Keeping Runoff in Check

Porous pavement helps control stormwater at eco-friendly nature preserve located on the shores of Lake Michigan
Keeping Runoff in Check
Located adjacent to Lake Michigan, the GEOPAVE system was an important part of the overall plan to protect the waters against the negative effects of stormwater runoff on water quality.

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Presto Geosystems’ GEOPAVE porous pavements were utilized along with other environmental and sustainable products in a popular Wisconsin nature preserve, The Ridges Sanctuary, in their pursuit for a LEED Platinum rating. With certification expected by year-end, this facility will be the first LEED-certified commercial building in Wisconsin’s Door County.

In addition to the GEOPAVE aggregate system delivering highly porous parking and walkways around the facility, other green design features incorporated include high performance and low-energy materials such as insulation, lighting, heating and cooling, water use, and a multitude of recycled materials. 

Design choices that encourage land preservation and conservation were of utmost importance to the 7,400-square-foot center and serve as an exemplary example to the community, both homeowners and businesses, of how sustainable and low-environmental impact materials can be included in buildings, the company says.

Protecting the Lake Michigan watershed was a primary concern at this facility’s location on the northeast shores of the Door County Peninsula and western shore of Lake Michigan. Located adjacent to Lake Michigan, the GEOPAVE system was an important part of the overall plan to protect the waters against the negative effects of stormwater runoff on water quality.

The GEOPAVE system, infilled with highly porous stone, allows water infiltration and acts as a natural, on-site stormwater retention system, storing stormwater in its aggregate base after rain events and allowing for natural percolation. Unlike hard pavements that shed water from the surface, the GEOPAVE system with its permeable infill accepts water, significantly reducing runoff into the surrounding sensitive areas.

The limestone crushed aggregate used for the parking area and the contrasting colored buckshot crushed aggregate for the walkways were both obtained locally. The GEOPAVE paver structure is made from recycled polymer and is designed specifically to contain aggregate infill. The system’s integrally molded mesh bottom contains the aggregate infill and minimizes aggregate movement under vehicle loading and turning stresses. GEOPAVE pavements are designed to accept everyday traffic and can be designed with appropriate base to accommodate heavier loads such as for emergency and utility lanes. 

“We are extremely pleased with the level of interest visitors have expressed in the GEOPAVE product and delighted we’ve had the opportunity to talk with them about this very practical way of making a personal investment in the environment," says Judy Drew, assistant director for The Ridges Sanctuary. 

About the facility 
The Ridges Sanctuary, Wisconsin’s first land trust, was founded in 1937 to conserve the original 40-acre parcel and today protects 1,600 acres of one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the state.

It conserves critical wildlife habitat and diverse ecosystems, protects natural landmarks and scenic landscapes and facilitates important research initiatives essential to the future of the Sanctuary and Door County. Perhaps most importantly, it provides environmental education activities for people of all ages, affording everyone abundant opportunities to explore and connect with the natural world and inspiring a legacy of conservation for future generations.


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