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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2011
A sustainable development expert who has helped spearhead creation of the nation’s first comprehensive rating system for sustainable landscapes has been chosen as the new director of this Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™).
Danielle Pieranunzi previously spent five years as the senior program coordinator and researcher for SITES. It is a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden whose staff is based at the Wildflower Center. Steve Windhager, executive director of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, served as the previous full-time SITES director while at the Wildflower Center.
SITES promotes environmentally sensitive, sustainable approaches to designing, constructing and maintaining landscapes of all kinds. As SITES director, Pieranunzi will take the leadership role in developing an education program, improving outreach, creating new partnerships in addition to working with over 50 technical experts across the country to create measurable benchmarks that identify sustainable performance of a landscape, or site; serving as a SITES spokesperson with landscape professionals and others; and overseeing ongoing review of 150-plus projects seeking to be the first certified as a sustainable site.
Pieranunzi received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in sustainable design from The University of Texas at Austin. She joined the Wildflower Center staff in spring 2006, initially producing a guide and running a conference on conservation development, another sustainable approach to site development.