Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stormwater Brings Beauty - Cypress & Stormwater Treatment

The above Stormwater Pond was constructed and planted in 1996 and is celebrating 13 years of existence. The cypress were about three years old when planted so they are approximately 16 years old now. Cypress was chosen due to a low leaf litter rate (it is one of my favorite trees), its ability to withstand drought and floods, & because Florida's wildlife utilizes the tree for food and shelter.

When we looked at the site initially there were no wetlands or native water sources available - no surface water or groundwater to hydrate a constructed wetland. During design the team integrated a system that allows enough water to be conserved in the pond to allow for wetland plant establishment and provide an anaerobic environment capable of allowing denitrification.

The site here is downtown Tallahassee near the corner of Park Avenue and Magnolia Drive - the City of Tallahassee allowed the developer more site development density in exchange for a created wildlife habitat - the new paradigm in site development - combination of landscape and stormwater.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however I'd say this small cypress wetland provides wonderful landscape beauty along with habitat where habitat is needed and especially clean water! With the new Florida Unified Stormwater Rule coming up soon, maybe more and more of these created wetlands will be built, serving to remove pollutants and nutrients, clean stormwater, provide habitat and a sense of place in the Urban Core.

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