The Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council is developing a certification for the landscape industry with emphasis on private and residential landscapes, called the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Credential Initiative. The credential would be for individual certification for landscape practioners and will align with state stormwater regulations and guidance.
Beth Ginter, Lead Coordinator, and Shereen Hughes, Virginia Coordinator, have been quick to point out that the initiative isn’t competitive with other certifcations, such as Sustainable Sites, or existing state or county certifications. The impetus for the intitiative is better designed and better functioning stormwater management. Many landscape practioners also want credentials that travel across state lines as well.
Currently in formation is a pilot for use in just a portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.). A technical advisory committee will meet in January to develop a pilot for implementation in 2016.
The landscape certification intiative is being funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Campbell Foundation, Virginia Environmental Endowment, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Virginia Habitat Partners, Prince Charitable Trust and the University of Maryland Sea Grant.
Municipalities and other watershed jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay region have developed incentive programs, such as Riversmart Homes in Washington, D.C., Stormwater Wise Landscapes in Arlington and River Star Homes in Williamsburg to encourage LID (low impact development).
Because LID is implemented by governments in response to EPA regulation, they need to know that when stormwater BMPs and facilities are installed, the practices are installed correctly, and maintained and operate correctly. Governments must report annually to EPA, providing metrics to show they’re in compliance.
Eventually the plan is that landscape practioners who have achieved certification can appear in an online database that will help to connect them to potential clients.
For more information contact Beth Ginter, MPSLD, CBLP Lead Coordinator, email@example.com.