WEST’s Green Infrastructure Team Wins Tualatin River Environmental Enhancement Grant

WEST is pleased to announce that its green infrastructure/low impact development (GI/LID) team has won a grant from the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District (TSWCD). The Tualatin River Environmental Enhancement (TREE) grant will fund a study of the benefit of mosses and mycelium (M&M) for enhancing water quality, improving plant establishment, and reducing maintenance costs, while helping pollinator habitats. Because M&M have the potential to improve vegetation survival in the face of drought and climate change, reduce the water and resource needs for vegetation establishment, and enhance air quality through healthier vegetation, the study has important implications for both climate change resilience and stormwater management approaches in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Working with partners The Remediators and Stormwater Northwest, the WEST team will use grant funds to develop a bench scale testing facility at Pacific University to understand water quality benefits from M&M, and to evaluate their benefits for pollinator habitats at two demonstration sites on Washington County property. The project goals are to determine: the efficacy of M&M combinations to improve stormwater quality; whether any – and if so, which – species of M&M are best suited for improving stormwater quality, pollinator habitat, or both; the impacts of M&M presence on pollinator abundance and richness; and the maintenance needs of M&M and their substrates. If, as expected, the research finds that M&M represent viable and valuable additions to planting plans for GI/LID, the WEST team will work with the Tualatin Riverkeepers to conduct community outreach activities to share project findings on best practices.

The TSWCD selected the WEST team for this award based on the project’s potential to benefit the Tualatin River Watershed community in the areas of water quality and forest health. Kieran Sikdar, project manager and WEST’s Director of Green Infrastructure, commented, “The results of this project have the potential to expand the impact and reach of green infrastructure by reducing costs while also increasing its performance. Most importantly, we are expanding our toolkit to mimic mature natural systems while also creating the potential to improve access to nature in communities where it is needed most.”

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Tualatin watershed using moss for green infrastructureThe TWSCD is a local unit of government that helps the community improve conditions of soil, water, and other natural resources. They work with Washington County residents on a cooperative, voluntary basis to conserve our shared resources for current and future generations.

For more information on the TWSCD and the TREE grant, visit: https://tualatinswcd.org/programs/grants-funding/tree.

To learn about WEST’s sustainable stormwater management services supporting local, national, and international initiatives, see: https://www.westconsultants.com/services/stormwater-management/.

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