We are excited to announce another SmartSlope installation: the Hammerman Area Beach Project. This project is a perfect example of a living system providing both form and function. Where there would otherwise be hardscape walls interspersed in the landscaping, SmartSlope allows the landscaping to flow uninterrupted from surrounding areas, up and over the walls.
Shared interests in sustainability and a collaborative team effort were the hallmarks of this project. Hammerman Area is part of the Gunpowder Falls State Park, overseen by the parks department. The project was funded by MD Department of Natural Resources (DNR) whose mission is to protect and restore coastal regions of the Chesapeake, placing priority on natural systems and innovation. DNR’s Innovative Technology Fund invests in technologies that accelerate Bay restoration efforts. The Center for Watershed Protection (CWP), experts at innovative stormwater solutions, flexed their creative muscles placing a small bioretention cell above SmartSlope’s open-faced vegetated walls. DNR has also designated SmartSlope as a soft shoreline, and the CWP specified the product for this project.
Although only one component in the overall project, SmartSlope contributes notable benefits. The open-celled wall face uses less concrete thus reducing carbon footprint. The product was developed in Maryland, is produced in Maryland, and was financed in part by The Innovative Technology Fund. As such, SmartSlope helps the local economy. Once fully grown out, the aesthetic is plants, not concrete; the result is beautiful and functional walls. Most importantly, our vegetated walls help the environment by filtering stormwater and creating wildlife habitat.
The Hammerman Area project exemplifies a successful public-private partnership. DNR Innovative Technology Fund helped SmartSlope scale production which generates local jobs and builds the economy. On February 12th, 2018, Secretary of the DNR, Mark Belton, visited the project and was happy to see the Innovative Technology Fund working as designed. He even coined a term on the spot, “Rec-storation”, to describe how this project is restoring a recreational gem in Maryland. We must agree with the Secretary; this project achieved the goal of coastal restoration and protection, while also proving the viability of the Innovative Technology Fund and similar initiatives. A proven success for the local economy and ecology, SmartSlope is not limited to Maryland. The product has found its way to California as part of the new Apple Inc. HQ project.
For more information on The Hammerman Area Project and the different organizations involved look here: