Big things are happening under the beautiful trees at Couch Park this fall. Taking advantage of the lovely October weather we’ve been having, a small GreenWorks crew biked up to the Alphabet District on their lunch break earlier this week to see the latest progress. The stormwater planters and other concrete work is well underway, and the monolithic boulders are a sight to behold. We can’t wait to see the rest of Portland’s first inclusive playground come together in the next few months.
NBA season may be over, but at the Moda Center, the lush new landscape is definitely in season. GreenWorks provided services for the Portland Trail Blazers’ Moda Center Exterior project. The project enhanced the Center’s landscaping with native and drought-resistant plants, provided waterproofing, and replenished the grounds with healthier soils and stormwater facilities, reducing the site’s landscaping water use by 20-30%. GreenWorks’ Derek Sergison captured these sunrise shots
With major storms threatening our region, stormwater management is a topic on everyone’s mind. Rain gardens, bioswales, and other stormwater facilities become highly active players in the infrastructure of a city during a major weather event like the one we are experiencing in the Pacific Northwest. The City of Albany is highly committed to managing their stormwater and has been working with GreenWorks to improve their stormwater management since 2009.
GreenWorks was hired by the City of Albany to assist them in developing stormwater quality development standards. The first phase was a thorough review of the city’s municipal and development codes and engineering standards. GreenWorks recommended updates to address water quality and stream protection goals and regulations. The team facilitated workshops and a field facility tour for city staff to determine the types of stormwater quality facilities and related design standards to adopt. We developed facility sizing requirements and prepared engineering standards, specifications and standard drawings. Key goals included the development of stormwater quality standards with a focus on vegetated facilities that can integrate into existing site landscaping and City ROW, that are straight-forward to design and review for compliance, and offer flexibility to the development community. GreenWorks used highly illustrative standards to show how various options of vegetated facilities could be sized and located. The resulting Stormwater Quality Program and Standards (including codes, standards, specifications, and drawings) was adapted by the Albany City Council in 2014.
Stormwater facilities were designed and completed in 2015. Robust in size, these facilities were built to manage a major stormwater event. GreenWorks continues to provide implementation assistance to city staff on an on-call basis to review drawings and answer questions, and in some instances provide stormwater facility design support.
A female mallard duck was recently photographed enjoying the Wall’s lush vegetation. Since opening in 2014, the Stormwater Green Wall has flourished. After a winter that broke rainfall records in the Portland Metro area, the ferns, star jasmine, sedge, and other plants are thriving. The Stormwater Green Wall was designed in partnership with the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) as a pilot project. The Wall manages and treats 9,400 square feet of roof stormwater runoff, and it continues to be monitored to better understand its performance and relevance to future projects. The Stormwater Green Wall was constructed as a freestanding custom metal structure with a gravity water distribution system that feeds stormwater to a series of vegetated channels that filter pollutants and absorb stormwater. We are delighted to learn that besides processing stormwater, it provides urban wildlife habitat too!
At GreenWorks, we strongly believe that sustainable designs can also be beautiful. This idea is wonderfully demonstrated in the recently published book Artful Rainwater Design: Creative Ways to Manage Stormwater by Stuart Echols and Eliza Pennypacker. According to the book’s description, “this beautifully illustrated, comprehensive guide explains how to design creative, yet practical, landscapes that treat on-site stormwater management as an opportunity to enhance site design.” GreenWorks’ Washougal Town Square is featured as a case study in this “must-have resource for landscape architects, urban designers, civil engineers, and architects who won't let stormwater regulations cramp their style, and who understand that for a design to truly be sustainable, people must appreciate and love it.” Other GreenWorks projects such as Headwaters at Tryon Creek and RiverEast Center are also included in the book.
