Nassau County, New York is home to one of the few naturally occurring prairie remnants east of the Appalachian Mountains. Where 40,000 acres of native prairie grassland once existed, the Friends of Hempstead Plains now zealously protects a 19-acre parcel. This passionate group of conservationists honored the ecologically and historically significant site by joining the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Pilot program in 2010. The project was awarded SITES Silver-level certification in 2015 and became one of only 50 certified SITES Pilot Projects nationwide. The SITES team, led by CeCe Haydock, SITES AP, contributed to the SITES v2 Guidelines, which form the basis of today’s certification system.
Today, the Center is home to more than 250 different kinds of plant species that support scores of animals, birds, butterflies and other important pollinators. The Education Center provides indoor and outdoor classrooms and a living laboratory of native plants, habitats and sustainable landscape techniques.
The project features a green roof planted with Hempstead Plains native grasses and wildflowers, solar panels, a composting toilet and an education and research building constructed of recycled shipping containers, all within a very tight construction footprint. The Hempstead Plains project gained extra SITES points for an active program of community volunteerism as well as for leading a group of regional grasslands managers.
Hempstead Plains getting more attention and funding opportunities due to the SITES Pilot project designation.
Contact Studioverde about the benefits of SITES certification and the SITES framework for your campus, property or residence. Studioverde is one of the few companies with the SITES and ecological expertise that will streamline the process, leverage multiple benefits to create a high performance landscape that works for you!