One Drop at a Time – New Resourceful Paradigms at 168 Elm Avenue

On Saturday, November 8th, my friend Melissa and I attended a presentation by Marcus de la Fleur at Berkshire Botanical Gardens in Stockbridge, MA.  Marcus is a landscape architect working outside Chicago, Illinois.  He took participants on a vitual tour of his residential scale pilot project in sustainability. A truly wondrous morning of discovery.  Have a look at his website – and implement at least one of his systems on your home lot. 


The general interest in sustainable – or green –  options is growing.  This includes the interest in water, one of our most important renewable resources. Water drives the health of our environment, but its functioning is often fundamentally misunderstood. This web page features the 168 Elm Ave. Pilot Project, which demonstrates sustainable rain water, stormwater, and runoff treatments at a residential scale. It offers resources that help fill the information gap by offering accessible, in-the-ground examples that demonstrate the feasibility of and confidence in sustainable landscape solutions.

Seven different treatments are incorporated into the pilot project: 1) the GREEN ROOF, 2) the RAIN BARRELS, 3) the POROUS PAVEMENT, 4) the RAIN GARDENS, 5) the GRAVEL GRASS, 6) the CISTERN, and 7) the BIOSWALE.

These treatments serve as milestones on a VIRTUAL TOUR AROUND THE HOUSE. The web page explains in detail the rationales of the applied sustainable practices, describes the benefits of each treatment, and describes how some of them were implemented. Also included is information on the project’s CLAY SOILS and their infiltration capacity, how much the RUNOFF QUANTITY was reduced, and thoughts towards the larger cumulative effect and the probable positive impact on the local waterway (in this case SALT CREEK).

Marcus de la fleur, January 2008


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