLL10 SLL11
Smart Locationn Proximity to Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Imperiled Species and Ecological Communities Wetland and Water Body Conservation Agricultural Land Conservation Floodplain Avoidance Brownfields Redevelopment High Priority Brownfields Redevelopment Preferred Locations Reduced Automobile Dependence Bicycle Network Housing and Jobs Proximity School Proximity Steep Slope Protection Site Design for Habitat / Wetland Conservation Restoration of Habitat / Wetlands Conservation Management of Habitat / Wetlands
Walkable Streets Street Network Transit Facilities Transportation Demand Management Access to Surrounding Vicinity Access to Public Spaces Access to Active Spaces Universal Accessibility Community Outreach and Involvement Local Food Production
Green Construction and Technology (GCT) Prereq GCT1 GCT2 GCT3 GCT4 GCT5 GCT6 GCT7 GCT8 GCT9 GCT10 GCT11 GCT12 GCT13 GCT14 GCT15 GCT16 GCT17 GCT18 GCT19 GCT20
Neighborhood Pattern and Design (NPD) Prereq Prereq NPD1 NPD2 NPD3 NPD4 NPD5 NPD6
NPD7 NPD8 NPD9 NPD10 NPD11 NPD12 NPD13 NPD14 NPD15 NPD16
Open Community Compact Development Compact development Diversity of Uses Diversity of Housing Types Affordable Rental Housing Affordable For-Sale Housing Reduced Parking Footprint
Construction Activity Pollution Prevention Certified Green Buildings Energy Efficiency in Buildings Reduced Water Use Building Reuse and Adaptive Reuse Reuse of Historic Buildings Minimize Site Disturbance through Site Design Minimize Site Disturbance during Construction Contaminant Reduction in Brownfields Remediation Stormwater Management Heat Island Reduction Solar Orientation On-Site Energy Generation On-Site Renewable Energy Sources District Heating and Cooling Infrastructure Energy Efficiency Wastewater Management Recycled Content in Infrastructure Construction Waste Management Comprehensive Waste Management Light Pollution Reduction
Innovation and Design Process (ID)
Innovation and Exemplary Performance
LEED Accredited Professional
Unfortunately for Bleckwenn, at the LEED 101 Workshop
a general commitment to sustainability in design. Though
separate testing for LEED-ND (which would likely have
much as landscape architects might like, it has become
it was stated that the USGBC does not intend to offer been easier for landscape architects to pass). This program
is, however, a full step into the realm of landscape architecture (one might wonder why the American Society of Landscape Architects is not involved). Taking the LEED
test now will make a designer accredited even for LEEDND when it comes on line. In addition, owners can now
participate in the pilot system, potentially setting their ®
developments up as some of the first LEED
neighborhoods in the world. An expression of interest form is available on the USGBC website (see resources).
here are we now? Landscape architects are ®
LEED may not currently directly address site matters as
the national standard, and it is in place now. A similar
program called the Sustainable Sites Initiative (spearheaded by the American Society of Landscape Architects
and the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center) is currently in development and would focus on more bread-andbutter landscape architecture projects.
the current schedule puts availability of certification
and accreditation out in 2012. There are some industry and regional standards, such as Minnesota’s Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3) rating system, but none is as ®
comprehensive as LEED .
“Honestly,” says LHB Minneapolis’ Cassie Neu, “I felt as a
ment with building and development projects, and despite
sustainability, and actually be able to educate people on
poorly represented among the LEED
ranks, despite their long-standing involve-
landscape architect that I should be leading the charge for
global climate change. All these architects are going out
there saying they’re green, when it’s the landscape archi®
tects who should be inherently green. LEED started with
LEED® Case Study 2: E2 Homes Location: Minneapolis, MN Developer: The Urban Project Architect / Landscape Architect: LHB, Inc., Minneapolis, MN Square Footage: 10,600 Notable Feature: if certified, will be the first LEED® residential project in the state Description: This 4-unit condominium project will be built on a tight site in south Minneapolis, within 1/4 mile of two bus lines. The site was a contaminated brownfield which will be remediated through the development process. Site-related LEED® credits are also being pursued for parking reduction (1 car per unit), decreased impervious surface, stormwater rate and quality control (rain gardens figure prominently in the design), and local materials (50% of the landscaping is native non-turf).
the mechanical systems and building shells because that’s what is emitting the carbon. But we need to step back
and think about how we’re developing in the first place, how we’re sprawling in the first place.” And that, she says, is a landscape architect’s role. But unless landscape
architects can talk about heating, solar, electrical, controllability, wastewater, and all the other building-related ®
requires an accredited professional to
know, they miss out on the big picture. “If we’re not the
ones saying we should have human systems integrated with natural systems,” she continues, “then we’re leaving this to architects and engineers who have less background and passion for those underlying philosophies.” ®
for Neighborhood Development should be big:
certification, for sustainability, of entire developments. ®
If landscape architects don’t start putting the LEED AP after their names, green-minded developers may just look elsewhere.
Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA, is a landscape architect and freelance writer. He is founder of Treeline, a design / writing consultancy based in Minneapolis, and editor of _SCAPE Magazine. He began the LEED accreditation process in order to write this article, but has not yet taken the test.
Resources The USGBC’s website is www.usgbc.org. Navigating the site is fairly easy. Go to the main page, then: -- to learn how to become LEED® AP, click “LEED AP” in the top menu bar -- to certify your project, click “LEED” in the top menu, then “Register your project” on the left. -- to get a list of accredited professionals, click “LEED” in the top menu, then “LEED AP Directory” on the left. -- to see a list of certified projects, click “LEED” in the top menu, then “LEED Project Lists” on the left.
® -- to learn about LEED for Neighborhood Development (and get your project considered for the pilot program), click “LEED” in the top menu, then “LEED Rating Systems” on the left,
SCAPE spring 07
then “Neighborhood Development.”
A treasure trove of landscape supplies and design inspiration.
THE STORY OF YOUR LAND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE LAND PLANNING WRITING FOR HIRE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Supplying materials for: Retaining walls Driveways
Patios Ponds & Waterfalls Stop in and see our vast inventory of natural stone from Minnesota and around the world!
a new web resource Articles on sustainability and design SM TextCharette: a writing-for hire service SM WordForum: presentation seminars for designers The Treeline Locator
3/31/2006 10:26:36 AM
The difference is In our design
Work / Study The landscape architecture program at the University of Minnesota has seen its share of changes over 40 years. Is it turning out the professionals that firms want? by Zachary Q. Jorgensen
hen the landscape architecture program at
status renewed two additional times (2001 and 2006).
classes in 1967 there were two professors
board, and, according to the department, the program is
the University of Minnesota held its first
and five students. Meeting as a part of the Department of Architecture, the five year program quickly earned
accreditation for its Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
degree. Today the program offers a three year first professional Masters of Landscape Architecture. It includes
twenty-seven full and adjunct professors teaching an average of seventy-five MLA students.
In the forty years since the first classes met, the Department of Landscape Architecture has undergone many changes to meet the needs of the profession. But just how well are
todayâ€™s students being prepared to enter the field? Are
they getting the training that firms are looking for in a graduate or are there aspects of the program that could be strengthened?
The program as it exists today emerged in 1992 when the Department of Landscape Architecture offered its first
classes in the Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program. The departmentâ€™s focus is to prepare students
to be critical thinkers and multifunctional designers. The program was first accredited in 1996 and has had that
Each review generated high marks from the accreditation
ranked among the top seven in the nation. This has led to an increase in the number of students and applicants.
The mission of the newly formed College of Design is to be an international and national leader in multidisciplinary research, creative production, teaching, and public engagement in a wide variety of design related fields. One of the more recent changes is the merging of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
with the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel to form The College of Design (CDES). The mission of
this new college is to be, according to its own website, â€œan international and national leader in multidisciplinary research, creative production, teaching, and public
SCAPE spring 07
engagement in a wide variety of design related fields.”
Involvement by area landscape architects is strong in
interdisciplinary work and provide a more stimulating
Koepke, “where [the school] intersects with the profes-
“The College of Design is a great opportunity to do more multi- and interdisciplinary environment,” says John
Koepke, associate professor and head of the Landscape Architecture Department. Though CDES is still emerging
as a college, Damon Farber, recent College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture board member and periodic
instructor at the University, believes that, “this interdisciplinary approach will allow for greater discovery.”
Within the Department of Landscape Architecture the
main focus is on developing the design sophistication of the students. Says Koepke, “We are trying to train people to be critical thinkers, to ask good
questions, and have the skills to answer those questions.” The idea is to allow the
students to address the issues they will face in a holistic, multifunctional way.
the program. “There are a number of places,” points out
sion.” Mentoring programs, capstone advisory boards, studio critiques, career fairs, and alumni functions are a
few of the ways that professionals are getting involved
and sharing their insights and experience with the MLA students.
hile the focus of the program is on creating practicing landscape architects that have strong critical thinking skills, many feel that
the MLA program needs to develop a stronger technical
curriculum. Koepke agrees that the university might not
“While the University has a stronger design program than other schools, it may not be as well-balanced technically as North Dakota State or Iowa State.”
