Students Advance Green Roof Knowledge
Three students of the CAED’s new Master of Landscape Architecture program advanced their work by presenting posters at the 13th Annual CitiesAlive Conference in New York City, NY October 5-8. Working through the Novel Ecology Design Lab (NEDlab) directed by Reid Coffman, Associate Professor, Jessie Hawkins, Reuben Shaw II, and Conner Karakul each presented separate studies on vegetative roof system discoveries.
Hawkins, as a part of an interdisciplinary team with KSU Geology and Biology, is studying vegetation, hydrology, and water quality interactions of the Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center Green roof, says, “Green roofs have so much potential and it was an excellent experience discussing the Metropark’s roof with a room full of worldwide experts in New York City. Our roof seems to have more phosphorus leaving the system than we would like, so finding ways to prevent that when roofs are young is important to us.”
Reuben Shaw II presented the initial work from a team investigating the potential reuse of Cuyahoga River dredge sediments in green roof growing media. Shaw stated, “Solving the storage issue of dredged material by implementing it for beneficial use creates an alchemistic process that takes unwanted material and turns it into valuable resource.”
Conner Karakul presented the initial findings of native plant establishment including the survival of an Ohio endangered plant species Viola pedatifida Prairie Violet. Karakul says, “Can rare species survive on rooftops? Yes, it appears that green roofs can host rare plant species, at least that is what we are seeing, and with that potential, vegetative roofs offer a way to improve local urban biodiversity.”
Student travel was provided by The Environmental Design Group Professional Development Fund. Each project is separately funded by various groups including Cleveland Metroparks, Lake Erie Protection Fund and the Northeast Ohio Sewer District.
- For summaries of the studies click here