Phytoremediation in Landscape Architecture

GreenWorks' Associate Jeff Boggess recently attended the Constructed Wetlands and Poplar Remediation Technical Tour, put on by the International Phytotechnology Society as part of their 8th Annual Conference in Portland this September. Jeff gave an in-office lunchtime presentation on the experience, followed-up by an online article in this month’s Oregon ASLA LANDbytes. Inside he recaps the tour stops at 5 constructed wetlands and poplar plantations in the Willamette Valley Region and talks about potential opportunities for landscape architects to further enrich their stewardship role by making phytotechnology common practice in their designs.

You can check out the article here:

Willamette Week’s Finder Guide Highlights Two GreenWorks Projects

Willamette Week’s Finder, an annual guide to Portland’s neighborhood hot spots features two GreenWorks projects in its recent 2011 issue. The Finder names Da Vinci Middle School as one of Laurelhurst/28th Avenue’s “Best Kept Secrets.”  GreenWorks designed the site work for this modular 21st century classroom that is certified LEED Platinum.


The Finder also features the GreenWorks’ Kenton Streetscape project with a neighborhood mention by Mayor Sam Adams. While noting the huge Paul Bunyan statue as an icon in the area, Mayor Adams describes Kenton Streetscape as “the real babe of the neighborhood.”  He mentions the neighborhood’s redevelopment as a “fully retrofitted green main street, with wider sidewalks, concrete-and granite benches, and a granite sculpture by Mauricio Saldana.”






Hood River School Receives Recognition in Portland Monthly

As Hood River School District completes upgrades and building additions to several schools this fall, Hood River Middle school receives recognition for its LEED improvements. (See link to full article below.) In response to a successful bond measure the Hood River School District has been upgrading, renovating and building additions to their elementary, middle and high schools. GreenWorks helped retrofit existing sites and create new spaces and learning landscapes. Site improvements include plazas, playgrounds, stormwater facilities, outdoor classrooms, performance/ amphitheater spaces, learning gardens and associated landscapes. The site work carefully incorporates the needs of students and how they experience, use and enjoy a site while balancing safety, maintenance and character. GreenWorks services included schematic design, construction documents, specifications, LEED documentation, bidding assistance and construction administration.


For more information visit:

Green Streets on ASLA Website

A recent article authored by Jason King and Shawn Kummer appeared in the ASLA Urban Design Professional Practice Network - discussing some recent work on green street projects and their role in shaping urban form.


"Green streets, like many other green infrastructure strategies, offer the same or better functional contributions as gray streets, as well as a range of added benefits. For example, green storm water design contributes to communities well beyond treating 90% of roadway pollutants, replenishing groundwater, sequestering carbon, and improving air quality. More expansive community benefits include improved neighborhood aesthetics, green connections, pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic calming, and building community consensus around what is a good infrastructure investment. This transfer of investment from single-purpose gray infrastructure such as cartridge storm filters to multi-purpose green infrastructure investment allows for greater benefit to communities—both financially and environmentally—making every dollar invested pay back abundantly. The economics are simple: green storm water infrastructure provides more green in our communities, costs less, works better, is easily scalable, and is more resilient and adaptable than standard pipe systems. While the techniques to improve the control and treatment of storm water runoff are still evolving, green stormwater designs, like many other green infrastructure techniques, are proving to be flexible, offering solutions at a variety of scales rather than just at the end of the pipe. "
Read the entire article here.

APLD Conference Keynote

Mike Faha, Principal of GreenWorks, gave a Keynote Speech on Tuesday, July 14th to the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), in town this week for their annual meeting.


Design + Sustainability, A Retrospective on Portland’s Establishment as a National Leader in the Sustainable Design Movement F. Michael Faha, ASLA, LEED This session will include discussions on the following topics: the impetus behind a city’s determination to go green; evolution of public acceptance for sustainable practices; sustainable site design, low-impact development, green development practices; integrating habitat into the urban environment; sustainable stormwater, raingarden design, green roofs, green walls, green streets; LEED projects; sustainable landscapes do not have to look like a weed patch; the use of recycled materials in the landscape; and rainwater harvesting.

Click here to download a PDF of the presentation (5.78 MB)

upcoming asla chapter lecture


Two current trends that offer myriad opportunities for landscape architecture include trends towards truly integrated habitats and definitions of veg.itecture, the insertion of vegetation into architectural form. Jason King, ASLA LEED and Brett Milligan ASLA will provide an overview of both topics and provide an open forum for discussion of these important trends.

