Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Upper Kirby

As Kirby Drive -between US 59 and Westheimer- is torn up for new stormwater drains, a plan to rebuild it as a wider street also means a smaller pedestrian realm.

This widening necessitates removing about 200 trees. Many citizens at an Upper Kirby District TIRZ meeting wanting to save the trees were also vehement about wanting better and safer walkability - and slower cars.

No one opposed construction of a 72-inch storm sewer under Kirby to improve area drainage.

The concerns centered on plans to add a 14-foot median and widen the three lanes of Kirby, now about 9 1/2 feet wide, to 11 feet to comply with city of Houston requirements.

The result — narrower sidewalks and fewer mature trees on both sides of the street — met strong opposition.

Mack Fowler, president of the board of Trees for Houston, maintained that the drainage project could be accomplished without widening Kirby.

City Councilman Peter Brown, who attended Saturday's meeting, said he supports the latest efforts to improve drainage along Kirby.

Before leaving home for the meeting, however, Brown said his granddaughter told him: "You have to do something to save the trees."

Read more:
*Houston Strategies
* Houston Chronicle
*Citizens Transportation Commission
* Upper Kirby District

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

UH Greenroof Updates!

(click on images to enlarge)

SEPTEMBER 19, 2007

Last Friday, the data collection equipment for monitoring the green roof was handed to Alex Alexander, Director of Plant Operations. The equipment was purchased with a generous RDA grant for students to track humidity levels, temperature and rainfall on the green roof, with continued opportunities for sustainable research in architecture.

There is a small portion of remaining grant funds for the purchase of more plants, if our time has not expired for using the funds. The Mexican Feathergrass that arrived last week from the Big Thicket was purchased also with the RDA funds. It really is going to be a fine addition to the Keeland Building.

Mr Alexander said his office would look over the installation plans of the data collectors and get with Geoffe Brune to discuss placement and installation.

equipment is for the East 3 bays, only.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

RDA LECTURE - Wed. September 19

The second lecture of the fall lecture series, Design Activism: Agents of Change, this Wednesday, September 19th at 7 pm in the Brown Auditorium at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

In addition, thanks to our generous underwriter Debner + Company,
please join us upstairs in the museum lobby for a pre-lecture wine
reception from 6 pm to 6:45 pm.

Bryan Bell is the director of Design Corps, out of Raleigh, NC and
author of Good Deeds, Good Design (which will be available on
Wednesday evening for purchase and for a brief booksigning following
the lecture).

For more information about this series and our upcoming programming, please visit http://rda.rice.edu/index.php

To purchase tickets in advance, please call 713-348-4876. There is no guaranteed seating after 7 pm.

Series Tickets:
$25 - RDA, MFAH members
$20 - Senior citizens 65 and older
$10 - Students with identification
$40 - Others

Single Tickets (upon availability):
$7 - RDA, MFAH members; Senior citizens 65 and older; Students with identification
$10 - Others

Monday, September 10, 2007

No Mow Grasses

Did you know that a lawn mower running for one hour emits the same amount of pollution as 40 new automobiles running for one hour?

Did you know that over 13 million gallons (49,210,353.4 litres) are spilled annually when filling up lawn mowers, trimmers and other landscaping power tools? That is 2 million gallons (7,570,9823.6 litres) more than was spilled from the Exxon Valdez!

Low-growing grasses such as fescue turf grasses save gas, water and fertilizer. "No Mow" grasses are usually a specially designed blend of slow-growing, fine fescue turf grasses that will: -grow to form a dense turf, -thrive in full sun or partial shade, -require little, if any, watering or fertilizing, -choke out weeds, once turf is established, -reduce mowing to once or twice a year.

There seem to be quite a few companies that sell varying "mixes" of no mow or low growing grasses. Below are a few where you can read more about their products and even order on line.


* Prairy Nursuries

* Wild Flower Farm

Other sources:
- http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/agr/agr52/agr52.htm

- OC register

Saturday, September 08, 2007