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Andrew Casavant Brings Green Initiatives to Goddard and His Community
10.26.11
 
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From planning offices to gardens, Andrew Casavant always has an eye on green initiatives.


Name: Andrew Casavant
Title: Landscape Designer and Facilities Planner
Formal Job Classification: Facilities Operations Specialist
Organization He Works For: Code 221, Planning Office, Facilities Management Division

What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?


I do all kinds of things on a typical day. I do lots of planning work for Code 100 including anything from designing offices to working on green initiatives for Facilities Management to creating planting designs.

Although I am stationed in a cubicle, I work all over the place. I use lots of software design tools, and I’m always using tracing paper when sketching out plans. My colored pencil set is very important!

As a sustainability champion for Facilities Management, I am an advocate for all the green work that we do on Center. When we plan new buildings, I assist in incorporating green initiatives and requirements. I collaborate with our campus Master Planner, our architects, and our engineers to find new sustainable solutions here at Goddard.

Andrew Casavant in his floral element› View larger image
Photo of Andrew Casavant. Credit: NASA

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at Goddard?

The coolest thing I have done at Goddard to date was designing a “planting plan” and then helping to plant the garden around the Building 8 lobby. As a recent graduate of the Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Maryland, this was my first opportunity to put my skills to work. We are showcasing native plants including redbuds, tickseeds, coral bells, and serviceberries among others. We mixed these native plants with more traditional plants, such as roses, to make the garden more dynamic and to extend the bloom season. It took a couple of months from design to completion. I take the bus to Goddard, so twice a day every day, I walk past the garden, admire it, and observe its many changes. You may even see me out there during the day!

What was your best day or the best thing that ever happened to you at Goddard?

I was the project planner for renovating Goddard’s Child Development Center, which included redesigning the playground. One of my best moments was seeing the kids all race to the new playground when it opened. That was great!

Andrew Casavant in his floral element
Photo of Andrew Casavant in one of Goddard's many gardens. Credit: NASA

As someone interested in sustainability, why is Goddard a great place to work?

Goddard has an enormous campus with opportunities for sustainability everywhere all the way from meadows to bike paths. Our management is actively encouraging sustainability as an opportunity to increase the efficiency of our campus infrastructure.

Is there something surprising about you, your hobbies, interests, activities outside of work that people do not generally know (like you run ultra marathons or work on a NASCAR pit crew on weekends)?

I volunteer at a neighborhood non-profit. I provide planting design that enhances our community and encourages local involvement. I like to use native plants and also incorporate rain gardens.

What are your suggestions for planting an easy to grow garden in this area?

Knockout roses are a sure bet for color from spring to fall and require far less maintenance than do traditional varieties. You can even plant them with Russian sage and juniper to make a low maintenance combination. Also, you can consider using
inkberry as a native alternative to traditional boxwood. Our native threadleaf bluestar makes for an impressive yellow color display in the fall. Finally, when you are planning your layout, my advice is simply this: loosen up! Plant in free masses and fill the borders to smother potential weeds and reduce maintenance.

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Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.