The annual conference of the American Public Gardens Association took place June 21 – 24, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA. While attending the conference, Oehme, van Sweden Principals Lisa Delplace and Sheila Brady were panelists at a seminar focusing on SITES, the Sustainable Sites Initiative. The idea behind SITES is to create voluntary, national guidelines for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.
Some of the first groups to whole-heartedly embrace and test the ideas of SITES were public gardens – the arboreta, conservatories and botanic gardens of the world. Two of OvS’ current projects, the New York Botanical Garden’s New Native Garden and The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden, are Pilot Projects of the initiative and were a topics of discussion among the seminar panelists.
In addition to Lisa and Sheila, Melanie Sifton of Humber Arboretum, James Ward from the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Stephanie DeStefano of American University and Kelly Ogrodnik from the Phipps Conservatory discussed how they work with nature to ensure built gardens mimic natural systems at NYBG and gardens worldwide.