The Norman Transcript

Headlines

April 6, 2014

Greening up the urban hardscape

NORMAN — Native plantings, wildlife habitat and rippling waters aren’t just descriptors of a country life anymore. In Norman, green infrastructure practices are bringing the beauty of nature to the urban setting but repurposed to do the work that cement and rip rap used to do.

“Even in an urban environment, we can have a natural wetland. We don’t have to mow everything down,” City Engineer Scott Sturtz said.

Using a low impact development approach reduces development-related impacts on water resources and also saves money.

The Brookhaven Creek project is one example. Leveraging $150,000 in grant funding from the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Norman invested $100,000 and in-kind services worth $50,000 as a matching contribution.

The city planted 200 trees and 600 other plants. Education is part of the process. Often residents will ask why the center portion is not mowed. Established natural wetlands help slow down storm water to protect stream banks from erosion. Those native plants also work to filter out pollutants such as excess nutrients — for example, phosphorus — and keep them from entering the Lake Thunderbird watershed.

Green infrastructure also creates recreational opportunities such as trails along the city’s creeks.

The Brookhaven Creek project included the construction of basins, wetland plantings, Newberry riffles and stream crossings. Newberry riffles use rocks to slow water down and prevent erosion.

“In the long run, for the health of the stream and the area, I think it was a good investment,” Sturtz said.

These “soft armory techniques” are less costly than concrete and result in a savings of 20 to 50 percent.

“When we did the Brookhaven project, we literally had to train the contractors,” O’Leary said. “When the industry catches up, we’ll see even more savings.”

Other innovations the city is looking at using includes log veins which help deflect the water from hitting the bank. The city’s new storm water engineer, Joe Wellingham is looking at using them for some future projects. The logs run at odd angles to bank.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Better weather to aid in fire fight

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Calmer winds and cooler temperatures were allowing firefighters to go on the offensive Monday against a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles of terrain in Washington State and is the largest in ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the “irrefutable ...

    July 22, 2014