Oyster Shell Park Selected for Sustainable Sites Initiative Pilot Program

BSC’s award-winning Oyster Shell Park was selected by the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES)™ as one of the first landscapes to participate in a new program testing the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction, and maintenance.

Oyster Shell Park will join more than 150 other projects as part of an international pilot project program to evaluate the new SITES rating system for sustainable landscapes, with and without buildings.

SITES, 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, selected Oyster Shell Park based on its extensive environmentally friendly elements including managing rainwater on site and protecting and restoring soil conditions. The site’s other sustainable features include tidal estuary restoration for bird habitats, and landscape improvements using native plant materials and recycled materials.

BSC has been involved in the Oyster Shell Park project since the master planning phase, for which we developed an innovative plan to transform the 25-acre former landfill site into a vibrant public recreational space that celebrates art, education, and the environment. BSC’s design embraces the site’s existing land form enhanced with walkways, a central plaza at the apex of the site with views of the waterfront, and improved access to water-based activities.

As part of the pilot program, Oyster Shell Park will test the point system for achieving different levels of site sustainability on a 250-point scale, and the performance benchmarks associated with specific credits within the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009. SITES will use feedback from this and other selected projects during the pilot phase, which runs through June 2012, to revise the final rating system and reference guide by early 2013.