The Sustainable Sites Initiative that it is seeking pilot projects to test the first national rating system for sustainable landscapes.

The Initiative is a partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to create guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings.

The Initiative is accepting applications until February 15, 2010, in conjunction with the release of the next report and new rating system.

Any designed landscape over 2,000 sq ft is eligible, ranging from academic and corporate campuses, to parks and recreation areas, transportation corridors and single residences.

Participation fees may run between $500 to $5,000, depending on project size. About 75 to 150 projects will be selected to take part in the rating-system test.

The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the initiative, anticipates incorporating the Sustainable Sites guidelines and performance benchmarks into future versions of its LEED Green Building Rating System.

More information is available at