Collier joins 174 other pilot projects as part of the program designed to evaluate the new national uniform SITES rating system.
CLACKAMAS, Ore – Collier Arbor Care, the firm which provides pro bono care for Vancouver’s “oldest apple tree in the Northwest” has been chosen to participate in an international pilot program testing the nation’s rating system for green landscape design, construction and maintenance.
Collier’s four-acre site is one of 175 other pilot projects from 34 states, Canada, Iceland and Spain as part of the program designed to evaluate the new national uniform Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) rating system for sustainable landscapes.
The SITES system will provide a road map leading to LEED certification for an overall site, expanding the green building rating systems beyond the buildings’ skins.
Collier’s initial site development included replanting, the creation of a conservation corridor along the creek and installation of bio-swales to collect run-off water from parking lots and the two buildings on the property.
Under the pilot program the firm will retrofit the property’s irrigation system, redevelop the bio-swales into a rain garden and replant the conservation easement.
The firm also will use 100 percent organic products for weed and pest control and for plant maintenance and soil health.
“We’re treating blackberries with vinegar and are using vinegar and soap products for weed control on the property. We’re also using mulch, compost tea and organic fertilizer for plant maintenance and soil health,” says Collier President Terrill Collier.
Although not part of the SITES project, Collier Arbor Care also is in the process of installing solar panels. It seeks an Eco-Biz designation from the Pollution Prevention Outreach team, a group of pollution prevention experts from seven agencies in the Portland metro area. Ultimately, Collier hopes to obtain LEED certification for the site.
Under the pilot project, Collier will be reducing landscape irrigation by 70 percent and replanting the conservation corridor with native shrubs to make it a mini-arboretum.
With the introduction of its organic-product based Plant Healthcare System 20 years ago, Collier has aimed at being a national leader in sustainability. During his recent term as chair of the national Tree Care Association, he initiated a sustainability task force.