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Ornamental Horticulture Students Explore ‘Green Roof’ Technology

Scott Burk discusses the proper plants to install in a 'green roof.'Students in the ornamental horticulture: landscape technology major at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center constantly are working on projects that add lasting interest and beauty to the Allenwood-area campus.

One such project, the Idea Garden, will combine several unique landscaping ideas and design features. One of the unique landscaping projects featured in the Idea Garden is a “green roof.”Just as the name implies, a green roof comprises growing media placed on top of an engineered roof that is planted with succulent plants or other vegetation that will tolerate such conditions.

Landscape students learn about an Inca drain, among the materials recommended to divert stormwater from a natural roof.The main purpose of such a roof is to reduce stormwater runoff. While there can be other benefits to having a green roof, such as aesthetics and some insulating qualities, the water issue is the main reason they are installed.

On Tuesday, Scott Burk and Laurie Henry, from Scott’s Landscaping in State College, visited the Earth Science Center to provide a presentation to students on green-roof technology as well as to donate materials such as an Inca drain, soilless media and flats of sedum that can be planted in the green roof.

Scott’s has been involved in the construction of a number of green roofs in several nearby states, as well as the only three in the State College area.

Photos by Carl J. Bower, horticulture instructor

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