Photo of Award recipient

Charlene LeBleu receives her award from Mike Kensler.

Charlene LeBleu — Faculty

Auburn University, Auburn, AL 

Charlene LeBleu, ASLA, AICP, is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, and has taught and implemented sustainability policy and design in Alabama since 2004. Charlene employs sustainability in the classes she teaches which include landscape ecology, stormwater construction, a community engagement studio and special projects. Charlene’s efforts are an excellent example of applied scholarship in sustainability, utilizing real world projects to teach students and communities how to work with natural systems rather than trying to control them. In her classes, students design and build systems that create a better quality of life for Alabama communities through restoration of natural stormwater flow processes and other green infrastructure designs that mimic nature’s approach to stormwater.

Charlene engages sustainability at the local, state, regional, watershed, national and international levels. She has implemented sustainability education and built projects locally at the Boykin Community Center in Auburn, and on the Auburn University (AU) campus at the Davis Arboretum, the Raptor Center and Dudley Hall. Charlene values transdisciplinary collaboration and has formed multiple collaborations including the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP), Mississippi–Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGS), the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), Cities of Auburn, Prichard and Montgomery, AL, the Saugahatchee, Parkerson Mill and Eight-Mile Creek Watershed Committees, the AU Office of Sustainability, and the AU Davis Arboretum.

She is a recipient of the 2011 AU President’s Collaborative Units Award for her work with the AU Center of Forest Sustainability. Her collaborative work at Boykin Community Center has earned national recognition. She is the current Vice-President of the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association and promotes green infrastructure policy across the State of Alabama. She has been recognized by the national office of the American Society for Landscape Architecture (ASLA) for her contributions to sustainability and green infrastructure systems.

Charlene has worked with many underserved communities across Alabama teaching and implementing sustainable design and policy. Most recently she has spent time in Prichard, AL, one of the poorest cities in Alabama, assisting the MBNEP and ACES in restoring 300 linear feet of Reading Creek. This project also includes the implementation of a new stream buffer policy by Prichard city council that will educate and assist developers in sustainable development practices and protect natural drainage systems. She is currently assisting the AU Office of Sustainability and Parkerson Mill Creek Watershed Committee with implementing cistern and rain garden projects at the AU Raptor Center and Dudley Hall.