SURFACE 678 and The City of Raleigh are pleased to announce that its completed Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve project is one of twelve developments across the U.S. to achieve certification in 2015 from the SITES rating program for sustainable, high-performance landscapes.
Launched in 2009, the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) aims to transform how land is developed and managed, providing ways of incorporating sustainability into the planning, design and construction of both public and private lands. The SITES program is a framework of best practices and approaches that lead to healthy and regenerative outcomes that are then measured according to a voluntary rating system similar to the now widely accepted Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
As one of the twelve newly certified projects, Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve is situated above a dramatic oxbow formed by the Neuse River and is a showcase for innovation in sustainability and low impact park development and management practices. The 115-acre site, designated a State Natural Heritage Area, has a rich cultural history and the preservation and enhancement of its large open meadow, mature forested slopes, wetlands and shoreline environments are key programming features. All park structures are designed “off-the-grid,” served by green, alternative energy systems, wastewater treatment terraces and on-site water sources to present unique interpretive and demonstration opportunities. Stormwater runoff is treated in a decentralized fashion, utilizing bioretention rain gardens, porous pavements and vegetated swales.