Please enjoy the January 2016 edition of the Construction Bulletin.
Please enjoy the January 2016 edition of the Construction Bulletin.
The following is Part III of a three part series focusing on the City of Scottsbluff’s 319 grant projects. These projects are designed to reduce impervious cover in parking lots, filtering and infiltrating stormwater runoff. This article will go over project successes. For an overview of the projects, see Part I. For project challenges and lessons learned, see Part II.
In the last article, we went over the challenges of landscaping a hot, harsh urban environment. Now that we have gone over the difficulties of these projects, we are going to outline some of the practices we used that worked well. The following is a list of some of the techniques that were effective and that we will be using in the future:
At this time, those are the most noticeable successes that we have seen. We are hoping that over time, using large landscape beds with adequate soil rooting volume for trees will help the trees to be more successful long-term; however, it will be several years before we know for sure if it is a success. We are also hoping to turn off the drip irrigation systems in the future. During their first summer, though, we will be leaving the irrigation on to help the plants establish their root systems. We may have to continue irrigating during extended dry periods. We will also be observing our plants over time to see how they do- watch for future articles outlining specific plant selections that have done well. All in all, perhaps the greatest success has been being able to remove over 9,500 square feet of concrete from our parking lots and replace it with a beautiful, functional landscape that will have great environmental benefits for years to come.
The following is Part II of a three part series focusing on the City of Scottsbluff’s 319 grant projects. These projects are designed to reduce impervious cover in parking lots, filtering and infiltrating stormwater runoff. This article will go over challenges and lessons learned from the projects. For an overview of the projects, see Part I.
In our last article, we went over the process of removing concrete and installing landscaping to create green areas throughout our downtown parking lots. There are several factors that, when combined, make it extremely difficult for a landscape to be successful in an urban environment. The following is a list of those challenges, along with a few of the lessons that we have learned so far. Over time, we will be continuing to observe and experiment with these landscapes to determine the best ways to make them successful. Continue reading Greening Up the Urban Environment- Part II
The following is Part I of a three part series focusing on the City of Scottsbluff’s 319 grant projects. These projects are designed to reduce impervious cover in parking lots, filtering and infiltrating stormwater runoff.
In 2014, the City of Scottsbluff was awarded $40,000 through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s 319 grant program. The purpose of the grant was to allow the City to install demonstration projects that would promote better stormwater management throughout the City. Through this project, the City was able to remove over 9,600 square feet of concrete throughout several parking lots and replace it with landscaping. In addition, some of the remaining concrete in the parking lots were sloped so as to allow runoff from the concrete to be captured by the landscaped areas. Continue reading Greening Up The Urban Environment- Part I
Spring means green – literally and figuratively. When the weather warms and grass starts growing, building begins and business gets busy, your livelihood in full swing. One way to keep green in the business pocket it to keep the building site green too.
One of the best management practices (BMPs) for construction is to preserve exisiting vegetation or to stabilize a site by planting vegetation on the site. Keeping as much natural growth as possible is a cost effective sediment and erosion control solution on a construction site. Vegetation stabilizes ground in three main ways:
First, preserve as much of the natural vegetation as possible. Let the grass remain around the borders of the site, against the street, under the stockpiles, and any other spots on the site that do not need to be disturbed.
Second, if there is bare ground that will be untouched more than 14 days, re-seed it with grass seed mix. The grasses germinate and sprout in 5-10 days when soil is moist and ground temperatures are about 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.
Third, seed for final stabilization as soon as all soil disturbing activity is complete, instead of waiting until the end of the project. Using vegetation for final stabilization of a site not only provides effective stormwater management but also makes a site more natural and aesthetically pleasing.
One key to effective vegetative BMPs is choosing the proper seed mix for area. In the Panhandle, a mix of drought tolerant annual and perennial grasses is preferred. Jim Neuwirth, owner of ABC Nursery, often mixes a variety perennial wheat grasses or thick spike weed with barley or oats. The annual vegetation, barely or oats, grow quickly and knit together to form a quick cover over the ground. The perennial wheat grasses develop more slowly under the the cover crop, establishing deep root systems that will sustain the plants and provide cover year after year.
The second key to successful vegetative stablization is timing. Neuwirth has seeded throughout the year by tailoring the grass mixes for the conditions at the time. For example, using barely when seeding in cooler seasons and oats in the warmer seasons. He’s planted dormant mixes in fall and early spring allowing for a quick cover to establish and the perennial grasses to germinate later.
More important than the seed mix, Neuwirth notes, is the moisture level in the soil. Water is crucial for germination and growth. Seeding with a polymer to hold moisture or the luck of a well -timed rains storm can make or break the success of a seeding that is sown and left to grow. Irrigation, on the other hand, dramatically increases the success rate of a vegetative cover to germinate, establish, and become self-sustaining. Neuwirth recommends irrigation to establish the cover, citing irrigation also reduces both risk and future costs for the contractor.
Using vegetative cover also provides a sense of place and beauty, an intangible benefit for a property. Seed mixes are typically designed with the site’s function and owner’s preferences in mind. The vegetation used can make the site more distinct, attractive, and environmentally sustainable. Neuwirth likes to add wildflowers to a seed mix if the site is highly visible. The sense of a native Panhandle prairie is more attractive with a splash of color and adds another dimension to the site.
Green grass, green building, and green in the pocket – all are advantages of using vegetative cover as a construction BMP.
Wear walking shoes and pre-order your lunch at least two days ahead so your food will be ready upon arrival. We’ll spend 20-25 minutes in the restaurant for the presentation then walk to the gardens for the remainder of the program. Eateries will be providing specials or special menus a week before the event for you to pre-order. Meals range from $5.00—$12.00 per meal.
Fall Grass Showcase with Jim Schild, UNL Extension
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Happy New Year! Please enjoy the January edition of the Scottsbluff Construction Bulletin
Please enjoy the October edition of the Scottsbluff Construction Bulletin
Please enjoy this edition of the Scottsbluff Construction Bulletin.
If you have questions or suggestions for future topics please email email@example.com or call 308-630-8011.