April 20, 2018

Stormwater Steward Award

New Urban Forestry's landscape design/build team was recently awarded the Stormwater Steward Award.


In June of 2017 Hall Roberts, landscape manager for New Urban Forestry, designed a stormwater runoff solution for a client on the eastside of Athens. This residential home was experiencing tremendous amounts of erosion and damage to property due to several contributing factors: flat roof design allowed for drainage in only one direction, water flow from the driveway and road all flowed into one corner of the property, no natural landscape features impeded the flow of water into the backyard.

Roberts’ design includes multiple measures to direct water, impede flow, and create a more sustainable landscape that uses natural features to help dissipate the water slowly and effectively and reduces the damage to the landscape.

One of the features included in this design is a new pathway leading from the driveway into the backyard. This path includes a drainage pipe that catches the runoff from the driveway and directs the water into the backyard. The perforated pipe runs underneath the permeable surface so that rainwater can also be collected along the way.

Drainage return that collects water from driveway.JPG
Pathway from driveway to backyard.JPG

The flat roof of 70’s ranch slopes toward the backyard with gutters that drain into the backyard. Previously corrugated pipe carried the roof drainage into the backyard, but this allowed for animals to get into and destroy the pipe. In the updated design the pipe runs underground and connects with the pipe from the walkway. More pipe was added so that the collection would not be overflowed by rainwater.

Corrugated pipe runs underneath dry creek bed.JPG

A dry creek bed is also in the backyard design. This rock bed allows rain water from the roof and the newly constructed walkway to be directed into a rain garden. The sloping design and the permeability of the rocks allow the water to flow in a more natural manner, reducing the erosion in the surrounding area.

Dry creek bed that leads to rain garden.JPG

Finally, the rain garden collects the roof runoff, the water from the driveway and the pathway into and from the backyard. Pop-up drainage emitters allow water to flow out of the corrugated pipes and into the rain garden, but remain closed when water is not flowing so animals are not trapped inside the pipes. The rain garden encourages the water to slowly infiltrate into the landscape. Plants and rocks provide an aesthetically pleasing feature, while also helping to impede the water flow.

Rain garden.JPG

This project treats the issues caused by the impervious surfaces of the roof and the driveway. It allows for slow infiltration and evaporation from the plantings.

We are honored to receive this award. We look forward to providing more stormwater solutions to our community.