Bringing Green Infrastructure Home2018-07-02
A cost-effective and resilient way to manage weather impact, green infrastructure provides many environmental, social, and economic benefits. Green infrastructure can be as complicated as a large city park, or as simple as trees planted along a sidewalk.
Southern Utah University is utilizing green infrastructure as a resource for the Cedar City community and a place for SUU students to conduct research. Found on the roof of SUU’s Center for Health & Molecular Sciences, SUU’s green roof is covered with plants and a thin layer of material in which the plants grow.
Dr. Jackie Grant, Associate Professor of Biology at Southern Utah University and expert on green infrastructure, native plants, and pollinators, explains the value of green infrastructure.
“A green roof is covered with plants and a special soil-like matrix in which tough plants can grow. The green roof at SUU was created in 2010 as part of the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process that gives us national recognition for sustainability on campus. The green roof helps to insulate our building and protect it from the damaging rays of the sun. Other benefits include the ability of green roofs to soak up stormwater runoff that might lead to flooding, and to provide habitat for urban pollinators.”
The first years of SUU’s research, supported by the National Science Foundation, showed that very few pollinators were attracted to the non-native plants on the roof, so in 2016 native plants were added.
“In urban areas, green roofs can be important for connecting wild habitats to each other and for providing urban habitat. The most studied green roof inhabitants are insects, but birds, lizards, and even bats have been known to use green roofs if they are furnished with shelter and the right plants.”
As a conservation biologist, Dr. Grant’s work focuses on green infrastructure and organismal biology related to insects, mammals, and amphibians. She is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit her profile.
Bringing Green Infrastructure Home
A cost-effective and resilient way to manage weather impact, green infrastructure provides many environmental, social, and economic benefits. SUU's Dr. Jackie Grant has three simple suggestions to create green infrastructure and water conservation improvements around your home.tbirdnation.suu.edu