- Get your copy at: http://islandpress.org/book/artful-rainwater-design#sthash.uz5WT7tJ.dpuf
We hear this a lot in reference to the art feature of the Clay Street Green Street project in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID). The Log Dog sculptures incorporated into the Clay Street swales reference and celebrate the district’s industrial past. In the 19th Century, the lumber industry used the Willamette River as a conduit for transporting logs to the lumber mills established along the banks of the river. Logs were tied together into rafts and piloted down the Willamette in massive convoys. These log rafts where chained together by cable that ran through attachments known as log dogs. The historic log dogs were like thick needles, driven into the floating logs before a cable was pulled through the eye and cinched to bundle them together, creating a raft. GreenWorks designed the streetscape for a 12-block section of SE Clay Street. Working with KPFF and artist, Linda M. Wysong, the green street provides a pedestrian friendly corridor from the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood to the Eastbank Esplanade, strengthening connectivity and improving the pedestrian realm. The green street honors the industrial district’s history through the art installations and interpretive elements. GreenWorks has contributed to the redevelopment of Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) over the last decade through improvements to the Clay Street Right of Way / RiverEast pedestrian plaza and most recently with Clay Street Green Street. The completed project provides sustainable environmental benefits, including vegetated stormwater management, pedestrian and bicycle passage, and strategies that maintain freight movement and business activities throughout the CEID.
The project’s artist describes the inspiration on the Clay Street Log Dog: “The Wetlands were filled, the mill erected and a city built. The land is transformed as the water continues to flow. It may seep into the earth or be hidden by stone and concrete, but it continues to connect, sustain and give form to our lives. Honor and protect the river.” Linda M. Wysong, artist
GreenWorks hosted a Water Resources Committee Meeting for the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) on April 9th. For this event, Mike Faha and Shawn Kummer presented The Portland EXPO Stormwater Wall project that was designed by GreenWorks and constructed last fall 2014. Click on the link provided below for additional information about the project. /blog/2014/10/06/portland-expo-center-stormwater-green-wall-grand-opening
Check out this recent article by Margaret Buranen at Stormwater: The Journal for Surface Water Quality Professionals about green infrastructure in stormwater management, featuring a recent GreenWorks project in Salem, OR! Pringle Creek Community is one of Oregon’s most low-impact residential developments, and as the first sustainable housing and mixed-use project spanning 32 acres of a total 250 scheduled for development, Pringle Creek is pioneering green initiatives in southeast Salem.
Pringle Creek is, according to the Community’s general manager Jane Poznar, “a diamond for sustainability” with its 7,000 feet of green streets, 2,000 feet of green alleys, and a newly ‘salmon safe’ creek (from which the community gets its name). Regarding stormwater, Buranen notes that Pringle Creek Community is also home to “one of the largest pervious asphalt street systems in the United States,” handling 90% of runoff onsite.
GreenWorks was responsible for collaboration on the design of the Community’s green streets and rain gardens, pedestrian pathways and greenway enhancement, woonerfs and public recreational spaces, overall landscape treatment and the Village Green open space.
The project was awarded the Land Development of the Year Award in 2007 from the National Home Builder's Association.
Check out this article by Sustainable Business Oregon editor Andy Giegerich announcing upcoming updates to the Portland Trail Blazers’ Moda Center exterior, a project headed by GreenWorks!
We have been working with the Trail Blazers Senior Director of Sustainability, Justin Zeulner, to both beautify the Center’s landscaping with native and drought-resistant plants and replenish the grounds with healthier soils and stormwater facilities, which will “reduce the [site's] landscaping water use by 20-30%” among other progressive initiatives. This work represents what Justin noted as “the first phase of sustainable projects around the arena,” and will further the Trail Blazers’ efforts for sustainability in keeping with their ideals.
Located in the Lloyd Center District, Portland’s first EcoDistrict, the Moda Center earned LEED Gold status in 2010 because of measures that reduced greenhouse gas emissions, energy usage, non-organic and non-local food sourcing, and landfill use, but they’re not stopping there. As Justin suggests, “Every little bit helps.”
The new landscaping designs will become a reality after demolitions in the spring. Click here for more information on the Blazers’ conservation efforts.