Quotes

Compost in Green Infrastructure Soil: Too Much of a Good Thing? Part I.

Significant portions of compost are an essential part of many bioretention and other green infrastructure soils. Compost is a beneficial complement to the largely inert aggregate used to provide rapid infiltration in these mixes: It stores significant moisture—reducing peak and total flows, has a high capacity to trap nutrients and contaminants, and boosts the biological… More

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Long-Term Use of Bioretention for Heavy Metals Removal

Bioretention has been shown to effectively remove heavy metals from stormwater runoff, which makes it a very useful design tool. However, there are two common concerns related to long term use of bioretention for heavy metals removal: (1) When will breakthrough occur, i.e. when will the binding sites be saturated so that dissolved heavy metals… More

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Writing Bullet Proof Resistant Soil Specifications

Writing Bullet Proof Resistant Soil Specifications By Howard Stenn, Stenn Design Soil specifications with unnecessary, contradictory or unverifiable standards are an invitation for plant and drainage problems, project delays, and ensuing conflicts over responsibility. Problematic provisions often accumulate in office specifications—added for a particular project or not removed when a divergent section is added –and… More

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The Importance of Soil Structure

Soil structure (how soil particles are held together to form larger structures within the soil) is recognized as an important property of a healthy soil. Grading, tilling, soil compaction and screening soils during the soil processing and mixing process damages structure.  To counteract the loss of structure, specifiers then add to it, utilizing a mined… More

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Toronto: A Center for Innovation

The City of Toronto has been a pioneer for important public policy initiatives such as one of the first Municipal Soil Volume Standards for street trees, a ground breaking Best Practices Manual for Hardscape Street Tree Planting.  All of this was done through a cross departmental collaborative approach, and began with the Queensway project, which… More

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Cultivating Community

Over 20 years ago, the City of Del Mar along the southern California coastline began a citywide process to improve streetscapes with the intention to preserve and enhance the tangible qualities of the community.  In 2019, construction began of the downtown streetscape portion, which will bring these concepts to fruition, building up the commercial center of… More

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Urban Soil Reuse as Planting Soil: Current Science and Lessons Learned

Over the last several years, DeepRoot has written about reusing urban soils as a planting medium. To date, the following have been covered via the DeepRoot blog: Reusing Existing Urban Soil for Planting Urban Soil Assessment and Reuse: Part 1 and Part 2 Search for the “Perfect” Soil Specification The articles above create a basis… More

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Urban Soil Assessment and Reuse Part 2: Soil Assessment Methods

This is the second of a two-part series about urban soil assessment and reuse. Read part 1 here. While the types of questions one might ask about urban soils are somewhat similar to the questions an agricultural soil scientist might ask about farm soils, the methods to get information is dramatically different. Urban soils are… More

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