A blog about all things rural and agritourism related

One man’s waste is another man’s landscaping material

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site from roof 1

In 2012 I took a slight delve into landscape architecture (while Job Captain at John MacDonald Architect inc.) and the Recycling Centre project brought out some great green ideas to their parking lot.

The parking lot&#39s first aim was to divert all the water run-off away from the combined storm sewer and allow it to infiltrate back into the soil. The design of this parking lot allows all the water from the 25year storm to infiltrate into the soil rather than enter the City&#39s sewer system. Two storage ponds filled with crushed stone and recycled ground glass allow water to reach the soil below the asphalt. The first pond connects water and runs it through an underground irrigation pipe system to water the trees in the parking lot that would not normally survive. Any overflow runs into the trench and second pond to infiltrate.

Central Irrigation trench with crushed stone and ground glass, surrounded by recycled crane rail curbs and baleboard bollards

The parking lot uses a lot of uniquely reused products. At the Niagara Recycling Centre your glass is ground into a sand material, that can be used in sandblasting. We chose to use your waste as a landscaping material (the green stuff in the photos). This saved money and gave the parking lot a personal touch. The recycling centre is located in the old E.S. Fox building which used to make wine vats. We reused scrap crane rails removed from the building to create the curbs throughout the parking lot.We also used a product from ThinkPlasticsin New Hamburg for bridges and bollards, that uses recycled bale wrap.Finally the plant finish.  We used a field of daylillys in various colours and various bloom times to ensure a lush and beautiful parking lot all summer long. Honey Locust trees line the parking lot and are good choices for their drought and salt resistance, two common characteristics of parking lots.  They also do not shed berries on the cars each year. The daylillys and honey locust trees are also salt resistant, native, and low maintenance plant choices. Along the centre infiltration trench I choose a native grass hardy to dry places as all the water was going to drain away from them.  The Parking lot is one year old now and doing well.  The daylillys should fill in this year and create a pleasant ‘green’ place to arrive every morning at work.

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