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Alternatives to paved parking lots.



Food for thought.

THE LAWN AS PARKING LOT
	A parking lot and soccer field unique to the US were constructed
this summer just north of 29th St. along 5th Ave. South in Minneapolis.
Designed by horticulturist Mike Kelly of Glenn Rehbein Companies, the
parking lot is a grass lawn which thrived under daily car parking and
which supports a 15-ton truck without damage.  The field and lot also
provide a perched water table (which minimizes watering) yet allow for
infiltration rates above 6 in. of rain per hour, a springy surface
preferred over ordinary lawns by soccer players in Scotland, unrivaled
resistance to rutting and accelerated recovery of damaged turf.
	The secret to this stable but not hard grass surface is
English-designed Netlon mesh elements -- small pieces of polypropylene
mesh, like fruit tree netting, about the size of playing cards, mixed
into the soil.  Polypropylene is non-toxic, insoluble, non-absorbent and
inert to any of the chemicals likely to be found in a turf rootzone.
Washed turf grass was planted above 6 in. of a sand/peat/Netlon mix.  44
pounds of Netlon were mixed into each 15,000 lb. batch of (by volume)
85% sand/15% peat mix.  Below that is 4 in. of sand, and below that 4
in. of pea rock.  Drain tile and underground irrigation was included.
	The soccer field's resistance to wear decreases maintenance
costs compared to ordinary fields and has shown itself to decrease
players' injuries.  The parking lot's installed cost, at about $6 per
sq. ft., is more than an asphalt parking lot before the environmental
cost savings and the obvious aesthetic value are factored in.  The
environmental savings include elimination of stormwater runoff control
costs, elimination of stormwater temperature increases (to which some
aquatic life like trout are extremely sensitive), sand
filtering/destruction of car pollutants before they reach water bodies,
and ambient air cooling.  Additional benefits include dual use --
parking lot or soccer scrimmage field.
	In addition to parking lots and sports fields, Netlon lawns are
used in the United Kingdom and Australia for emergency vehicle access
roads, road edges, stormwater channels, overspill parking lots and
playgrounds.
	For technical and installation information contact Mike Kelly,
Glenn Rehbein Companies, 8651 Naples St. NE, Blaine, MN  55449,
612/784-0657.