Having remodeled around our entryway, and having added a handicap ramp, this past summer we needed to construct new entryway hardscape. Our goals were twofold: meet ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) accessibility requirements (easy), and use environmentally friendly materials (more difficult). Working with longtime Wild Ones business member and supporter, Lake Shore Cleaners, we chose H2O permeable pavers.
The pavers were attractive for a number of reasons in addition to Lake Shore Cleaners excellent pricing (Thank you very much, Ron Wolff.). The pavers are produced in Wisconsin, so transportation costs were limited. They are durable, and can handle our Wisconsin winters and snow removal. After the twenty-year life span of the installa tion, the pavers can be taken up and put back down, instead of ending up in a landfill. And the light colors help dissipate any heat-island effect. They are an all-around ecologically sound product.
And there’s more. They take care of any possible drainage problems that might develop around our front entrance. Rainwater and snow-melt flows between the pavers into a stone-filled reservoir on which the pavers are laid. Here the water is naturally filtered and diverted into a raingarden at the edge of the birch tree, where it infiltrates into the soil that has been planted with appropriate native plants.
Still more. We used these same pavers at the garage-service door. Here, the rain-gutter downspouts from the building have been channeled into an underground system of pipes, which includes a quasi French drain (a concealed underground channel). This system of pipes takes the rainwater away from the building foundation, and funnels it artfully downhill to the raingarden behind the building. All our stormwater is filtered through the soil before it ever makes it to the marsh that lies between us and Little Lake Butte des Morts. This is the goal of LEED certifiable stormwater management (see cover story, May/June 2009 Wild Ones Journal).
Although Lake Shore Cleaners installed the H2O pavers for us, they can be easily installed by a do-it-yourselfer. To find out more, click to read the H2O Pavers brochure (PDF).
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes
2285 West Butte des Morts Beach Road, Neenah, Wisconsin 54956-1008