Water Conservation: Rooftop Gardens Protect Local Water

Recreation Center rooftop garden at Cleveland State University. Photo by Malachi Witt.

Executive Director of Drink Local. Drink Tap.© (DLDT), Erin Huber, returned to her Alma Mater, Cleveland State University (CSU), for CSU’s 2012 homecoming celebration. Made possible by the entrepreneurial efforts of Erin Huber and LeeAnn Westfall, CSU’s LEED certified Recreation Center boasts a sustainable rooftop garden. For homecoming, Erin was given a “Distinguished Alumni” Award and then invited back to the rooftop garden on Saturday October 13th to talk about its significance and the importance of water.

Plants in the rooftop garden at Cleveland State University. Photo by Malachi Witt.

Rooftop gardens are especially beneficial for water conservation in cities because pollution and runoff is significant and the abundance of pavement magnifies the harmful effects that they have on our water sources. Plants are nature’s filtration system and they are also important for slowing down the flow of rainwater once it hits the ground. When the ground is covered in pavement instead of plants, rain water and pollutants on the ground wash quickly across the pavement and directly into our streams and lakes. By adding more vegetation to cities in the form of rooftop gardens, we not only filter pollutants out of the water and slow down runoff, but benefit the building itself! A building with a rooftop garden saves money on utility bills because the garden acts as insulation keeping the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter.

Cleveland State University Rec Center LEED certification plaque. Photo by Malachi Witt.

Drink Local. Drink Tap.© is committed to water conservation, community outreach, and educating about the importance of water and the many ways we can work together to protect it.

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By Erica Larson

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