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Residential Sustainable Landscape Evaluation Form


  • Are driveways wide enough to allow easy access to garage and parking areas? Is room provided for those using vehicles to enter and exit easily?
  • Do driveway curves allow room for large trucks and service vehicles?
  • Is additional parking for recreational vehicles easily accessible from driveways?
  • Are walks wide enough for users to meet safely? Are they sloped to minimize ice and snow buildup?
  • Are step riser and tread distances easily negotiated in summer and winter?
  • When necessary, do stepping stones allow for direct access? Are they spaced correctly for safe and easy movement?
  • Though infrequent, is vehicle access available to the sides and rear of the lot providing access for maintenance/repair vehicles, new construction, firewood storage, gardening and landscaping?
  • Are service and recreational areas in convenient locations for easy access and use? Are they visible when necessary and screened when not? Common areas of concern include: play areas, vegetable gardens, storage sheds, compost piles, wood storage, and dog kennel?
  • Are patios and decks easily accessible from the appropriate indoor room, kitchen, recreational or bedroom? Is there convenient access to outdoor furniture storage, grills, etc?
  • Are plants located to moderate environments caused by wind, rain, sun and snow?
  • Are plants selected in complement site lines from decks and patios and from inside through doorways and windows?


  • Are concept and bed lines appropriate for riding mowers and do they minimize string trimming and hand weeding?
  • Does edging effectively separate mulch and groundcovers? Is edging used to create mowing strips along buildings, walls, fences, and gardens to retain lawn, minimize weeds and reduce herbicide applications?
  • Are plants located next to walks and drives tolerant of salt and snow? Are open areas available to pile snow that is mechanically pushed or piled?
  • Are mulches used around trees, shrub beds, and borders to improve plant health? Is mulch used to separate plants from irrigated lawn?
  • Does spacing allow plants to reach their full mature height and spread without damaging each other or requiring excessive pruning?
  • Are plants spaced to allow for the maintenance of walks, steps, foundations, siding, overhangs and downspouts?
  • Is a water source located close to dog kennels, vegetable gardens or car wash areas?

    Environmentally Sound

  • Are small or narrow turf areas avoided to lessen the application of fertilizer and pesticides to non-target, and hard surface areas?
  • Are plants hardy? Are they selected and designed to insure plant health and reduce stress? Plants in stress are more susceptible to environmental problems, diseases and insect problems and require additional applications of water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
  • Will trees clear power lines at mature height and spread?

    Cost Effective

  • Was the development of the base plan accurate? Are all structures, utilities, easements, property lines and existing plants located correctly to insure accurate landscape design?
  • Was appropriate attention paid to soils, drainage and slopes insuring that hard-features and plants will be properly designed, installed and reach their maximum life expectancy.
  • Has a completed landscape design that is functional, maintainable and environmentally sound, insured maximum value in the cost of implementation? Will the balance between quality and cost insure easier and lower cost maintenance for the life of that landscape?

    Visually Pleasing

  • Were concept lines used to create functional, maintainable, environmentally sound and cost effective spaces in the landscape? Were these spaces blended together to create a unified and visually pleasing landscape?
  • Were plants used to create entry and patio gardens, focal points, and special interest areas?
  • Were plants used to soften buildings and hard-features?
  • Were plants used to blend inside and outside spaces?
  • Are the principles of design apparent throughout the completed landscape design?
  • Are trees, key, accent, and specimen plants used to create interest throughout the landscape?
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