[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 30, Number 17 (Monday, May 2, 1994)]
[Pages 916-917]
[Online from the Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

Memorandum on Environmentally Beneficial Landscaping

April 26, 1994

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Subject: Environmentally and Economically Beneficial Practices on 
Federal Landscaped Grounds

    The Report of the National Performance Review contains 
recommendations for a series of environmental actions, including one to 
increase environmentally and economically beneficial landscaping 
practices at Federal facilities and federally funded projects. 
Environmentally beneficial landscaping entails utilizing techniques that 
complement and enhance the local environment and seek to minimize the 
adverse effects that the landscaping will have on it. In particular, 
this means using regionally native plants and employing landscaping 
practices and technologies that conserve water and prevent pollution.
    These landscaping practices should benefit the environment, as well 
as generate long-term costs savings for the Federal Government. For 
example, the use of native plants not only protects our natural heritage 
and provides wildlife habitat, but also can reduce fertilizer, 
pesticide, and irrigation demands and their associated costs because 
native plants are suited to the local environment and climate.
    Because the Federal Government owns and landscapes large areas of 
land, our stewardship presents a unique opportunity to provide 
leadership in this area and to develop practical and cost-effective 
methods to preserve and protect that which has been entrusted to us. 
Therefore, for Federal grounds, Federal projects, and federally funded 
projects, I direct that agencies shall, where cost-effective and to the 
extent practicable:
        (a) use regionally native plants for landscaping;
        (b) design, use, or promote construction practices that minimize 
      adverse effects on the natural habitat;
        (c) seek to prevent pollution by, among other things, reducing 
      fertilizer and pesticide use, using integrated pest management 
      techniques, recycling green waste, and minimizing runoff. 
      Landscaping practices that reduce the use of toxic chemicals 
      provide one approach for agencies to reach reduction goals 
      established in Executive Order No. 12856, ``Federal Compliance 
      with Right-To-Know Laws and Pollution Prevention Requirements;''
        (d) implement water-efficient practices, such as the use of 
      mulches, efficient irrigation systems, audits to determine exact 
      landscaping water-use needs, and recycled or reclaimed water and 
      the selecting and siting of plants in a manner that conserves 
      water and controls soil erosion. Landscaping practices, such as 
      planting regionally native shade trees around buildings to reduce 
      air conditioning demands, can also provide innovative measures to 
      meet the energy consumption reduction goal established in 
      Executive Order No. 12902, ``Energy Efficiency and Water 
      Conservation at Federal Facilities;'' and
        (e) create outdoor demonstrations incorporating native plants, 
      as well as pollution prevention and water conservation techniques, 
      to promote awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of 
      implementing this directive. Agencies are encouraged to develop 
      other methods for sharing information on landscaping advances with 
      interested nonfederal parties.
    In order to assist agencies in implementing this directive, the 
Federal Environmental Executive shall:
        (a) establish an interagency working group to develop 
      recommendations for guidance, including compliance with the 
      requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 
      4321, 4331-4335, and 4341-4347, and training needs to implement 
      this directive. The recommendations are to be developed by 
      November 1994; and

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        (b) issue the guidance by April 1995. To the extent practicable, 
      agencies shall incorporate this guidance into their landscaping 
      programs and practices by February 1996.
    In addition, the Federal Environmental Executive shall establish 
annual awards to recognize outstanding landscaping efforts of agencies 
and individual employees. Agencies are encouraged to recognize 
exceptional performance in the implementation of this directive through 
their awards programs.
    Agencies shall advise the Federal Environmental Executive by April 
1996 on their progress in implementing this directive.
    To enhance landscaping options and awareness, the Department of 
Agriculture shall conduct research on the suitability, propagation, and 
use of native plants for landscaping. The Department shall make 
available to agencies and the public the results of this research.
                                            William J. Clinton