Porous Pave Solution from Midwest Gives Santa Barbara Botanic Garden a More Natural Look

Porous Pave Solution from Midwest Gives Santa Barbara Botanic Garden a More Natural Look

In Parks & Recreation, Porous Pave™, Surface Management by Frank Elswick

When the world-renowned Santa Barbara Botanic Garden sought out alternatives to traditional pavement for its network of miles-long walkways, only one solution could meet their ecological and aesthetic standards without disrupting daily activity: Porous Pave™ from Midwest.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is one of the country’s most esteemed living museums, and it’s visited by nature lovers around the world. But this nearly century-old institution had some infrastructure that needed updating, including its pavestone pathways. The SBBG called Midwest Industrial Supply, and we provided them with a pavestone alternative in the form of a natural, permeable paving solution: Porous Pave™.

Porous Pave blends Midwest’s powerful binding systems with small aggregate spread two to six inches thick, creating a permeable system. This porous surface allows potentially toxic residuals from tire tracks, fertilizers, and other pollutants to be absorbed by the pavement and consumed by microorganisms living below.

Creating the Solution

Midwest and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden worked for several weeks to create a natural paving solution that would bind with in-place soils to create an asphalt or concrete-like surface. While some of the installed material would be a mixture of decomposed granite and GreenPave® natural paving, a considerable portion of the pathways would be constructed from Porous Pave™.

After looking at several samples, the SBBG selected the material color that would blend best with the aesthetic that the Garden’s leadership had been curating for decades. Perhaps the greatest advantage of the permeable pavement solution is that the resulting material doesn’t resemble asphalt, and can be made to have whatever color or shade best fits the surrounding area.

Implementation and Results

The project was implemented as an entirely self-contained, turnkey solution. That meant that there would be no heavy construction and long workdays to interrupt the Garden’s daily activities — after less than two days of work, the entire scope of the initiative had been completed.

The pathways are now not only friendlier to the amazing communities of plant life they run through, but to the people that walk them. Porous Pave results in a surface with more traction than pavestone, even when slick or wet. And like all of Midwest’s road and pathway solutions, Porous Pave surfaces increase in strength over time.

In fact, the SBBG features a 1,800-foot long Porous Pave pathway this year in its annual open house, during which new landscaping ideas and innovations are put on display. SBBG officials said they planned to eventually implement Porous Pave throughout the entirety of its pathway system.

Midwest is proud to have met the high standards of such a cornerstone conservationist facility. We have solutions that can meet any natural pavement or surface stabilization needs, and as the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden can attest, we’ve got the record to prove it.

Read our press release on this topic here.

(Image credit: FarOutFlorida/flickr)

Frank is the sales unit manager of Midwest's road construction and natural paving markets.