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Pervious Parking Lots Filter Water

July 31, 2008

By Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News-Tribune, Minn.

Jul. 31–St. Scholastica and Hope United Methodist Church are installing environmentally friendly pervious parking lots this week.

The parking lots allow rainwater and other substances to be absorbed and filtered, preventing them from running off into streams and lakes. St. Scholastica is adding a rain garden and bio-filtration pond that will be used in cases of heavier rain.

“Either way, before reaching Chester Creek, water quality is enhanced from the olden days of parking lot runoff that includes chemicals and salt and grit and gas,” said Bob Ashenmacher, spokesman for the college.

The 26-space parking lot is part of the $7.2 million, 33,600-square-foot addition to Burns Wellness Commons on campus. The school is adding outside lights that cut light pollution by directing light to the ground.

Hope United Methodist, at 301 W. St. Marie St., is installing its lot so parking spaces are topped by 10,000 square feet of pervious concrete, said Jeremy Carlson of Arrowhead Concrete in Hermantown.

The pervious mixture is for 50 parking spaces and covers 17 inches of crushed rock that will allow water to drain through it into the ground.

“We border Tischer Creek and we needed to do some basic water management here,” said Dan Schneider-Bryan, pastor of the church. “It’s a small parking lot at a big price, but we feel pleased as a congregation to be good stewards of the environment through this project.”

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