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U of A Community Design Center to host free community-wide LID Workshop | Environment

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U of A Community Design Center to host free community-wide LID Workshop
U of A Community Design Center to host free community-wide LID Workshop

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (U of A) - The McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources and Community Action is partnering with the City of Russellville’s Clean and Green Initiative to host a community-wide workshop and discussion with Jeffrey Huber of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, an organization based in Fayetteville working to address environmental concerns with creative urban design.

Tuesday December 3rd beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the first floor conference room of Russellville City Hall, Huber and his colleagues will discuss common environmental concerns such as storm water runoff and flash flooding and how the practice of implementing Low Impact Design (LID) can greatly reduce and reverse these problems in spaces both small and large.

“LID technologies are high concept/low tech solutions that deliver ecologically-based storm water management infrastructure to create great cities,” explains Huber of the Design Center.

Using native vegetation and working with environmental resources, LID Design works with the land rather than against it, creating solutions that address problems before they start. In their work at the Design Center, Huber and his colleagues work to “advance creative development in Arkansas through education, research, and design solutions that enhance the physical environment.”

The workshop will cover the principles of LID Design including the UACDC’s work to bring about “design solutions introduce a multiple bottom line, integrating social and environmental measures into economic development” and offering design that address larger issues of environmental resources and ecologies and improved public health.

In connection with their visit to the city, the Community Design Center is partnering with the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources and Community Action in Dardanelle to create a small, LID-influenced parking lot for their soon-to-be-opened community action center located on 2ndStreet. The parking lot will include a water retention garden and will make use of locally donated native plants to reduce storm water runoff and conserve resources.

“LID design is typically found in larger cities or businesses because those are the places that are more likely to be able afford the implementation of such technologies,” explains Meredith Martin-Moats of the McElroy House. “But in many cases these same concepts are connected to the skills of generations past, and can be adapted and creatively employed in small cities and low-income areas to preserve natural resources and insure healthy futures for all community members. In partnering with the UACDC we’ll be exploring a working example of how these technologies can be implemented on low budgets, creatively utilizing the resources around us that we often overlook or undervalue,” Martin-Moats explains.

The McElroy House parking lot will become an interactive teaching tool for anyone in the region who wants to learn more about how they can implement low-tech LID inspired ideas in their own homes or businesses, thus saving water, reducing pollution, and decreasing energy costs. The Design Center will meet at the McElroy House the morning of the workshop to begin assessment. Both the press and the public are invited to attend this event prior to the city-wide workshop.

Speaker and workshop leader Jeffrey Huber is the recipient of numerous national awards including recognition from The American Institute of Architects, The American Society of Landscape Architects, and the American Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) from whom he was awarded the 2011-2012 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award. The UACDC was founded in 1995 and has provided design and planning services to over 50 organizations across Arkansas. This planning has helped Arkansas organizations to secure nearly $65 million in grant funding to enact suggested improvements.

(Source: University of Arkansas)