Water and Land Projects
What is a Green Roof?
Rooftop gardens and extensive planting directly on the rooftop is a centuries old concept. Recent technological advances
have made the process more efficient and cost effective.
The existing or new roof is evaluated to determine if it can
structurally bear the weight of a green roof and the following layers
- A waterproofing membrane
- A drainage layer
- A filter mat allowing water to soak through but preventing
- Lightweight growth media of 4 to 6 inches that supplies plant
support and nutrients
- Specially chosen plants such as drought resistant sedum in a
variety of colors
- Prolongs the life of the roof
- Slows and purifies stormwater runoff
- Insulates the building in winter and summer, thus lowering
heating and cooling costs
- Reduces the heat island effect, especially in urban areas
Funding for the green roofs was provided in part under
the Coastal Zone Management Act by NOAA's Office of Ocean and
Coastal Resource in conjunction with Maryland's Coastal Zone Management
Use of cisterns to harvest rainwater is an ancient
method of conserving water. Harford Community College uses cisterns at Joppa Hall
and Havre de Grace Hall. The system at Joppa Hall (pictured below)
captures rooftop runoff in an 80,000 gallon cistern for use in the
evaporative cooling tower.
Three 2,000 gallon cisterns at Havre de Grace Hall
capture rooftop runoff for flushing toilets.
The cistern system at Havre de Grace Hall was
funded in part under the Coastal Zone Management Act by NOAA's office of
Ocean and Coastal Resource in conjunction with the Maryland Coastal Zone
Bio-retention ponds, storm water gardens and rain gardens all refer to
gardens created to capture stormwater runoff from surfaces that cannot
soak it up, such as roofs, driveways, roads, parking lots and sidewalks.
At right, is a photo of the Joppa Hall bio-retention
pond after a heavy downpour. The accumulated water was slowly released
over a period of days.
absorbs more water than a lawn
slows down the rush of rain water
captures silt and gravel
improves water quality by helping to remove
pollutants like nitrates, phosphates or petroleum pollutants
cools rain water after being heated
on pavement or rooftop
In 2001, the College established a nursery of 90 donated trees for
future sites on campus. College, county and private collaboration
averted the destruction of these trees and effected the replanting at
Shown here is the relocation of a 15-foot dogwood from the nursery to
an area in front of the Library.
On Earth Day, 2003, students, faculty and staff planted 50 assorted
trees across campus; many of these were placed in a temporary nursery
and will be used to line the new campus access road when it is completed
in late summer, 2004. Trees included bald cypress, black pine,
river birch, persimmon, red maple, and mountain ash.
In September, 2003, Harford Community College accepted the donation
of 54 trees from a northern Harford County tree farm that had been
sold. The new owner of the property had plans to clear the land to
create a horse farm, so campus employees "rescued" the mature
trees and replanted them across campus. Trees included cherry,
elms, sycamore, sugar maples, red buds, and more. This supports
the ongoing campus effort to beautify the campus landscape and reforest
in appropriate areas.
In 2003, Harford Community College increased its tree inventory by
nearly 150 trees.
Establishing Habitat: Butterfly Garden
On Earth Day, April 2003, Harford Community College students, faculty and
staff designed and planted a butterfly garden on the lawn behind Hays-Heighe
House. The garden is designed to provide habitat for several species of
caterpillars and moths, and includes multiples of the following plants:
- Lilacs, Butterfly Bush, Spirea, Viburnum
- Choke Cherry, Yarrow, Milkweed
- Sedum, Aster, Coreopsis
- Echinacea, Joe Pye Weed, Liatris
- Penstemon, Phlox, Rudbeckia
- Salvia, Scabiosa, Solidago
The garden is designed to flower from April through September.
Campus volunteers adopted the butterfly garden and have been weeding,
watering, and planting throughout the growing season. A butterfly
house was donated, providing further enticement for a variety of
Harford Community College has installed waterless urinals at many campus
buildings. A conventional low volume urinal uses 1.5 to 1.6 gallons per flush,
so each waterless urinal saves about 40,000 gallons per urinal per year. The urinals are low
maintenance and also save the College energy as electricity is used on
campus to pump water.
As buildings and restrooms are renovated and updated, waterless
urinals are incorporated throughout the campus, helping Harford
Community College to conserve water and reduce energy use.
Did you know?
Harford Community College is served by three wells
and annually uses more than 4 million gallons