George “Doc” Cavalliere Park First in Arizona To Be Certified by Sustainable Sites Initiative

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Park earns certification by nation’s most comprehensive rating system for sustainable design, construction and maintenance of built landscapes.

George Doc Cavalliere Park

The "three star" SITES certified George "Doc" Cavalliere Park in Scottsdale, Ariz.

George “Doc” Cavalliere Park is located on 34 acres of rugged Sonoran Desert terrain in Scottsdale, Ariz., a location that makes the three-star SITES certification a remarkable accomplishment.

George “Doc” Cavalliere Park, designed by SmithGroupJJR and Floor Associates, in collaboration with Weddle Gilmore Architects, has been awarded a “three star” certification by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), a national program that recognizes sustainable landscapes for their exceptional planning, design, construction and maintenance.

George “Doc” Cavalliere Park is located on 34 acres of rugged Sonoran Desert terrain in Scottsdale, Ariz., a location that makes the three-star SITES certification a remarkable accomplishment. A nationally recognized model of sustainability, the design of Cavalliere Park uses 100 percent native plants and all existing native trees. Cacti and plant communities were preserved in place or salvaged and re-used onsite to restore desert upland and riparian plant communities.

Other sustainable features include on-site storm water management, reuse of materials salvaged on site, permeable paving in parking areas and driveways, and incorporation of sustainable technologies such as photovoltaic panels and LED lighting. In fact, its 24 kilowatt photovoltaic system allows the park to attain net-zero energy.

The City of Scottsdale, Ariz., played a significant role in the success of Cavalliere Park. According to its principal designer, Floor Associates’ partner Christopher Brown, the City’s high level of involvement and keen interest was a welcome plus and positively affected the outcome of the project, including its achievement of SITES certification.

“Doc Cavalliere Park is the result of more than 20 years of planning and forward-thinking and dedication by the City of Scottsdale,” Brown said. “The park’s latest honor is a direct result of the high involvement of residents and stakeholders, and the city’s progressive stance towards sustainability,” he added.

Completed in 2012, the $4.3 million community park features multi-purpose synthetic turf fields, basketball courts, a shaded playground area, hiking trails, and gathering areas.

More about SITES
George “Doc” Cavalliere Park is among a group of 150 projects participating in SITES’ extensive, two-year pilot program, which began in 2010.There are now a total of 26 SITES certified projects. More than 60 other projects are continuing to pursue certification under the 2009 rating system through the end of 2014.

SITES is a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin, and the U.S. Botanic Garden. SITES was created in 2005 to fill a critical need for guidelines and recognition of sustainable landscapes based on their planning, design, construction and maintenance. The voluntary, national rating system and set of performance benchmarks applies to sites with or without buildings.

SmithGroupJJR ( is ranked as one of the nation’s top sustainable design firms, with 102 LEED certified projects and 343 LEED professionals. The firm employs 800 at 10 offices. SmithGroupJJR was honored by The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) with the esteemed Landscape Architecture Firm Award for 2011. This tribute is the highest honor that ASLA imparts upon a design firm.

Floor Associates, Inc. ( is a Phoenix, Arizona-based landscape architecture and planning firm founded in 1997. The firm is dedicated to creating sustainable projects that respect sensitive desert environments, while collaborating with clients to reinvent places for living, working and playing. Projects range from highly technical mixed-use commercial developments and resorts, to master planned communities, community parks, interpretive places and healing gardens.

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