HRGBC Green Apple Day of Service Update
“Where our children learn matters.” That’s the motto of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Apple Day of Service, and it’s something that HRGBC volunteers took to heart. On September 28th, 2013, the HRGBC partnered with W.H. Taylor Elementary to help improve the school environment and manage inconvenient storm-water ponding issues on their campus. A team of volunteers, including students, teachers, parents, administrators, city workers and HRGBC professionals met in West Ghent for a Design Charrette to brainstorm possible solutions. The team determined that a rain garden was the most sustainable, practical, and affordable solution to the school’s problem. Rain gardens are a low impact design method that captures runoff and infiltrates it into the soil, where it can be cleaned, recharge ground water, and be taken up by native plants and shrubs.
A concept design was developed through the charette process, discussions with key stakeholders, and the professional assistance of local design firms Ann P. Stokes Landscape Architecture and Kimley-Horn & Associates. The proposed rain garden will not only assist in alleviating some of the storm-water problems on site, but will also provide the school with a new outdoor learning space to educate about the benefits of sustainable rain water management. The concept design includes surrounding the feature with donated oyster-shell gabion baskets topped with reclaimed wood planks to create a classroom seating area.