Re: sidewalk material
From: Fred H. Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 07:53:07 -0500
Loren Davidson  Permaculturist, poet, philosopher  loren [at] wombat.net
is the author of the message below but due to a problem it was posted
by the Fred the list manager: owner-cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

robin.ellison [at] dartmouth.edu   Robin Ellison   wrote:

> Simple to give you all info.  One of the consultants that the group I
> was invloved with stated that a lawn produces 90% the same run off as a
> paved parking lot.

I am curious as to how this consultant arrived at that conclusion.  I
can see conditions (matted grasses in heavy clay soil) where this
could indeed be the case, but I doubt it's true for all lawns.

Depending on the site layout and the slopes involved, one of the
following could provide both appropriate support/traction and capture
runoff:

1)  If you can design your property so that some or all of your
driveways and paths are on contours, create a gravel "swale" on the
downhill side of them.  This will capture the runoff and infiltrate it
into the soil; you can then plant trees on the downhill side of the
swale to take advantage of this runoff.

2)  If you can't put your paths/driveways on contour, create
diversions off the downhill sides of these into such a swale system. 
If you're getting close to the property boundary, you could use some
combination of a gentle bump in the driveway and/or grating over a
gutter to divert runoff before it leaves your property.

Village Homes uses these techniques to great advantage, providing most
or all of the water necessary to support lush plantings of trees, etc.
in Davis, CA, where the average annual rainfall is, I believe, 19
inches...all of it falling between November and April/May.

Loren

==
Loren Davidson       Permaculturist, poet, philosopher
Please reply to loren [at] wombat.net
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