Last month, ECO Modern Flats hosted 41 green industry professionals as part of the Blue Pathways workshop on Low Impact Design (LID) installation and maintenance. Tim Copeland, the groundskeeper at ECO, provided a tour and discussed best practices in stormwater management in use on site, including stormwater cisterns and a rain garden. The Blue Pathways program provides training to landscape architects, engineers, project managers, park planners, trail coordinators, irrigation specialists and contractors in Northwest Arkansas.
Jane Maginot, Urban Stormwater Educator with the Cooperative Extension Service, shared this description of the program:
Increased urban development is intensifying the challenges of managing stormwater flows and landscape drainage. A knowledge gap exists as Northwest Arkansas cities, businesses, organizations and homeowners are seeking guidance and expertise in the areas of sustainable landscaping and rainwater harvesting as a means of mitigating the effects of increased stormwater runoff. In response, the NWA Urban Stormwater Education Steering Committee managed through the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service recommended that specialized education be conducted for the green industry and local landscaping professionals and installers. Once equipped with Low Impact Development (LID) landscaping tools and techniques, these local professionals can then fill that niche by more effectively communicating, implementing and marketing their sustainable landscaping and water management expertise. Future Blue Pathways programs are in the works and topics include LID features such as native plants and green roofs.
We’re glad to share our experience through Blue Pathways in the hope that sustainable design and management practices become the norm in our community. If you want to know more about Blue Pathways, get in touch with Jane Maginot.