Phipps Celebrates World Landscape Architecture Month
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Campus, Pittsburgh, PA is a leader in green horticulture and sustainability worldwide. Recognizing the importance of integrating the landscape in all that we do, Phipps has developed multiple award winning green buildings encompassing wellness, education, health, and beauty that offer a seamless experience between the built and natural environment.
Center for Sustainable Landscapes
Designed to be the greenest building in the world, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is the first and only building to meet four of the highest green certifications.
The Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, WELL Building Platinum, and Four-Stars Sustainable SITES. It generates all of its own energy and treats all storm and sanitary water captured on-site. As Phipps’ education, research and administration facility, the CSL is an integral part of the Phipps visitor experience, focusing attention on the important intersection between the built and natural environments, and demonstrating that human and environmental health are inextricably connected. Each year over 400,000 visitors pass through these gardens from all over the world providing us a major opportunity to showcase what homeowners and businesses can do to improve their lives.
Eight years ago Phipps initiated a program called SafeLawns to certify local commercial landscape design firms and contractors as professionals who could offer a sustainable lawn care option to customers. This came about after we started stressing the importance of sustainable lawn care maintenance to our guests. We quickly learned that there were very few people who could provide this service. The accreditation offered a well-rounded curriculum which covered organic land care principles, practices, design and maintenance. The course now reaches an audience beyond landscape contractors and designers and enrolls a diverse group including garden center employees, horticulturists, property managers, master gardeners, educators and others. This standard for sustainable excellence has recently incorporated a new program modeled after the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Organic Land Care Program. NOFA has been providing organic land care training for nearly 15 years and is a member of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement working to assist organic followers in its full diversity. Led by experienced trainers from the NOFA program and supplemented by local experts to provide regional context, courses are built around NOFA’s Organic Land Care Standards, and cover topics such as Soil Ecology; Site Analysis and Design; Organic Pest, Weed and Disease Control; Storm Water Management; Invasive Plants and more. Programs like these are changing the way people garden.
Located in the Schenley Park area of Pittsburgh, PA, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens campus encompasses internationally recognized glass houses combined with an extraordinary set of the most energy efficient and well buildings in the world. Garden Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. &10 p.m. on Fridays. • www.phipps.conservatory.org