When designing landscapes in dynamic river settings, things will flood. This is a natural reality. The frequency and severity of these events will have implications on long-term O&M. Mark Merkelbach provided retrospective design insights of the Baxi Island Wetland in this recent article published in Land8.
After more than two years of design and collaboration, happy to report that GEO’s final Olive Way SIP for the Washington State Convention Center Addition has been delivered! A big thanks to MKA, Dubin Environmental, LMN, Transpo, and GGN for their support on this massive effort. This section of Olive Way between 9th Ave and Boren could potentially be the most complicated utility corridor in the city. Construction starts this April 2020.
GEO wishes the 2020 to be healthy, successful and a prosperous year to you and your families.
GEO recently traveled to Vietnam to attend our final Master Plan workshop for Ba Vi Resort in West Hanoi with SWA Group and SOM. This will be a first class mountain resort destination that supports and enhances the existing site ecology and manages water onsite to protect the reservoir water quality. This will be one of the first projects in Vietnam to deploy LID development infrastructure and wetland bio-filters.
GEO was part of the winning team led by Barghausen’s landscape architecture group. Our teams’ concept looked to capture and reuse stormwater from the Expeditor Building (3rd and Madison) rooftop and terraces using a modular tool kit of green roof trays, blue roof trays, rain collection umbrellas, and water lattice panels to covey storm flows from the roof to a cistern on the ground level. New tools are required for addressing retrofits in urban area. Thanks to the International Living Futures Institute, Boeing, and Expeditors for sponsoring this competition and pushing innovation! Check out the cool video developed by Jessi Barnes @ Barghausen.
In 2017, GEO designed a state of the art regional treatment system to treat runoff from 128 hectares (316 acres, or 1/2 sq. mile) of intensely developed urban sources contaminated with stormwater illicit connections. This system owned by the local water utility, will treat runoff prior to it entering the
Mengjiawan Reservoir, ZhenJiang, China. The system comprised of two Advanced Bioretention Systems (ABSs) with a combined treatment area of 3,600 sq. meters (0.9 acres). A high rate engineered media allowed for a compressed treatment footprint resulting in 0.3% of the source area.
Integrated into the reservoir’s landscape plan, this complex treatment facility now treats this entire area prior to discharge into the Mengjiawan Reservoir, the headwaters of the Yudai River. Completed in mid-2018, the system has now been operating for half a year with excellent results.
The Three Peninsula Wetland project – a 240 ha (2.4 km2) lake fringe wetland restoration will have significant ecological functional lift on a landscape level and help bring a lake viewed as a national treasure back to health. These fringe wetlands frame Dianchi Lake in Kunming, China’s 4th largest freshwater lake. This is one of China’s largest wetland restoration projects with a construction budget exceeding $100 million dollars. Dianchi Lake, a once healthy lake system the 1950s that supported Kunming’s population with an abundance of freshwater mollusks and fish is now a eutrophic system due to uncontrolled release of untreated sewage and agricultural runoff over the last 7 decades. Wetland plant diversity has plummeted from over 100 aquatic and emergent plant species to less than 20. Mark Merkelbach is leading China-based engineering and landscape design teams in treating 10 streams that enter the lake through the project site and restoring critical wetland and riparian habitats. Stream water treatment involves a multi-step process of pre-settling, vertical flow-through wetlands, aeration, and horizontal flow wetlands. These systems comprise of almost half of the project area fully integrated into the site’s new natural landscape. The government has set an aggressive construction schedule with ground breaking to begin in the fall of 2019 and activities completed within 2 years.
I starting to imagine what emergent wetland habitats would look and feel like on this barren sand island in the Xiang River with the SWA Group in 2012. It started with just a sketch…
GEO’s work spans the globe from exotic resort master planning to supporting WA state local developers in developing strategies to minimize environmental impacts to critical areas. I am still lucky enough to get in the field and dig pits to identify hydric soils for projects. I am always in awe of how water, microbial communities, and soil create amazing underground art forms. This is a great example of depletions and concentrations in wetland soils.