We couldn't have asked for better weather for this weekend's partnership with CCCC's Green Building Program and Karen Hall with North Carolina State University and the Robeson Creek Watershed Council. Students and instructors from CCCC's Living Roof & Rain Gardens Class provided much welcomed labor and technical expertise to improving the rain garden behind the Community House and installing a living roof at the New Town Park. Karen Hall provided funding and additional technical expertise.
First, instructor Fred Royal PE, guided his students through a process of tweaking the performance of Community House raingarden by adding a fore-bay sump and modifying the overflow outfall. They also removed about 3-4 cubic yards of sediment from the garden and replaced it with about 2 cubic yards of mulch as a preventive maintenance item. The volunteer crew made short work of the project. The students also viewed the plans and progress of the rain garden under construction at the New Town Park, and visited other raingardens scattered throughout Pittsboro.
The Community House raingarden captures all of the stormwater from the parking lot to the West, retains it for a short period and then releases it gradually to minimize sudden damaging influxes into our streams. Plants and soil bacteria filter out substances which lower our water quality.
The hard working crew helping with the rain garden behind the community house.
The next day, much of the same crew showed up to install the demonstration living roof on the new gazebo under construction at the New Town Park. Again, they worked really efficiently and had fun in the process. Rhonda Goolsby of Green Sky Sustainable Design taught this section of the course. Like rain gardens, living roofs (green roofs) slow run-off into our streams and provide filtering benefits; they're especially effective in urban environments. Additionally, they provide an extremely durable, low maintenance roofing surface with an expected life span of over 50 years.
THANKS INSTRUCTORS & STUDENT VOLUNTEERS!
Bucket brigade used to get the special soil mix to the roof. Rhonda Goolsby (in blue) instructor of the Living Roof Class with industrious volunteers. Work remains on the gazebo, but the living roof component is installed & benefiting from tonight's rain.
The renovations at Kiwanis Park are currently featured on my favorite blog, Playscapes, a blog about playground design. Yea! The following quotes help sum up the raison d'etre of Playscapes, with which I can relate.
"Because it's difficult to find non-commercial playground information. And I find that frustrating. Because a playground doesn't have to cost a million bucks and come in a box. In fact, it's better if it doesn't. Because playgrounds are under-recognized as an artistic medium. Because everybody loves a playground."
The site has had a huge influence on me and hence on our nascent parks system. If you think about it, the philosophy reflects the healthy balance of fiscal conservativeness with the spirit of resourcefulness and innovation that so aptly characterizes Pittsboro.
Thanks again to all of the contractors, designers, public works and professional staff who made the renovation what it was. Also thanks the Pittsboro Kiwanis, Genevieve Megginson, Partnership for Children, the Pittsboro Governing Board and staff of 2001-2004, Progress Energy, Chatham County United Way, the Piedmont Conservation Council, Pittsboro Area Health Initiative, the Chatham Parks Foundation, Active Chatham and a dedicated group of parents (you know who you are) for their insight, vision and determination to create the park back in 2001. This has definitely been a collaborative effort.