After designing the natural drainage systems and other landscape enhancements along the street corridors in Seattle’s High Point community, the Seattle Housing Authority asked us to provide a year-round maintenance manual to assist the landscape and open space management team with keeping the green infrastructure systems working optimally. As we've noted before, often times concerns about maintenance can be a barrier for developers who want to implement green infrastructure solutions like additional plants, amended soils and porous pavements, so these types of maintenance manuals can be critically important to getting assurance that the landscape can be cared for over time. As with any green infrastructure approach, the public landscape at High Point is not simply an aesthetic amenity for the families living there; it also plays an functional role, particularly as an integral part of the site's stormwater management strategy. As families with young kids have taken up residence and as the salmon continue to swim up Longfellow Creek, an early decision to use only natural landscape maintenance techniques that do not rely on strong and potentially harmful chemicals has been reinforced in our minds.
High Point's maintenance guidelines detail methods and approaches to keep the landscape and natural drainage systems healthy, safe, and functional using natural and environmentally-friendly products and techniques. The guidelines also identify general irrigation scheduling for newly installed, renovated and maturing landscapes in addition to irrigation maintenance and troubleshooting techniques.
Based on our own observations, as well as invaluable feedback from Jeanette Fournier and Zach Chupa of CDC Management Services, the community’s maintenance and management company, we have recently completed the second update to the High Point Community Natural Drainage and Landscape Maintenance Guidelines. This new version of the maintenance manual provides additional information and details on cleaning of porous pavements updates resources and web links on non-toxic fertilizers and pest control products, and includes new details pertinent to maintenance practices in the fall. New maps and diagrams have been added that show locations of primary irrigation components including controllers, quick couplers, and circuit zones as well as priority clearing areas for when leaves drop and seasonal wet weather conditions return in the fall.