Join tour guide Trevor Smith to learn about the half mile permeable walking trail that was recently constructed along the Charles River in back of the Wellesley Office Park on William Street. The project includes two boardwalk bridges and multiple vista points overlooking the water. The project is on Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) land and was funded by John Hancock Real Estate USA. The walkway was installed using Porous Pave™ a durable pervious paving material made from recycled truck tires. The mix is then spread like concrete and hardens into an extremely durable, highly permeable surface strong enough for low speed auto traffic, comfortable to walk on, and has little to no effect on the delicate hydrology of the area.
The John Hancock Charles River Walking Path diverted 6000 tires from the landfill and can absorb 5,800 gallons of water per hour per square foot. In addition to the recycled content and high permeability, the surface is freeze and frost-heave resistant and provides significant traction. Normally such a permeable surface is used to reduce flooding and the impact of storm water. It works well for driveways and walkways because if resists freezing and cracking in winter and allows maximum return of water back into the ground. In this case however, the pervious surface is designed to provide a safe comfortable walking path through the woods without disrupting the normal water flow to the river and its inhabitants.
The Charles River Walk is the largest Porous Pave installation in the northeast. John Hancock’s funding of the project has demonstrated their commitment to sustainability and provides an opportunity for their employees to take a break from work and immerse themselves in the natural world.
Trevor Smith is the owner of Land Escapes, a full service ecological landscaping company in the Boston area that specializes in Garden Design, Eco-Rain Recovery, Water Features, and Living Wall Installations. Trevor is also the past-President of the Ecological Landscape Alliance. You can reach Trevor through his website: www.everydaygetaway.com.
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