Cira Green, Philadelphia’s first elevated public park and first blue-green roof, is a 1.25 acre park located on top of Cira Centre South in University City, which sits ninety-five feet above street level! The oasis was built on a parking garage roof which overlooks Center City, University City and the Schuylkill River, and is an integral element in developing the Schuylkill River Greenway. The roof is both “blue” and “green,” with the blue roof located under the paved walking areas to provide storm water management by capturing rain water which is then directed to irrigate the planted “green roof” areas.
Laurel Valley Soils was founded in 1979 by a handful of the nation’s leading mushroom growers who had the foresight before “sustainability” was a hot keyword to realize the opportunities available for upcycling their abundant, high organic matter, post-harvest mushroom compost. “Mushroom farmers from around the world visit our 120 acre facility located in the Mushroom Capital of the World to learn how to emulate our state-of-the-art practices. We feel great pride to be leaders not only in mushroom compost production but environmental stewardship” notes our own Joseph DiNorscia, Manager of Laurel Valley Soils.
450 cubic yards of our “black gold” was blended into the growing media provided by rooflite® and used for Cira Green’s various green roofs as well as lawn areas and planters containing trees and perennials.
When selecting a location to kick off the nationally-focused 2016 International Compost Awareness Week being held May 1-7, 2016 and features the theme: Compost – The Soil and Water Connection, the “blue” & “green” Cira Centre South was the perfect choice. Events, including tours and education highlighting the benefits of incorporating compost into the engineered soils required for green roof projects are scheduled nationwide throughout the week.
DiNorscia, in conjunction with The US Composting Council (USCC), The Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and other notable industry leaders are kicking off the celebration on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 1:30pm at Cira Green with a summary of how this project was constructed and the role of compost in its success.
As a visitor to Cira Green, it’s hard to imagine that this complete aerial ecosystem is man-made and was previously a parking garage roof. But one thing is for sure – with the warm weather upon us, it is proving to be a popular and dynamic green space in the city for all to enjoy!
Want to attend the ICAW Kickoff Event at Cira Green on Tuesday, May 3, 2016? Contact me! We would love to see you there!