What’s for Dinner? Shop Your Sidewalk

While “summer reading” may conjure up frivolous beach novels that you don’t mind getting wet or sandy, may I recommend something both entertaining and informative this summer. The Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness by Rebecca Lerner is a combination memoir/essay about urban foraging, or the art of finding food and medicine in the plants… More

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Silva Cell Performance Specification Now Available

Just a quick piece of news today! We often get asked about providing non-proprietary performance specifications for designers who want to use the Silva Cell on their projects, but can’t use proprietary specifications in bid and construction documents. We’re excited to announce that non-proprietary performance specifications are now available for download on our website. 

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Systemic LID BMP Design: Managing the Annual Design Storm

There are some individuals drawn to the comfort of indoors, fed by books and stories of adventures from arm’s length in their armchairs. I am not among them. Having been given a diagnosis of “terminal wanderlust,” I have always felt more comfortable under the open sky rather than under a roof.  The sizable amount of… More

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Soil Interfaces: Intuition Versus Reality

This post, by Linda Chalker-Scott, addresses a misperception that we encounter frequently about the efficacy of using gravel or sand beneath soil to aid drainage. Linda mythbusts this incorrect belief handily. This article originally appeared on her blog, The Garden Professors. It is reprinted with her permission. -LM I’m just starting to think about getting my… More

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Is it a Raingarden or is it Bioretention?

In the world of Low Impact Design (LID), the terms raingarden and bioretention are often used interchangeably. However, there are some inferred differences between these two LID practices. These differences were highlighted during recent work with the Washington Department of Ecology, which designated Silva Cell as functionally equivalent to a bioretention facility.

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Atlanta BeltLine’s Historic 4th Ward Park Silva Cell Case Study

The Atlanta BeltLine is a comprehensive revitalization and mobility project powered by local citizens, civic leaders, and private partnerships that is transforming the city of Atlanta through the additions of rail, trail, greenspace, housing, public art, and a dedication to sustainable growth. At the core of the Atlanta BeltLine project is the creation of a… More

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Differing Opinions: Silva Cells and CU Soil

May’s issue of Arboricultural Consultant, the magazine of the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) has side-by-side articles by James Urban, FASLA, and Nina Bassuk, Ph.D. discussing different methods for providing trees with soil underneath paving.  Jim’s article is on “Comparing Silva Cells and Structural Soil,” and Nina’s is on “The Why’s and How’s of… More

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Google’s Earth Engine Timelapse: 1984 to 2012

Google Earth is so much fun to explore. You can really and truly get lost in it, the feeling of “traveling” somewhere on your screen that you’ve never been in person. I recently saw that they’ve applied the same approach to creating a timelapse tool for the earth from 1984 to 2012 called Earth Engine. 

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The U.S. Forest Service Urban Tree Canopy Map

In 2010, my colleague Peter MacDonagh attended the American Society of Consulting Engineers (ASCE) conference and emerged with a chart from a presentation given by Bram Gunther and Fiona Watt, of the New York City Department of Parks, that listed the urban tree canopy information for about two dozen U.S. cities. Ever since then, I’ve… More

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