Saturday, September 19, 2009

Montrose Green recieves award from PHS

We are very proud to announce that Montrose Green has won the 3rd place prize for the 2009 City Gardens Contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

We entered the stormwater planter, the rear yard rainwater harvesting/rain garden system, and the green roof into the contest as separate gardens but one interconnected hydrological system.

Although our three gardens are all very different, they have one common purpose (other than to delight): this is to successfully manage stormwater runoff by taking virtually every drop of water that falls on our property and making sure it finds its way into the ground below us instead of into the city sewer/stormwater system, which either goes to the water treatment plant (a place where stormwater does not need to go) or directly to the river (a place where it can go, but should find its way 'naturally' opposed to via a drainpipe). With the incredibly wet season we are experiencing here in Philly, we have had a wonderful opportunity to witness these systems at work. It is truly amazing to see how much water the green roof really absorbs and how much water the planters can infiltrate into the ground.

Click HERE to see a photo album of the garden highlights at Montrose Green. And please check out our previous posts about the:
- Stormwater planter
- Rainwater harvesting/rain garden system
- Green roof

Thank you to PHS and all the judges for coming out and ultimately selecting the gardens at Montrose Green for this award and congratulations to all the other winners. The Awards Ceremony will be held at the 2010 Philadelphia Flower Show on March 2nd.

And, of course, thank you to Brian Weinrich, Shift_Design, JIG, and Charlie Miller, for all their help with the design and installation of our gardens. We are extremely proud of the beautiful (and hardworking) gardens that we all helped create and hope they will serve as a model for other projects in the city.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Join us on PARK(ing) Day!

"Providing temporary public open parking spot at a time"

We'll be participating in PARK(ing) Day on Friday, September 18! This one-day global event is intended to call attention to the need for more public open (and green) space in urban areas. Learn more about the origins of PARK(ing) day here.

SoLibs will be claiming a parking space directly across the street from Montrose Green (1536 Montrose), on the north side of the block. Rumor has it that the original clawfoot tub from the renovation might play a prominent role in our temporary park...Justin & Christopher will be representing SoLibs throughout the day, so please stop by and visit if you're in the area.

The SoLibs crew will be focusing on WATER...simple strategies to conserve water, such as by using a rain barrel to capture rainfall for watering herbs/flowers, installing aeraters on your faucets, or replacing your toilet with a dual-flush or low-flow model. Learn how more elaborate systems like stormwater planters, rain gardens, and green roofs can all play a role in reducing the impact of stormwater (wastewater) on the City's overtaxed infrastructure.

Emily will be helping to organize a PARK(ing) Day installation in front of the Center for Architecture (1216 Arch Street) in conjunction with the Community Design Collaborative & AIA Philadelphia. Their design is an "Eco-Urban Backyard" and will focus on affordable ideas for incorporating recycled, reclaimed, and eco-friendly features into a small footprint like a patio or balcony. View their resource list to learn where to get FREE stuff for your own backyard, including rain barrels, compost, and mulch.

Want to see who else is participating? View a map of all 30+ Philly PARK(ing) Day installations.

See below for a sampling of some creative PARK(ing) Day installations from prior years: