Guidance for Federal Agencies on Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscapes
President Obama's Executive Order 13514 provides a unique opportunity for Federal agencies and facilities to improve sustainability across their operations. The Executive Order, in addition to its call for agencies to implement sustainable practices when constructing and operating high performance Federal buildings, establishes goals for the conservation of water resources on Federal facilities including potable, industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water. The Executive Order also calls for pollution prevention through a variety of landscape management practices.
To help achieve these policy goals, CEQ issued on October 31, 2011 Guidance for Federal Agencies on Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscapes, which describes strategies to achieve sustainable Federal landscape practices. This guidance is to be used by Federal agencies for landscape practices when constructing new, or rehabilitating existing, owned or leased facilities, or when landscaping improvements are otherwise planned.
The Federal government controls or owns more than 41 million acres of land and 429,000 building assets, comprising 3.34 billion square feet of space in the United States. Consequently, landscaping practices by Federal agencies can have significant impacts on the environment. Decisions regarding the development and maintenance of Federal landscaped property provide an opportunity to promote the sustainable use of water and land, conserve soils and vegetation, support natural ecosystem functions, conserve materials, promote human health and well-being, and ensure accessibility for all users, including those with disabilities.