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Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Collaborative Project at Diehn Center Good for Environment

A new bio-retention area on the 49th Street side of the Diehn Center for the Performing Arts is giving more than a new landscaping look to that end of the building (see photo below).

The rectangular area, which features new plantings of chokeberry shrubs and native grasses, will also serve to filter rainwater from the building before it ends up in local waters. Additionally, it is hoped that the area, with its new system of underground pipes, will help mitigate flooding on nearby 49th Street.

Chad Peevy, grounds manager with the Office of Facilities Management, said the environmentally friendly project was a collaborative venture undertaken by Old Dominion, the Elizabeth River Project and VHB, a local integrated planning, transportation, land development and environmental services firm.

The Elizabeth River Project and ODU each provided 50 percent of the funding for the project, which included the purchase of plants from Winn Nursery. Peevy noted that J.D. Hines, a VHB civil engineer and an ODU graduate, worked on the underground engineering for the project.

"This is not something we had to do to meet our storm-water credits, but something extra that we felt would be good to put in place as an environmentally friendly and sustainable project. It is one of several collaborative things we have undertaken through our ongoing partnership with the Elizabeth River Project."

Chad Peevy, ODU grounds manager, shows off a portion of the new bio-retention area on the north side of the Diehn Center.

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