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What is “Good” Soil?

What does “good” soil mean? It depends on your point of view. If you are engineer, you like soil that drains well or compacts easily to bear weight. If you are a farmer, you want soil that is fertile, easy to till, and soaks up water without runoff. If you are a tree… well, what... More
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Is i-Tree Underestimating Eco-Benefits of Urban Trees?

We have long known that urban trees help mitigate air pollution. But what about questions of how significant that mitigation is, how we track it, and where it occurs? A 2014 paper, “Assessing the relationship among urban trees, nitrogen dioxide, and respiratory health” by Linda George, Meenkashi Rao, Todd Rosenstiel, Vivek Shandas, and Alexis Dinno... More
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Nature: A Critical Element of Patient-Centered Care
Silva Cell Case Study

Meticulously designed around the needs of patients and their families, the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is a state of the art facility. Through innovative planning that was five years in the making, patients’ needs are met outside, on the hospital grounds, as much... More
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What Not To Plant

Something simple and extremely fundamental must underpin any effort to increase the biodiversity of the urban canopy: adequate quantity and quality soil and water. That’s it. If a guy wanted to grow a great tree in a typical 4 x 4 urban tree opening, he could add macronutrients (NPK), micronutrients (Mn, Mg, etc.), compost tea,... More
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When “Parking” Meant “Space for Trees”

In April, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and DeepRoot co-hosted a design charrette at the SvR offices in Seattle. The theme of the discussion was “Cities need nature, and nature needs cities: how and where do you struggle to bring nature to the built environment?” (We are putting together videos and blog posts based around the discussions from... More
Seattle Municipal Archives - Cedar Lake

5 Articles We’re Reading

It’s Memorial Day here is the U.S., so our office is closed. For readers in other countries – or people who just want a little distraction on the holiday weekend – here are five articles we read recently and really enjoyed. From the practical to the personal, these pieces all offer some new perspective on... More
Aaron Volkening _ CC BY 2.0

3 Questions About Bioretention Soils and Infiltration

In March we hosted a webinar where Jonathan Page, an engineer working in Dr. Bill Hunt’s lab at North Carolina State University (NCSU), provided a stormwater engineering perspective on the design principles, treatment processes, and implementation of using Silva Cells as a stormwater control measure. Current research findings and a design case study were included in... More
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If Not Now, When?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 3 years, you know that California is having a major drought. According to the Institute for Public Policy, the three-year period between 2011 and 2014 were the driest on record since record keeping began in 1895, made worse by record high temperatures in 2014. It’s... More
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Sacred Memorial, 20 Years in the Making
Silva Cell case study

Authorized by Congress in 1996, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC is a groundbreaking project. Following nearly 20 years of development and construction, it is the first memorial on the National Mall to be dedicated to an African American, and one of only a few dedicated to non-presidents. The site, a... More
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A New Tool to Quantify Nutrient and Solids Removal by Street Sweeping

Research shows that tree stormwater control measures (SCMs) provide excellent stormwater benefits. With trees, however, come leaves – and leaf litter that falls on impervious street surfaces can actually add unwanted nutrients to stormwater runoff (leaf litter provides many benefits on pervious surfaces). The contribution of leaf litter to nutrients in stormwater runoff is more... More