Saturday, August 20, 2016

Capturing Runoff at the Shopping Center

What is soft rush, a wetland species, doing outside the entrance for Ace Hardware at the Princeton Shopping Center? Look up and to the left and you'll see the awning that spills lots of water onto the walkway during rains. The concrete absorbs the impact and the water then makes haste to the bed of rushes, where much of it is absorbed. Pretty clever. Soft rush is evergreen, so should provide some color even during the winter months. We'll see how it weathers the salt and snowplows that stray off course.

Just down from the rushes is a parking lot island. In the past, these islands would have been built higher than the surrounding pavement, and spurned the runoff. But some of the new islands have notches in the Belgian Block curbing where runoff can enter, seep into the ground and feed the plantings.

All of this means a little less of the shopping center's massive, unfiltered runoff goes thundering into Harry's Brook, a few hundred feet away where the brook becomes a brook in Grover Park.

See a previous post that compares the shopping center's parking lot with a more advanced design at Westminster Choir College.

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