HHI Series: Greening the Lawn - An Ecological Designer's Perspective on climate, health and landscaping

Session Description

This session provides a review of the potential for environmental and human healing with landscape management with a case study from various ecosystem based projects. Jacob Blue will review some of the most recent research regarding the role nature plays in human health as well as explore opportunities for improving the ecological health and function of landscapes. Following that, we will hear a case study from NorthPointe and their lawn-free campus.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the impact turf has on greenhouse gases.
  • Learn about studies linking views and landscape with attention, stress and healing.
  • Consider the value of farming on hospital land as a plan for local sourcing, for education and for resiliency.
  • Hear a case study of a hospital that has worked with our presenter to put evidence into a strategic landscape plan. Hear about challenges, successes and lessons learned.


Jacob Blue, PLA, ASLA, Landscape Architect, Ecosystems Services Project Manager

Jacob is a registered Landscape Architect in Wisconsin, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. He has been changing how design is done for the last 14 years. A national leader in the emerging fields of Ecosystem Services Management and Ecological Design; he is a classically trained landscape architect and field ecologist. He has coauthored papers and textbooks exploring the nexus of design and ecological science and has participated in and led ecologically-based design projects throughout the United States, India, Peru, and Chile. Using a subtractive rather than an additive design approach, he evaluates the historical and potential ecological communities of a site and then carves out the design program to ensure the maximum ecosystem services can be provided. Jacob holds a Master Degree of Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from the he Pennsylvania State University-State College. He is an active member of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Vegetation Subcommittee and Technical Core, the Sustainable Site Initiative (SITES).

Gus Larson, B.A. CNMT, RTR, Director, NorthPointe Health & Wellness Campus

Gus brought 22 years of healthcare experience to the NorthPointe concept team. Gus focused on what was known & perceived as barriers that prevent patients from accessing healthcare. NorthPointe made the bold decision to restore their land to a Northern Illinois Prairie creating a natural, welcoming environment for healthcare delivery. Six years later NorthPointe has had a positive impact on many lives.

Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin, 2012 B.A. Business Management
Stateline Leadership Academy Beloit, Wisconsin,1999 Graduation
CNMT Certification Boards, September 1992 Certification: C.N.M.T.
Beloit Memorial Hospital School of Radiology Technology, June 1985 Degree: R.T.


Member: $0   Non-member: $0