Sustainability-Garden-VerticalSustainability has become a term of many meanings over the past few years.   When we say that sustainability will be the foundation on which we create this garden several things can come to mind.  For each individual the image may be unique to their own knowledge and experience.

The word sustainability comes from the Latin word sustinere, “tenere”- meaning to hold and “sus”- meaning up.  Sustain can mean “maintain”, “support”, or “endure”.  Currently the most widely quoted definition of sustainability is a part of the concept sustainable development defined by the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations, in March 20, 1987: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

This garden will showcase and utilize as many practices as possible including educational elements on various sustainable topics. Visitors will be able to observe practices on site and acquire information that they can apply in their lives and at home.  Since the garden is expected to be developed over time, sustainable installations and practices will change as more options are developed that can be integrated into the project.  Here are just a few examples of the sustainable items and practices we currently envision.

Water– Reclamation, capture and re-use, usage, smart irrigation, rain gardens, permeable hardscapes, microclimates and zonal planting, appropriate plantings in general design.

Recycle – Composting and repurposing, use of recyclable materials

Energy – Solar and other options, element positioning, natural light and natural shade, appropriate building materials and design, efficient lighting and area climate control.

Conservation – Site location, plant selection and design, habitat protection and development.

Food – Organic options from produce grown at the site and other organic products

Maintenance – Eco friendly equipment, and practices, integrated pest management, minimal use of non organic chemical controls or fertilizers, healthy soil development.

Economic – Balance of economic demands, environmental resilience, and social equity.

Education – Signage, displays, on site demonstration and participation, seminars, workshops, storytelling and other materials and events.