Frederik Meijer Gardens – Grand Rapids, MI
DescriptionIn 2019 the West Michigan Horticultural Society underwent significant upgrades to it’s increasingly beloved Meijer Gardens. The original building was designed to serve an estimated 200,000 people per year, the Garden now has more than 700,000 visitors a year and growing. The improvement scheme consisted of numerous urban tree plantings along the roadways and within the plaza areas. A variety of species of trees were planted in GreenBlue Urban's innovative RootSpace ArborSystem to create a sustainable environment for tree health.
The Frederik Meijer Garden is built on pristine land acquired over 30 years ago, its history of orchards and forest are still visible in certain areas. No stormwater infrastructure was installed on most of the property, requiring the maintenance of stormwater to be primarily through natural methods. All runoff is infiltrated on site except for one small parking lot at the front of the property. Various stormwater controls like engineered landscape depressions allow runoff from parking lots to infiltrate more quickly.
Trees play a critical role in sustainable urban drainage, as engineered tree pits like GreenBlue Urban’s ArborFlow system naturally manages stormwater by reducing runoff and attenuating rainwater at source. Trees planted in the parking lots and other surrounding areas also serve as wind buffers and provide cooling effects during hot summer months.
The green infrastructure incorporated into the design of the space offers benefits that blend into the everyday operations of the Garden. There are minimal cleaning and maintenance costs for catch basins and retention ponds, comparable to that of conventional construction. ArborFlow is known industry wide for its reduction in maintenance requirements compared to more traditional green infrastructure applications like raingardens and bioswales.
Frederik Meijer Gardens won the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s 2019 Clean Water Award.