Part I will give a detailed account of their award-winning entry for the Metro Integrating Habitats Competition entitled Urban Ecotones: Transitional Spaces for Commerce and Culture. The proposal provides a vision for how innovative big box development design can regenerate, rather than destroy lowland hardwood forest habitat corridors within the expanding city of Portland. Using the model Nature in Neighborhoods ordinance as a guide, and Landscape Urbanism theory as a framework, the proposal is informed by time based, economic and ecological systems to provide an adaptive development model for the shift from fossil fuel dependency to a more localized economy. Particular attention is given to the thresholds at which commercial development meets natural systems. Rather than seeing these interactions as points of confrontation, they are approached as environments of unique richness—a synergy of both habitats akin to an ecotone: the transitional area between two ecosystems containing more diversity and biotic activity than singular habitats.

Part II will provide an engaging visual investigation of the recent trend of Veg.itecture and its impact on the allied professions of architecture and landscape architecture – including the representative, descriptive, and technical. This concept builds on and transcends our current implementation of simple rooftop gardens, ecoroofs, and living walls to encompass a holistic and integrated approach to design intervention that blurs the lines between landscape and architecture. Topics include a definition of the concept, including the eight common typologies of veg.itecture in action, and how this phenomenon impacts and expands the practice of landscape architecture. In addition to providing this veg.itectural primer, the presentation will include a survey of recent projects from around the world as featured on Jason King’s blog Landscape+Urbanism including the work of Ken Yeang, Jean Nouvel, Patrick Blanc, Hundertwasser, Urbanarbolismo, James Corner, Mass Studies, and many more.

There will be time at the end for a thorough discussion of both topics, offering the chance to discuss, dispute, expand, and question these exciting topics that have current and future resonance for our profession.

When: April 14, 5:30pm Where: Group Mackenzie, 1515 SE Water Avenue, Suite 100, Portland Cost: Free to OR-ASLA members; Non-Members: $20, Emerging Professionals (0-5 years) $10

PDH credits available.

Plants at Work: Greywater Wetlands

The last issue of Plants at Work, a supplement created by the regional group Sprout, and periodically attached to the Sustainable Industries Journal, provided some information on the up-and-coming issue related to greywater wetlands - in particular the potential use of these facilities to treat and make available, water for reuse in buildings.  The potential for greywater reuse to expand the ability to provide water conservation to sustainable landscapes is vital for our local climate, which is marked by long periods of drought in summer months.  Greywater, with minimal treatment, can be repurposed for use in irrigation of green roofs or other landscaping, as well as provide a beautiful site amenity.  The article 'Building Wetlands: Legalizing greywater reuse opens new markets for wetland plants', is written by Libby Tucker, who is also a frequent contributor to the DJC. greywaterwetlands_page_1

The article featured a number of GreenWorks projects.  There are no small scale examples of building wetlands for greywater at this time, but simple modifications can be made to other forms of constructed wetlands to provide this additional benefit.  Once the laws are changed, this will open up new potential for sustainable sites and water management - expanding the realm of design from sustainable to regenerative.   Projects include the Synopsis Headquarters in Hillsboro, 4800 Meadows in Lake Oswego, Rock Creek Greenway Wetlands, NRS Headquarters in Salem, and Tanner Springs Park in Portland. 

Downloads of the magazine are available here.  (definitely check out the article on Floating Wetlands as well... good stuff).


Also, be sure to check out the presentation at Sprout's upcoming conference 'Soak it Up: Phytotechnology Solutions for Water Challenges'.   GreenWorks Senior Associate Jason King, ASLA LEED AP, will present at the first day of the conference on the theme: "Connecting Landscape Function to Ecological Function Through Design." which will feature a range of GreenWorks and other related project work pushing the boundaries of  innovative stormwater management... truly putting plants to work every day.

Veg.itecture: Landscape Middle East

Jason King,  ASLA LEED AP, Associate at GreenWorks, has authored an article for the magazine, Landscape, the First Specialised Landscape Magazine in the Middle East. The article is entitled The "The Veg.itecture of Ken Yeang" and uses the work of the legendary bioclimatic architect to address topics related to integration of landscape into buildings as an aesthetic and functional reasons. 

Check out the online version of the magazine here... and jump to pages 60-61.