Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 16, 2014: Streetscape Tour

A large group of Canandaigua Botanical Society and community members met on a beautiful Saturday morning to learn about the Streetscape project that had been completed on Main Street in 2013.
Our tour was led by BME Associates Landscape Architect, Andrew Spencer, and FLCC Conservation Technician and Canandaigua Tree Advisory Board member, Berna Ticonchuk.
We gathered around Andrew Spencer at the Commons Park as he gave us an overview of the project that came about after the necessary replacement of gas lines in downtown Canandaigua’s Main Street.  This is a first of a kind project encompassing beautification and function in a DOT right of way.  It's being used as a model for other cities as a sustainable resource.  According to Andrew’s notes, he covered the following information:

1.           1.  Background relative to how this all got started. Requested improvements by the City of Canandaigua
a.       Tree replanting to replace those lost from utility construction along Main Street
b.       Possible additional aesthetic improvements (landscaping/ paving/ benches/ etc.)
c.        Possible storm-water improvements
2.             2.   Funding and funding partners, grant writing, etc. NYSDEC, NYS EFC (Environmental Facilities Corporation), City of Canandaigua
3.             3. Interested and participating partners/ agencies (NYSDEC, NYS EFC, NYSDOT, City of Canandaigua departments)
4.             4. Overall project description
a.       Landscape planters / infiltration planters
b.       Electrical conduit installation
c.        Irrigation infrastructure installation
d.       Sidewalk reconstruction
5.            5.   Function of the systems. Infiltration / water quality improvements/ water quantity improvements
6.             6.     Description of the pieces of the system. Planters/ permeable brick pavers/ overflow piping/ pre-treatment elements / soil structure / plant materials
7.              7.     Installation of the systems
a.       Relocation of utilities/ removal of existing utilities / addition of electrical and irrigation conduits and infrastructure
b.       Installation of the “concrete pits” – manufactured offsite and assembled on site
c.        Installation of the plant materials
8.              8.      Plant material selection process / needs
a.       Drought tolerance
b.       Flood tolerance
c.        Salt tolerance
d.       Heat tolerance (both hot and cold)
e.        Aesthetic qualities – flower/ fall color/ interesting attributes
f.         Ease of maintenance
g.        Size / structure
h.       Indigenous / adaptive species
9.               9.    Remaining unfinished elements of the project
a.       Replacement plant materials
b.       Finalization of Installation of drip irrigation system
c.        Final checklist items
1            10.    Maintenance requirements
a.       Inspection of hard-scaping elements (bricks, fence, walls, etc.)
b.       Inspection of infrastructure elements (piping, pre-treatment areas, overall surface of planting area)
c.        Inspection of soil compaction – soil characteristics
d.       Plant material inspections for disease- insect damage
e.        Pruning / weeding / replacements
1              11.  Looking forward, what to expect over the next two-three years; ten years

We then took a walking tour to learn more about the Infiltration and landscape planters.
The infiltration planters are sunken into the ground.  Water is collected from the street and sidewalks where it is then filtered through a soil media, captured by plant roots, and feeds into perforated drain tiles four inches deep.  The fencing is not wrought iron as that would be too expensive to repair or replace.
The soil is 24 inches from the top and each filtration planter is designed to hold 6 inches of water.  Water reaching above 6 inches would drain through the round pipe seen in this photo.  The patina  finish on the grate from the street drain is meant for durability.
Andrew and Berna tell us about the planters and species selections
Landscape planters are placed where filtration planters are not needed (based on watershed from storm water).  They do have drain tiles and allow some infiltration.
Great thanks to the Gray family for removing trash from the planters as we toured Main Street!
Gates were planned as easy access for maintenance in the infiltration planters.
Berna was our species expert.  It was a good day to "hug a tree"!
Early autumn coloring seems more a result of the cool wet weather.
Summer Sweet Clethra - fragrant
Looking north from the south east side of Main Street.

Brick pavers visually connect the planters along Main Street.
rubeckia and purple coneflowers.  Andrew did talk about the use of landscaping fabric.
Andrew telling us about the hybrid elm accolade tree
A local business owner had great success with sunflowers!
hydrangea flower colors depend on acidity of the soil. 
Oak trees planted in the median were not part of the Streetscape project.  They are sure to add to the canopy of Main Street.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea and Yellow Tick-seed coreopsis
Partial list of species:
hybrid elm accolade 
Service berry
honey locust
prairie drop seed grasses
Summer Sweet Clethra
oak leaf hydrangea
purple coneflower
yellow tick seed coreopsis

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