Volunteers Pave Perry's First 'Green' Parking Lot

Perry is getting its first green parking lot--designed to be cheaper, with less impact on the environment, and more pleasing to the eye than your traditional asphalt lot.
Volunteers are building the lot for the city's new historical museum downtown.

Wednesday, workers leveled the land in front of the museum with heavy construction equipment, rakes, and shovels.

The volunteers are with Leadership Perry. Kathy Eve, who is with the group, says they're making history, constructing the city's first eco-friendly lot of this type.

"It will basically look like grass, just like a typical front yard when you look at it," says Eve.

Eve says the technology behind it is pretty simple: a layer of sand and gravel, then a sheet of honeycombed recycled plastic. Grass is planted on top.

"They're specially-designed pavers that take the roots of the grass system, so when people are driving on it, they're just driving on the blades," says Eve. "They're not driving on the root system."

The design cuts down on flooding by letting rainwater soak right into the ground.

With a traditional black top, water runs off into a storm drain, giving the city more water to process.

Eve says not only is a green parking lot more eco-friendly than an asphalt one, it's also cheaper to build and maintain.

"You're looking at about $5 a square foot for the green parking lot versus about $9.50 for asphalt," she says.

Eve says the estimated lifespan of a green lot is longer, too, about 40 years, compared to 8 or 9 for asphalt.

Just like any grassy patch, she says, the upkeep for the lot only requires watering and mowing the lawn.

And, of course, she says, on a hot summer's day, grass will be a lot cooler than black tarmac.

She says Leadership Perry raised about $5,500 to purchase supplies. The time, labor, and construction equipment were donated.

She says the leftover money will be used to landscape the rest of the museum's yard.
City of Perry
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