Sustainability: The Future of Our Cities
Sustainable LawnCare.net Leaders Scholarship
Over the past few decades man has become more aware of his impact on the surrounding environment. This has led to setting standards and implementing regulations to help protect it. Growing up around the Chesapeake Bay, I witnessed the negative impact we have had on the environment first hand. I have always been passionate about preserving our environment. My fascination with nature could explain why I decided to study landscape architecture. While studying landscape architecture I have become more aware of how we can reduce our impact on the environment and provide alternatives to outdated structures. Sustainability defines man's want to lower his impact on nature and offer means to improve it. I wish to embody this while practicing my profession. When developing a project site, there will always be some negative impact on the environment, but with sustainability in mind, we can lower that impact.
While studying landscape architecture at the University of Maryland, I have had many projects where I implement sustainable solutions. For example on my latest project I designed a green way for the Briers Mill watershed located in Prince George's County. The objective of this green way was to provide an alternative way of transportation for the area. The greenway connected two stops on the DC metro, while weaving through the communities existing parks. In many of my projects I add bike racks or bike rental facilities to promote a healthier means of transportation. Another element that tends to affect my designs, is water. When designing, I try to keep in mind the importance of cleaning runoff and restoring the water tables. In my designs, I usually incorporate some sort of bio-retention facility on site. I may have planted bio-swales in parking lots or have a bio retention pond at the lowest point of the site to filter the run off. I also call out certain products on my designs. Recently I designed a parking lot using permeable pavers and permeable concrete. These products filter out pollutants from the water and recharge the local water table, thus reducing the amount of runoff from the site. Additionally, this past school year I worked with the Anacostia Watershed Society to install a bio-retention facility at the University of Maryland. To sum things up, I will get my hands dirty either in the field or in the studio to provide green solutions for our environment.
When I finish my studies at the University, I wish to work for a well know design firm and focus on urban planning. When taking into consideration the future of our cities, we should look into our impact on our surrounding environment. At the time when the major cities of the eastern seaboard were being developed, there were not many regulations to protect the environment. I want to look at these old cities in a new light and provide more sustainable living for the community. I plan on integrating sustainability into these aging cities by providing alternative forms of transportation, reevaluating their storm water management standards, and provide alternative types of energy sources. One step that I will take to help educate myself in these fields is to become a LEED Accredited Professional. With my education and field work I will be able to provide sustainable solutions for the environment and will be happy to do so.