I took my Introduction to Green Roofs and Living Wall class (CUNY course code HHT 060) on our second field trip waay back at the end of May (05/28/11 to be exact). Although I’m just now getting around to uploading all the pictures, I hope you enjoy them despite their lateness.
We started our day at The Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City Queens then moseyed on up to Build It Green in Astoria where we met Stephanos Koullias and he took us to his private residence where he has started a garden on his rooftop. After helping Stephanos build some sub-irrigated planters we headed to The High Line in Chelsea. The day was full of fun and learning.
Our tour guide at the Brooklyn Grange was co-founder Gwen Schantz, she was very gracious going into detail about the greenroof itself, founding, financing, crops and initiatives involved with the one acre, for-profit, rooftop farm. Highlights included the greenroof membrane detail, drip irrigation, compost system (maintained by the Western Queens Compost Initiative), apiary area, chicken coop, hydroponic experiment and staking system for windy rooftops.
Next up we had lunch and visited a fellow rooftop farmers private rooftop garden. We helped transport some rooflite soil (one of the many proprietary blends of light weight rooftop soil mixtures) from Build It Green! (NYC’s source for reclaimed and recycled building materials) to Stephanos’ place in Astoria before breaking for lunch, thanks for the locally sourced, heirloom pork tacos and vegan delights Stephanos! Afterwards we helped build 20 DIY sub-irrigated planters made out of nested 5-gallon buckets (here are a couple sets of simple plans). We also got to check out the backyard garden, extensive rooftop garden and two bee hives situated on site.
Our last stop of the day was the popular High Line Park in Chelsea, Manhattan. Unfortunately our visit took place a mere one week before the opening of the parks phase two areas which doubled the length of the High Line. All the same we enjoyed the wonder views of the Hudson River and the streetscape below from the elevated linear park and took in the lovely native and xeric landscaping as well as the superbly detailed hardscape amenities, reused railway infrastructure and a newly opened interactive water feature where we cooled off after a long day of trekking hot windswept rooftops on NYC.
I had a great time teaching this class and the field trips where so much fun. I thank everyone that took the class and came on the field-trips. I look forward to teaching the Intro to Greenroofs and Living Walls course again this Fall and hope to see YOU there!