The Winner of our 2011 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest Is…

April 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Photo submissions and voting stopped yesterday for‘s second annual “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest and with a total of 71 votes, the winner is:

Aqua in Chicago, Illinois, USA!

“The Aqua, Chicago, Illinois, USA taken by Tim Barrett, Barrett Company, Millington, NJ” ~ Linda Smith

Well, it’s not the most descriptive entry by a long shot, but it sure makes up for it visually.  Congratulations to Linda Smith from Barrett Company who submitted this lovely project!  One of the tallest buildings in Chicago, the Aqua is a $4 billion development with an 80,000 sf intensive greenroof.  The 82-story mixed-use residential skyscraper is located in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago designed in the Modern architectural style.  The beautiful terrace gardens comes complete with gazebos, pools, hot tubs, a walking/running track and even a fire pit.

Linda will receive a check for $100 and we’ll be highlighting it soon as our GPW, or Greenroof Project of the Week.  I want to get more shots of this stunning recreational greenroof and project info to share with you first.

The Aqua was neck and neck with Cultivated Abundance, another beautiful and sensitive project in New York City, below.  But yesterday, Friday, the voting really got furious and it’s obvious the Aqua fans made the difference into the evening hours.

Cultivated Abundance was submitted by Jennifer Nitzky from Mark K Morrison Landscape Architecture PC and came in second place, receiving a total of 59 votes.  I have to say that Jennifer’s write up is certainly the best – remember I wanted everyone to tell us why they felt their project was worthy of being an example of loving the Earth?  Read her entry below:

“Cultivated Abundance, a 2,000 SF intensive/extensive green roof with commanding views of New York Harbor is located on the penthouse of The Visionaire, a LEED Platinum residential high rise in Battery Park City. This dynamic intensive/extensive green roof in New York City sets a new precedent for cultivated abundance while incorporating such sustainable initiatives as recycling gray water for irrigation and retaining 95% of storm water on site. The vision and collaborative efforts of the landscape architect and client resulted in a residential landscape which celebrates bio-diversity, environmental responsibility and provides an urban farming component worthy of educational dialogue for urbanites looking to produce their own food with over 160 different species of plants. (photo credit: Mark K Morrison, RLA, FASLA, GRP)”

This year, we organized our Photo Contest a bit differently from last and utilized Facebook – each person could vote multiple times for their favorite, but just one time per day.  In 2010 we had a total of 1,500 votes for readers’ favorites, compared to this year’s 212 votes.  This really lowered the overall number of votes per project, but we felt it would provide a fairer approach than simply voting a ton of times a day for your favorite.  In any case, it’s still a popularity contest!

It’s been fun for me to read all 161 of the comments from everyone on Facebook – most are short and sweet, which is a great way to get the point across quickly.  You can still do that, too, if you’re interested, and see who voted for whom by clicking on each photo.

There were a lot of cool projects from which to choose, from small to large, single family residential to huge institutional.  I’d like to include each of these in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database so that we can all learn more about them and see more photos, too.  See everyone’s submissions and their total vote counts here.

As Earth Month comes to a close for 2011, I hope we all continue honoring our planet with thoughtful decisions, living roofs and walls, and more forward-thinking sustainable design.

Happy greening!

~ Linda V.

Golfing for a Cause in the ATL

May 26, 2009 at 11:00 pm

The Beautiful Boby Jones Course, Photo by apuustin

Did you know that you could actually promote the greenroof effort and have a great time golfing with buddies while you’re here in Atlanta next week for the 7th Annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards & Trade Show on June 3-5?   Well, yes, you can!

All you golfers (and wannabe’s) should mark your calendars now for next Tuesday, June 2!   Participate in the first annual  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities  Golf Tournament  at the lovely Bobby Jones Golf Course.    This is a charitable event with all proceeds going to support the newly formed Green Infrastructure Foundation (GIF) that is open to all GRHC members, their employees, guests, spouses and prospective members.   Create your own foursome or let GRHC assign you to one.   This is a great networking event and an excuse to have some good fun in the sun (hopefully).

Bobby Jones Colf Course, photo by Gusto

Now, I’m not a golfer myself, and in any case I’ll be leading my own tour that day, but I am happy to say we will have a foursome there and that will be represented by my husband, Aramis; our son-in-law, Joe; The Green Roof Guy, Kelly Luckett of Green Roof Blocks; and  the  G.R.E.E.N. Editor, Dr. Bill Retzlaff, of SIUe.  

I think it’s a great cause and if you like to golf and are going to be here anyway, I’d encourage you to sign up  here, and learn more about the whole experience on the Green Roofs for Healthy Cites Conference page.   Some specifics:

Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Tee Time:   1:00 pm (shotgun start)
Cost:   $140 per person, and Fee Includes:                  
        Green fees
        Cart fees
        Six pack of beer
        Logo t-shirt
        Barbecue dinner

The write up says, “The Bobby Jones Golf Course was recently renovated with new Champion Bermuda greens and is an 18 hole public golf course that rests in the heart of Buckhead and just ten minutes from downtown Atlanta.   Built in 1932, this John Van Kleek design has a rich history dating back to the Civil War.   The Battle of Peachtree Creek, one of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War, took place in the valley of the golf course surrounding the clubhouse.   Today, Peachtree Battle Creek meanders through this tree-lined par 71 championship golf course and comes into play on five of the eighteen holes.   Elevated tees on many of our holes offer scenic views of the midtown Atlanta skyline.   The tightly placed greens offer a challenging round for the skilled golfer, while the open fairways create a pleasant round for golfers of all skill levels.”

And, I believe there may be some Sponsorship opportunities still available where you can profile your company and support the work of the Green Infrastructure Foundation:

Sponsor A Hole “¦ Sponsor Longest Drive “¦ Sponsor A Hole in One “¦

9th green at Bobby Jones Golf Course; Photo Source: Panoramio by apuustin

Sponsors will be recognized with signage on-site.   Golden Intensive, Intensive and Semi-Intensive will all be offered four complimentary golf tournament passes for distribution to clients and colleagues.   For more information, please contact Jennifer Sprout at or Tim Barrett, Barrett Roofing at

Next up is the Tours!

~ Linda V.