Stormwater solution helps city of Lincoln become green city, grow local economy

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Sept. 17, 2013 -- Lincoln, Neb., is steadily leading the way in developing one of the greenest, tree-filled communities in the nation. Through the use of the Silva Cell from DeepRoot, a tree care and stormwater management company promoting ecological function in urban areas, the city has built green spaces that would have previously seemed impossible. Silva Cell creates an underground framework that provides soil access for trees to grow healthily. City officials are optimistic that the tree-filled cityscape will encourage more businesses to reside in Lincoln, thereby growing the local economy.

The Silva Cell, recently recognized by Washington state as a bioretention and stormwater management solution, has long been used by designers on project sites where there is a desire to plant and maintain large trees but there is limited space for open planters due to paving. Two landscape architecture firms working in Nebraska, The Clark Enersen Partners and The Kestrel Design Group, began collaborating with numerous city departments including Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Utilities and Urban Development on projects that utilized the Silva Cell with the hope that their efforts could serve as a model for other cities.

"Trees are not only making our city more beautiful; they are also integral to our approach of managing stormwater," stated Dennis Scheer, Senior Principal of The Clark Enersen Partners. "Specifically, tree roots and canopies prevent hundreds of thousands of gallons of stormwater from entering our sewers, creeks and streams," he added.  

As cities in the U.S. increasingly compete with one another to attract companies, Lincoln believes that trees are an important and inexpensive investment that will give them a big advantage.  As the thousands of trees in Nebraska continue to grow, they will offer economic, ecological and community benefits to local residents.  

"Lincoln is showing that every city can be a green city," stated Graham Ray, president of DeepRoot. "The 260,000 local residents are fortunate to have local leaders and developers who value communication, collaboration and dialogue. Through their efforts, Lincoln will continue to be a vibrant city," he added.

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