Drip, drip, drip goes the permeable paving

Permeable paving has been around for a few years and examples were many at the New England Grows conference I attended on February 6 & 7. (They were right alongside some other water-savvy innovations such as green roofing and living walls.) Permeable paving is simply a surface that lets water soak through rather than run off. A number of designs and materials are available and permeable paving seems to be making some ripples in the hardscape business.

Fourth Generation Nursery of Mendon, MA, has been in the water garden and pond business for many years. In 2012, Fourth Gen president Rip Sokol, for instance, started marketing Porous Pave.

I've seen various forms of permeable paving on private property such as land trusts and even one shopping center in Colorado, but I saw it along a state highway for the first time recently. The light brown sidewalk in the picture is alongside the new Rt. 82/Rt. 85 roundabout in Salem, CT. The permeable sidewalk is adjacent to a wetland. One objective of permeable paving is often to keep stormwater as close to where it falls as possible, a feature that limits erosion and pollution. Hoping to see more examples around our cities and towns!

Example of permeable sidewalk in Salem, CT