The Green at College Park
The announcement acknowledges UT Arlington’s commitment
to sustainability as an integral part of College Park District, an entertainment,
living and shopping development spanning more than 20 acres that is helping revitalize
shows that UT Arlington is on the cutting-edge of sustainable practices, not
just in our buildings, but all across campus,” said Meghna Tare, UT Arlington’s
director of sustainability. “The Green is a place to enjoy nature and to learn
about how to preserve the natural environment.”
Sites Initiative, also known as SITES™, is a partnership of the American
Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University
of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden. The goal is to provide
a ratings system for landscape design that is similar to the popular U.S. Green
Building Council’s LEED designation.
With the help of
design and sustainability experts, the SITES partners established a list of
guidelines and performance benchmarks in 2009. Worldwide, more than 150 pilot
projects – including The Green at College Park – have been working toward
initial certification since May 2010.
“This is a very rigorous
process,” said David Hopman, an associate professor of landscape architecture
in UT Arlington’s School of Architecture who, along with faculty research
associate Sonal Parmar, led the efforts to achieve SITES pilot project
certification. “You not only have to say what you’re going to do, you then have
to measure what you’re doing and show that you’ve accomplished it.”
The Green at
College Park opened in March 2011 and includes 2.6 acres southeast of College
Park Center, the new 7,000-seat special events venue. Through specialized soil,
native plants and innovative design concepts, the park helps reduce storm water
runoff from College Park Center by more than 25 percent. It filters 80 percent
of the suspended solids out of the water before it flows toward flood-prone
The Green also
contains several recycled features, such as a walkway made from recycled beer
bottles and large shade structures made from recycled metal.
Rollins and Associates provided a team of landscape architects, engineers and
architects that developed the project from master planning through construction.
It was funded through a North Central Texas Council of Governments grant in
partnership with the City of Arlington and UT Arlington.
Janna Tidwell, lead
designer on the project and landscape architect/associate at Schrickel, Rollins,
said UT Arlington was an enthusiastic partner in the project and allowed her
firm to incorporate new products and concepts.
“A lot of times we
have to kind of sell clients on these ideas, and we didn’t have to do that with
UT Arlington,” she said. “Now, probably each week someone gets in touch with us
and wants to know about something we did on the project. So it’s really
reaching out into the community and becoming an example.”
The two other SITES pilot projects
certified this week were Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park in
Tennessee and The Novus International Headquarters in Missouri.
Green at College Park is expected to play a significant role also in the
University’s application for LEED Gold certification for the College Park
Center development. Visit www.utacollegepark.com to learn more about College Park Center.
The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive
research institution of 33,439 students in the heart of North Texas.
Visit www.uta.edu to