Galloway Township was officially awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Grant funded by the PSEG Foundation on May 7, 2019, to help offset the cost of installing a living “green” roof on top of the shade structure at the Galloway Township Community Garden. The grant covers the cost of the GreenGrid tray modules and fastening trim. Once assembled, this demonstration project will serve to educate the public about the benefits of this type of construction.
Essentially, this project will consist of procuring and securing 28 two-foot square weatherproof plastic trays, to be filled with hardy, low growing sedum plants on top of the slightly sloped roof of the shade structure. That structure, built about 6 years ago as an Eagle Scout project by Liam Holiday, has always been prepared for this. The roof surface is an elastomeric, waterproof membrane that is required for this type of use.
This demonstration will highlight the benefits of this rooftop technology, including: the aesthetics of the growing plants, the sequestration of stormwater runoff, the potential cooling and insulating effect on the structure, its contribution toward better air and water quality, its potential to maximize the energy efficiency of buildings, and the life extension of roofing materials. The modular nature of this installation is rather unique and allows for changes of plants or roof alterations/repairs as needed.
The project is also coming to life through a partnership between the Agricultural Department at Stockton University (Galloway Campus), Go Green Galloway and the municipal Office of Sustainability. Under the leadership of Professor Ron Hutchison and student project leader Jacalyn Barrella, Stockton’s grow lab, farm and greenhouse facilities are nurturing the plants from seeds to plugs that will populate the trays for eventual transfer to the project rooftop. The plants will exist in a “soilless” growth medium; essentially nutrient rich natural nuggets of minerals and minimal organic material, especially formulated for this purpose. The plant roots secure themselves to these nuggets, absorb water and sustenance, and then slowly release water into the air through transpiration and evaporation. Excess water slowly releases through weep holes in the bottom of the tray modules.
Because it is often said that “seeing is believing,” the team hopes to encourage the construction of living roofs throughout the area as the community witnesses the benefits in person and in real time. Since the project will be at the roof top level, a small sample of the tray and plants will be constructed at ground level for easy viewing. Also, technical brochures will be made available in print and digital format for wider distribution. This project will hopefully be installed in June, in time for the summer outdoor growing season. More announcements will be forthcoming as it progresses. For more information about this project, please call the Office of Sustainability at 609-652-3700, ext 209.
Go Green Galloway is a volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of Galloway through the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and the implementation of sustainable practices. We always welcome new volunteer members. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mary at 609-742-7076. Also be sure to like our Facebook page.