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UT Arlington, city of Arlington celebrate new, sustainable urban oasis

News Release — 30 March 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Traci Peterson, (817) 272-9208, tpeterso@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - University, city and community leaders will gather in The Green at College Park Tuesday, April 5, to officially open the innovative green space that anchors College Park District to the south and embodies Arlington’s progress toward urban renewal.

College ParkTuesday’s 2 p.m. event will feature the release of 200 Painted Lady and Monarch butterflies and remarks by Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and Councilwoman Kathryn Wilemon and will be emceed by Marni Jade Evans, interim director of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, a pilot rating system for sustainable land development.

The Green at College Park is the first of three major construction projects to be completed in the in the College Park District, a 20-acre area under development at UT Arlington. The new green space was designed with sustainability in mind and is one of 150 locations worldwide to serve as a pilot for the SITES project, a new rating system for green landscape, design, construction and maintenance.

The city of Arlington was instrumental in helping UT Arlington secure a North Central Texas Council of Governments grant to fund construction of the $2.8 million project.

"The Green at College Park is one more example of the strong partnerships UT Arlington has established with the city of Arlington and our neighbors," said James D. Spaniolo, president of The University of Texas at Arlington. "We invite our community to use this beautiful, sustainable space as a place to relax, unwind and play."

The park lies southeast of the College Park Center -- the 6,500-seat events venue scheduled for completion late this year. College Park District also includes a residential and retail project with residence hall space and apartments for 600 students and two parking structures to serve 1,800 vehicles.

"This project shows what can be accomplished when government entities – in this case the city, UT Arlington and the Council of Governments – put the power of their combined resources toward a common goal," Cluck said. "It is a prime example of the many successful collaborations that are reshaping downtown Arlington." 

The new green space was designed by Arlington-based Schrickel, Rollins and Associates. It has a large lawn, a curved stone wall for seating and paving materials made from recycled bottles that will allow water to permeate the surface. Other sustainable features include native and adaptive plants and a dry creek bed that will help manage rainwater and storm water runoff that drains into Johnson Creek.

The Green at College Park is one of 150 pilot projects being evaluated by SITES. The ratings system is modeled after the LEED Green Building Rating System and promotes sustainable land development management practice.

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.

Tuesday’s dedication will go on rain or shine.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a research institution of nearly 33,800 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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