First Green Streets in Salem Oregon
The old site of Fairview Hospital in Salem, Oregon, is now being paved with green streets and a large rainwater harvesting neighborhood.
Normally the storm runoff from houses, streets, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, lawns and so on, would find its way out to lovely Pringle Creek, thus poisoned by the city pollution.
The streets are made from porous asphalt that soaks up rain with beautiful planters along the roadside in the place of gutters and galleries, thereby returning 90% of the storm runoff to the aquifer.
The porous asphalt soaks in the rain, where it drains to the soil below a thick layer of rock. Large swaths of land — called bioswales — next to the roads will be planted with grasses, bushes and mosses that absorb water and filter contaminants, such as oil that leaks from cars.
“It’s not only very attractive landscaping, they are also functioning,” Myers said.
The 32-acre property will now hold some 180 homes and become a living example of greener urban living in Oregon, especially for Salem residents who are proud of the endeavor.
Only 10 percent of the normal runoff from the 32-acre urban lot will actually make its way into the creek, creating a far more sustainable environment for everyone.
The total rainwater harvesting catchments system for returning 90 percent of the runoff to the aquifer, clean and potable will include 5,400 feet of green streets and 2,300 feet of green alleys, all of which are private property, as the state does not allow this new and relatively untested technology in public transportation as of yet.
50 projects per year are granted by the state involving porous materials, and 1,000 bioswales projects per year. All of which go to lighter loads such as sidewalks and parking lots.
Pringle Creek is the state-of-the-art example of what residential people can do with water before it leaves their yards and goes into the streets, creeks and ocean,” said Sally Miller, who plans to live in Pringle Creek Community. “All of the things that Pringle Creek is doing costs society a lot less money because there are no pollutants in the creek, so the fish are safer to eat. … If we all did that as a society, we would all be more healthy.
Pringle Creek Community – Pringle Creek Community Website.