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Colorado State University
has been named the new institutional partner for Landscape For Life, a program that provides education
on sustainable landscaping practices.

Developed in 2011 by
the United States Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at
Austin, Landscape For Life is based on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiatives.

The program will continue
to be in partnership with the USBG and will be offered by CSU Extension, a
division of CSU’s Office of Engagement and Extension.

“USBG is thrilled to
collaborate with CSU to continue Landscape for Life and the important work of
teaching people about sustainable gardening at home,” said Susan Pell, USBG
acting executive director. “CSU’s commitment to sustainability through action
and education make for a great fit for this program. We look forward to working
together to expand knowledge, access and resources for sustainable gardening
practices across the country.”

“We are proud to be part
of the program’s history and are pleased that CSU will foster its future,” said
Lee Clippard, executive director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
“What began as an initiative to deliver education on sustainable gardening
practices has grown into an opportunity to inspire lasting impact and change.”

For over 10 years,
Landscape For Life has provided resources and training opportunities for people
interested in climate-resilient landscaping techniques for any size garden,
farm or common area. While conventional gardens can work against nature,
sustainable gardens are supportive of natural ecosystems and conserve
resources. They enhance the environment’s ability to clean air and water,
reduce flooding, combat climate change and provide other natural benefits that
support life on earth.

Landscape For Life uses
these benefits as core themes and areas of focus for the course
curriculum.  The program also teaches foundational principles of
Sustainable Sites Initiatives, the nation’s first comprehensive rating system
designed to distinguish sustainable landscapes and measure their performance.

CSU Extension assumed
responsibility for management, stewardship, growth and ownership of the program
in May 2022. The first charge of the new CSU-USBG partnership will be updating
content to ensure the latest, science-based research remains core to the
curriculum, followed by improving in-depth learning opportunities through
accessible online programming and in-person training in Colorado.

Through leveraging the
institution’s experience and expertise in creating scalable learning platforms,
mixed with strong, national Cooperative Extension network connections, CSU
plans to address audiences nationwide. Longer-term, high-priority goals for the
program place an emphasis on language justice with an initiative to translate
course content into Spanish, in both written and live translation.

“We are excited to build
on the work started by the USBG and the Wildflower Center, and bring CSU’s
resources into this next stage of the program,” said Blake Naughton, vice
president for CSU’s Office of Engagement and Extension. “Partnerships like this
are fundamental to engagement where together, we increase the value we bring to
individuals, industries and communities.”

To be responsive to
different learning styles, personalized education tracks are in development.
Course modality will include options like free online content, modular online
courses and customized, fee-based training delivered either online or

Based on the learner’s
desired outcomes and intended goals for registration, course content will be
directed at two audience segments of the landscaping industry: those who
install and maintain green spaces (landscaping companies, municipal staff,
homeowners/gardeners), and those who experience landscapes (clients of
landscaping companies, HOA boards, municipalities, homeowners/gardeners).

“We recognize that
sustainable landscape training, to be most effective, should include different
experiences based on how the individual interacts with landscapes,” Naughton
said. “With CSU‘s access to some of the nation’s top researchers and academics
in science and sustainability, we’ll build upon existing curriculum and develop
new modules that tailor the learning experience for either consumers or

To learn more about
Landscape For Life, explore the course curriculum, or see how to get involved,
visit landscapeforlife.colostate.edu.

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