About Us
Sustainability for all the places between the buildings.
Green Girl Land Development Solutions provides information for educational and outreach purposes only, to enhance the sustainability of sites. Unless adopted by the appropriate registered professional under contract, information provided is not for construction.

Maria Cahill headshot

Ok, you got me. There's no "us", just me. These pages are all about me, Maria Cahill. It just seemed simpler that way. Some folks say I'm going to have five employees someday, so keep checking back here!

I have 16 years experience implementing low impact development practices on private and public new, redeveloped, and retrofit sites. Since starting my business in 2008, I have collaborated with teams on green streets, rain gardens, porous pavements. I'm known for my creative problem solving, and through a number of grant awards have implemented a variety of innovative approaches to managing stormwater in urbanized areas including parking forests, the Stormwater Challenge Program, and the West Hills Innovative Stormwater Demonstration.

In addition to doing other cool things like implementing the first green street in the City of Tangent and developing a low impact development guidance template for Western Oregon, I've presented numerous workshops to a variety of stakeholders from seasoned professionals to homeowners on a variety of low impact development topics.


I received my bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) from the Pennsylvania State University way back in 1992. I spent four years of a five-year program in the Architectural Engineering department specializing in structural engineering and gained a background in the materials and systems used to create functioning buildings. When I took my first geotechnical engineering class, I was hooked and transferred to the civil engineering department for my last year to graduate with a specialization in geotechnical engineering.

I passed my Engineer-in-Training exam right after graduating. I've met the work experience requirements to sit for the Professional Engineer's license (P.E.), but just haven't taken the exam yet. Hey, I was busy playing in a band until my early 30's and then I was too busy actually doing green project management. Who knows, it could still happen.

Previous Work Experience

For eight years before moving to Portland, I worked for pioneers in sustainable land development in landscape architecture (Andropogon Associates and Rolf Sauer & Partners, now Viridian Landscape Studio) and engineering offices (Cahill Associates) in the Philadelphia area. Under the direction of licensed individuals at these firms, I created drawing sets for construction and had started to design and project manage strictly green projects. I also assisted with a few master planning projects both for land development projects and for regional watershed studies.

In the four years before starting Green Girl LDS, I carried out civil engineering design and project management, again under the direction of licensed P.E., to create construction documents and secure permits for some of the leading sustainable projects in the Portland metropolitan region including two Living Building Challenge projects. In addition to those duties, I was the Sustainability Technical Advisor at both the engineering firms who employed me, providing mentoring and resources to co-workers. In this time, I established myself as a creative problem solver with both private design team members and public agencies. A key component to my success was application of my robust communication and design skills to balance the technically achievable solutions with the combined goals of stakeholders such as the building owner or developer, other design team members, building occupants, and local, state, and federal permitting agencies.

Today, I collaborate with a variety of licensed individuals, including engineers, architects, landscape architects, contractors, and others, to improve the sustainability of sites. In addition, I provide technical workshops that can help attendees implement sustainable practices on their own projects or homes.

Ongoing Professional Development

To provide you with the best thinking and latest science, I'm constantly in professional development. In addition to reading up, I have attended a number of classes and technical events.

Green Girl Land Development Solutions LLC provides information for educational and outreach purposes only, to enhance the sustainability of sites. Unless adopted by the appropriate registered professional under contract, information provided is not for construction.
Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost. This web site was designed with a black background and white text because a rumor was spread by Blackle that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but that turned out to be a big fat lie debunked by actual experimentation AND... people had trouble reading my website, so I changed it to white. It's still hosted by Dreamhost, a carbon neutral company. Please consider the environment when printing this or mailing me things or traveling to see me for a meeting or... ohhhh, just do your best and change your practices when you learn something new.

Updated 9 Jan 2015