State’s wildflowers rise to new role – OrlandoSentinel.com

A new grant is helping a budding industry in Florida take root. The $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay for new equipment and marketing for wildflower growers, who are currently harvesting and cleaning tiny seeds as they build their young industry.

Now, with rising gas prices and shrinking water supplies, wildflowers provide a low-impact alternative for landscaping lawns. State transportation officials are gunning for the locally produced seeds to replace grass along highways — mowing is expensive.

For years the state has planted wildflowers along highways, but they usually don’t grow back so they’re replanted annually. Now the focus is on getting wildflowers to reseed themselves — something locally produced seeds help with — and preserving existing stands along the roadways. Areas with flowers require less mowing and can save money — it costs about $250 to mow a mile of highway.

State’s wildflowers rise to new role — OrlandoSentinel.com.

The urban farmer: One man’s crusade to plough up the inner city – Features, Food & Drink – The Independent

Fritz Haeg isn’t perhaps the obvious representative of a revolution in global farming. As an architecture and design academic and practitioner, the American has had his work exhibited at Tate Modern and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and has taught fine art at several US universities. Yet it is last year’s community-collaborative project on an inner-city council estate in south London that best showcases his current passion: the urban farm.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The IndependentThe urban farmer: One man’s crusade to plough up the inner city

LandDesign team wins 10K for green design – Nashville Business Journal

One of LandDesign Inc.’s Nashville office team won an internal competition on green design.

Human Element, a Nashville team, tied for first place in the company-wide sustainable design competition and shared in the $10,000 first place award.

Fourteen teams competed across the company to reduce the carbon footprint of Birkdale Village, a 52-acre mixed use project with residential over retail located in Huntersville, N.C.

SOURCE: Nashville Business JournalLandDesign team wins 10K for green design.

Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing – Mlive.com

The U.S. Green Building Council’s new rating system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in neighborhood development, known as LEED-ND, is coming under fire for not putting a greater emphasis on affordable housing.

Critics say LEED-ND, in its current draft, discourages participating developers from alloting dollars into expensive energy-efficient affordable housing if their payback is, at most, four points out of a possible 106. They worry the point system, and any resulting developer disincentives, will get ingrained in municipal law books if local governments continue to adopt LEED standards at unprecedented rates — all at a time, they add, when the growing gap between wages and mortgages is creating an affordable housing crisis regionally and nationally. 

In a recent study by Cambridge, Mass.-based New Ecology Inc., the cost of building green affordable housing held a nearly 3 percent premium, ranging up to 9 percent on some projects.

read more @ the SOURCE: Mlive.com – Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing.

Ed: Although an interesting article however the article doesn’t mention the savings that low-income families will gain with lower energy bills.
More education of the public in relation to LEED is needed (eg initial construction cost vs long-term running costs and reduced environmental costs). Urban Planning also becomes more important including density of housing.

City celebrates new environmentally friendly parking lot – NWAnews.com

The team behind an environmentally sensitive parking lot at Gulley Park hopes it example for developers and builders, encouraging them to use stormwater management practices that protect water quality rather than harm it.

The city of Fayetteville partnered with the Uni- will be an versity of Arkansas Department of Landscape Architecture and the Arkansas Forestry Commission to build the 30-space parking lot with four bioswales located on the south and southwest sides of the lot and the center island.

Bioswales are designed to treat runoff water, trapping pollutants and silt, before the water flows into the watershed.

Read more @ the SOURCE: NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas’ News.

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