Salt Lake City, UTAH — The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) announced the selection of the Lions Park in Moab, Utah; the UTA Intermodal Center in Orem, Utah; and the Swaner EcoCenter in Park City, Utah, to participate in a program to test the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction, and maintenance.

The projects will join more than 150 other pilot projects from the United States, Canada, Iceland, and Spain as part of an international program to evaluate the new SITES rating system for sustainable landscapes. Sustainable landscapes can clean water, reduce pollution, and restore habitats, while providing significant economic and social benefits to land owners and municipalities.

Lions Park is being designed by Psomas for the City of Moab. The 10-acre site incorporates a modern trail and transit hub, nature preserve, interpretive features, and event spaces into an aging park. The Lions Park design maximizes its riverside location to encourage people to enjoy and appreciate the Colorado River and the fascinating desert landscape around it.

Psomas is designing the UTA-Orem Intermodal Center for the Utah Transit Authority and the City of Orem. The 10-acre site is being developed to extend both commuter rail and bus rapid transit from Salt Lake City into the Provo-Orem metropolitan area. The site’s sustainability features include natural stormwater retention, reduced pavement, and environmentally friendly transit operations integrated with transit-oriented development to minimize ongoing maintenance and operations costs that transit agencies face.

The Swaner EcoCenter was designed by Psomas and CRSA and constructed by Big-D Construction. The EcoCenter sits at the edge of 1,200 acres of breathtaking open space nestled amidst expanding development. The EcoCenter provides an educational setting for the public to connect with nature and appreciate its value. The site’s other sustainability features include drought tolerant landscaping, drip irrigation, use of porous pavements, and management of stormwater onsite.

SITES will use feedback from the projects in the pilot phase, which runs through June 2012, to revise the final rating system and reference guide by early 2013. The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the Sustainable Sites Initiative, anticipates incorporating the guidelines and performance benchmarks into future versions of its LEED Green Building Rating System.

For more information, visit www.sustainablesites.org or www.psomas.com.

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