Though not one of the ten 2005 Solar Decathlon contests, the Maryland team believes that sustainability is not just about the built house. It is also about the way they interact with the land.
To keep with this vision, the team wanted to include plants native to the Chesapeake Bay region in the home's landscaping. Native plants showcase the diversity of Maryland's ecosystem and illustrate that a beautiful and intriguing landscape design can be created using only plants found locally.
Several team members, including Landscape Architecture students Chris Long and Shivanee Padilla, visited Chesapeake Native Nursery of Davidsonville, Maryland, to collect native plants for the 2005 Maryland Solar Decathlon home's landscaping. Director Dr. Sara Tangren, a Maryland alumni, led the team members through the nursery and farm. Overall, two pick-up truck loads of plants were collected.
Back on campus, the plants were re-potted at the UMCP Greenhouse. The plants will be cared for at the greenhouse until the competition in October, when they will be transported to the National Mall.
"Days like today are a great example of the broad scope of our project. We're really seeing the possibilities of integrating the landscape and the way we live," said Assistant Project Manager Najahyia Chinchilla.
For more information about the Chesapeake Native Nursery, please visit www.chesapeakenatives.com.
Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Website