Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Permit Approved

With great effort on everyone's part we got the right-of-way permit approved Tuesday morning (yesterday). Excavation of the swales will start Thursday morning (tomorrow) under the direction of Bob Chabot. The tree protection barricade (shown here) was installed to make sure we don't do anything that will compromise the remaining live oak.

Unfortunately, one of our integral team members, Kevin Songer was hospitalized this week. He is expected to make full recovery, and will be in our prayers. Without Kevin's passion, this project would not have gone this far. Thankfully he set us up very well with a plan and the materials so that we can complete the work. But we won't let him off the hook for the maintenance! We can't wait to have you back!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bioswale - Turning a stormwater berm into a nature based treatment swale

The mound of dirt shown on the right side of the sidewalk blocked stormwater flow
Lasalle Street's bioswale, as noted in the previous post by Doug Skiles, will address stormwater and flooding issues.

Prior to the bioswale project, the median lying between the San Marco Library's sidewalk and Lasalle Street blocked all stormwater flowing from the library's roof and lawn and funneled the runoff to a low area adjacent the main pedestrian crossing in front of the library.

As you can see, the elevation of the dirt creates a berm of approximately right inches tall in some places, blocking water flow.

However the new design will have an elevation profile lower than the elevation of the sidewalk's edge, allowing runoff to enter the swale for attenuation and treatment.

Bioswale and rain garden science is based upon biomimicry - imitating nature's successes.

Excavation is imminent and plants are scheduled for delivery soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Better Drainage

One of the many benefits of the Lasalle Street Bioswale will be improved drainage. As you can see in this photo, there are many sections of the street that hold water. This was taken the morning after an evening storm. One of the flumes was placed specifically to capture the standing water on the right side. The beauty of a retrofit project like this is that we can solve past mistakes.

Bio-swale landscape

We have decided not to amend the soil for the planting as the native plants we are using thrive in poor soils, and to discourage weed growth and keep maintenance down. We are also going to strike a balance in spacing the plants so they have enough breathing room but the garden will still have a full finished look. We will also put a thick layer of pine-straw mulch down. This will create an incredibly rich habitat for native wildlife including birds, bugs and other micro-organisms as it collects and cleans storm-water.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Creating a Low Impact Development Bioswale, Urban Sustainability

Proposed Lasalle Street Bioswale (Low Impact Development)
Am amazing project is taking shape, thanks to many in the Jacksonville area including; St. Johns River Keeper, Coca-Cola, City of Jacksonville, San Marco Preservation Society, Councilwoman Lori Boyer, Greenscape and others.

Follow our efforts here from the removal of diseased and dying, yet magnificent old live oaks through the design and permitting process, installation and maintenance.  We want to share findings, successes and learning opportunities.

Bob Chabot and Chris Dailey of the Jacksonville Zoo discuss soil preparation
Bob Chabot and Chris Dailey examine the site, strategizing as to the best approach for grading, soil amendments, plant staging and layout, and a host of other issue resolution.
The future bioswale area contains large roots, urban soils and presents challenges
 The bioswale site will collect stormwater from the library roof and site as well as other adjacent impervious areas and provide both attenuation and water quality treatment.
Bioswale construction will incorporate existing utility systems into the layout
Our documentation will hopefully provide a basis for future similar low impact development best management practices for Jacksonville and surrounding areas.

Be sure to follow the blog for our frequent updates.