Following the 2013 US Open, Merion Golf Course had their driving range completely renovated. The renovation by Motton Golf Course Renovations Inc., was a major upgrade of the existing range and included the installation of a new sub-base and a network of underdrainage. The playing surface was sculpted into beautiful undulating sight lines utilizing over 2,000 cubic yards of Laurel Valley Enriched Topsoil on which new sod was laid. The sod laid in late spring knitted in exceptionally well and the range was opened on schedule in the early fall.
Celebrating its fifth year, Bartram’s Garden has produced over 12,000 lbs of food, has held 60 affordable weekly farm stands, and has distributed over 80,000 vegetable transplants through the PHS City Harvest Program to over 130 farms and gardens throughout Philadelphia.
The Bartram staff works alongside 22 paid high school interns and 45 local families. Many of the people Bartram’s works with are low income residents who would otherwise not have access to healthy food choices or a connection to the land from which their food comes from.
Mill Creek Farm is an educational urban farm in West Philadelphia that is in part supported by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Their mission is to improve local access to fresh, chemical-free produce at a low cost for the immediate Mill Creek community and surrounding neighborhoods. MCF is located in West Philadelphia, in what is considered a “food desert”, and defined as “an inhabited area where there is no access to fresh, healthy food.”
The Mill Creek runs under the land MCF works on today and was enclosed in a sewer over 100 years ago. Housing was built on fill that turned out to be unstable. The subsiding land compromised the structures, which were eventually torn down in the 1970s. Since that time, there has been a community garden on the western portion of the block, but the eastern portion sat vacant collecting trash and weeds.
In August 2005, the Philadelphia Water Department awarded 1.5 acres of vacant land at 49th and Brown Streets, on which to start the project. The land MCF was given had shallow and depleted soils. Laurel Valley Soils Premium Compost was rototilled into the existing site soils to create in-ground growing beds. These compost amended soils have been yielding bumper crops ever since.
The beautiful turn of the century campus within the Philadelphia Navy Yard complex provided a great canvas for new buildings and landscapes to support Philadelphia’s burgeoning tech and Pharma economy. Knowing the entire landmass is man-made and built from river dredge and mainland soil spoils (with a brackish high water table) means a challenge for landscapes. And that’s not including standard legacy industrial soil contamination issues.
To address these concerns and ensure a successful and functional landscape for the Central Green project, Soil Scientist Tim Craul was brought in. After evaluating the existing soil conditions, he specified a two-layer soil system containing a coarse base layer for drainage to support a more organic root zone planting layer. Together, the soil layers work to support plant life while also maintaining optimum soil moisture and the ability to filter and infiltrate stormwater.
C. Caramanico and Sons spread over 3,000 yards of Laurel Valley Custom Engineered Soil to create Central Green’s “social space”, a six acre park-like setting. The landscape is a beautiful sanctuary for people to enjoy, play in, and unwind amongst aesthetically pleasing yet functional bioswales and rain gardens, seemingly hidden right before your eyes.
The award-winning landscape was designed by James Corner Field Operations, most recognized as being the Project Lead on NYC’s famous High Line, and is a wonderful example of what the future of urban stormwater management is all about.