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Friday, August 5, 2011

EPA Visits the Prairie

Yesterday the Berry Prairie hosted eight visitors from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Denver, who have a great green building (check out their website!).  Atop their great green building is a living roof that unfortunately isn't quite living anymore.  

The group came to Laramie because would like to revamp their green roof, maybe using the Berry Prairie as a model!  How cool is that?!   (And not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but they found us through the Berry Prairie blog.)

Greg Brown, Berry Center Director (center-left in the black shirt) explains the structure and plant list of the green roof to some of the EPA guests.

The group was interested in the Berry Prairie for its unique approach to green roofs - native plants?  No trays?  No monoculture?  Pretty uncommon in the green roof movement... for now.  So Greg and Dorothy led the group through the Berry Prairie to give them a close up,  hands-on look at all that comprises the green roof.

The group was interested in everything from plant selection to structural integrity, the soilless "soil" to irrigation regime.

The EPAers also took a tour through the rest of the Berry Center, including into the Vertebrate Collection, which is directly below the Berry Prairie, to check out how everything ties together.

Greg (center-left) explains how the Vertebrate Collection plays an important role in the Berry Center and its mission.  Not unintentionally, the Collection room is located directly below the green roof, where it benefits from more stable temperatures and climate control.

We were thrilled by their visit and hope to travel down to Denver in the near future to examine their green roof as well.  This is a learning process for everyone, and we're happy to form a new partnership with our friendly neighbors to the south.

Written by Brenna Wanous, Berry Center

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