Sugar Creek Garden Green Infrastructure Tour

Braving rain, high winds and low temperatures, Dara Suchke from the Wylde Center led community participants on a tour of Sugar Creek Garden highlighting existing green infrastructure and on-going plans to develop the greenspace into a “food park.”

Dara Suchke, Sugar Creek Garden site coordinator

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What is green infrastructure?

Green Infrastructure: Sustainable and natural management techniques that harvest, treat and utilize rain runoff in greenspaces such as parks, bio-swales, constructed wetlands and rooftop gardens, diverting water away from and reducing a need for traditional “gray” infrastructure (i.e. sewers and drainage pipes).

Located on City of Decatur floodplain property, the Wylde Center uses permaculture design techniques to help “slow, spread, and sink” stormwater passing through the site from local residential development before overloading Sugar Creek.  With design assistance from Ben Portwood of Edible Yard and Garden and Daniel Ballard Green Thumbs Up, Sugar Creek Garden has taken advantage of the excess water on the property and turned a problem into an opportunity!

Sugar Creek Garden offers great examples of low cost solutions to effectively managing (and taking advantage of) water on your property.  Planting appropriate plants amongst simple mounded berms to slow down water allows for better detention and percolation of water into the soil.  We learned that a properly designed landscape can withstand both drought and flooding without issue!

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John Ahern, Park Pride’s Volunteer Manager
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Sugar Creek Garden Tour participants
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Ben Portwood of Edible Yard and Garden
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Sugar Creek Garden
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Tour participants

The Sugar Creek Garden Green Infrastructure tour was part of the Parks and Greenspace Conference, whose 2014 theme is Pipes to Parks: Creating Greenspace with Rainwater. The conference focus will be on how communities and municipalities are leveraging green infrastructure technologies to benefit and innovate their parks and greenspaces.

Check out Park Pride’s other March tours of the Proctor Creek and Clear Creek Watersheds and register today!

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