Washington, D.C., June 24, 2015—Today the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) unanimously passed the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act, or DRIVE Act, a transportation bill that includes an amendment introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Jeff Merkley (OR) that will bolster the population of native pollinating species with the help of landscape architects. The amendment includes the principles of the Highways Bettering the Economy and Environment Pollinator Protection Act (Highways BEE Act), which had been introduced two weeks ago in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Alcee Hastings (FL) and Jeff Denham (CA).
ASLA applauds Senators Gillibrand and Merkley’s leadership for working with their EPW colleagues to incorporate the design and implementation of integrated vegetation management practices into the DRIVE Act. Their efforts will create sustainable, vibrant landscapes, and high-quality habitats for pollinators along our nation’s highways.
Our nation’s 17 million acres of highway provide an enormous opportunity to create healthy pollinator habitats and forages and landscape architects play an important role in designing these transportation corridors in a way that will improve pollinator habitat, while also providing other community benefits.
ASLA also commends Senator Ben Cardin (MD) for his amendment to allow local communities to maintain control over pedestrian and bicycle projects, and Senator Ed Markley for his amendment to encourage transit-oriented development projects.
The DRIVE Act now moves to several other Senate committees for consideration.
About the American Society of Landscape Architects
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. Members of the Society use “ASLA” after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning, and design of our built and natural environments; the Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship.