Cityscapes and urban sprawls need the oxygen and the shade from a tree as much as (if not more than) forested areas. Potted plants and trees on the sidewalk aren’t the only ways to fill this need. Green roofs have become a popular way to bring nature into the city. More people are expressing interest in bringing plant life into their cities. There are numerous benefits to a green roof. The water runoff is cleaner, as rain drains through plants instead of tar, green roofs provide habitat for wildlife (our visitor usually hosts at least on flock of Geese each summer), and they add life and color to the concrete landscape in a city.
Bernheim has been working with forward thinking groups to install and maintain green roofs at several locations in Louisville, including the American Life Building and the Atria Support Center at Nucleus building in Louisville. These roofs are maintained monthly by Bernheim staff and dedicated volunteers. Inside the gates of Bernheim, we bring the rooftop to you. There is an eye-level roof plot outside the Visitor Center, which is not just for demonstration purposes, but also to test the viability of different plants on a rooftop environment. Several structures at Bernheim have some kind of a living roof – most notably, the Visitor Center and the water-collecting roof at the Research Center. A new group of plants was planted in the Visitor Center plot this month, so make sure you stop by and see what’s blooming now. Those plants will give some ideas what to plant in future roof projects both for Bernheim and for anyone that wants to plant a roof garden at home.