Damon Farber, also head of his epony-
mous landscape architecture firm in Minneapolis, appre-
be the strongest technically but he feels that students are
the most important thing that a student can learn.
develop on the job.
ciates this focus on critical thinking and believes that it is
given exposure to these skills, which they can then further
One approach that the department uses to accomplish this
“While the University has a stronger design program than
art and ecology.
ture firm Sanders Wacker Bergly in Saint Paul, “it may
is to structure the curriculum around the combination of Understanding the connection that
human culture has with natural systems and how that can guide the design process is an important aspect of the
program and one that provides the basis for the develop-
other schools,” says Larry Wacker, of landscape architecnot be as well-balanced technically as schools like North Dakota State or Iowa State.” He emphasizes the need
for good grading and storm water management skills, as
“This mix of knowledge (professors) and experience (practitioners) is a lot healthier than all one or all the other.”
well as a basic understanding of design details
such as irrigation, lighting, retaining walls, and
underground drainage. Knowing how various materials can be applied to the design solution is also important. “With a small firm like ours,” he says, “you need people who can jump in on all
ment of sustainable, creative, and multifunctional design
aspects of a project.”
are professors with diverse backgrounds in practice and
This includes an understanding of the computer programs
professionals that serve as adjuncts to the department.
as Auto CAD, Photoshop, and Sketch Up. Chad Buran,
Leading the students through this process
research in landscape architecture as well as practicing
“This mix of knowledge and experience is a lot healthier than all one or all the other” says Anna Claussen, a third year student in the MLA program and current student
representative to the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MASLA). “The profes-
sors are there for the students… and there is so much you can learn from them.” But she also appreciates the professionals’ involvement because they are able to bring a lot of life experience to the classroom. issue #7
commonly used by landscape architecture firms such landscape designer with Saint Paul-based Bonestroo and Director of Academic Affairs for MASLA, stresses that it is important to get a basic understanding of these programs and their limitations. “The main thing is to become fast and accurate,” he says, “and then the firms will fine tune
those skills to their specific needs.” Students have seen this need for stronger computer knowledge, and classes in CAD and Sketch Up have recently been added to the
curriculum, taught by landscape architecture practitioners who regularly use those programs.
with students from other countries and other disciplines
helpful in learning cooperation skills and how to work
through barriers. For her it has been one of her biggest verall, recent graduates and current students
have felt well prepared to get jobs within the field. One of the more appreciated aspects of
the program is the openness that exists in the curriculum. Tony Chevalier, a 2006 graduate now with the Wayzata
challenges so far, but she feels it will help her be better prepared for the real world. Chad Buran also went to
Europe and said the experience broadened his horizons. He considers the trip a valuable experience that sets the Minnesota MLA program apart.
office of the international landscape architecture firm Hart
Like other professionals, recent graduates like Chevalier
him to follow his interests and kept it open to the students
emphasis placed on the technical aspects of the profession.
Howerton, found it helpful that the university allowed
and Buran expressed that they would like to see more
“The more you can know about your allied professions the better.” to specialize. He found this especially beneficial in a field
that is so broad. He was also encouraged to think outside of the field. He stresses, “The more you can know about your allied professions the better.”
While the program provides the students different
options for studio classes and electives, there are some limits placed on the openness of the program, according
to department head Koepke. This is due to the professional nature of the degree and the guidelines that must be met as part of the accreditation process.
this, the “Design Principles of the Urban Landscape”
and “Planned Development” classes, which were previously required, have recently been turned into electives, allowing students more flexibility within the program.
They also said that more involvement with professionals through internships, office
visits, and in the classroom would help students know what to expect and more easily transition into the field.
s the landscape architecture program continues
to move forward as part of the College of
Design, there are likely to be many new initia-
tives. According to Koepke several new offerings are in the works, including a certificate in restoration, continued
refinements to the curriculum with expanded options for electives and studios, increased interdisciplinary opportunities, and the chance to participate in the collegiate PhD program. Next year the department will be
launching its Climate Change Initiative which will allow landscape architects to begin thinking about how they can
be involved with future environmental decisions. As he
points out, “The time to start planning for thirty years out is now.”
Another positive aspect of the University’s program,
Over the past forty years the Department of Landscape
the school. Minnesota, uniquely, is at the merger of three
into a large and diverse professional program. Though
according to 3rd year student Claussen, was the location of distinct biomes and has a large urban area. This combination is a real asset to the study of landscape architecture
because not only does it provide access to all of the urban
and edge atmospheres, but it also allows for study of the natural conditions that are prevalent over large areas of
the country (see “Regional Differences,” _SCAPE, Fall 06). The exposure to these major biomes, all located in
close proximity, is very important at a school that strives to integrate ecology with art.
The opportunity to study in Europe during the second
year is also often cited as an important part of the MLA
Architecture at the University of Minnesota has grown
it is important to continue to augment the technical
instruction the students receive, the new interdisciplinary
approach of the College of Design will likely further solidify the MLA program’s national standing.
combining the long-standing focus on art and ecology
with this new multi-faceted approach, the school will continue to prepare students to be critical thinkers and leaders in the profession.
Zachary Q. Jorgensen is a graduate student in the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Minnesota and student member of MASLA.
program. Claussen, who studied abroad, found working
SCAPE spring 07