Lafayette Oaks Bioswale
In the early part of 2014, the Lafayette Oaks Home Owners Association coordinated with Leon County and the City of Tallahassee TAPP program to establish a large community garden. To address potential stormwater issues a large bioswale was designed and installed just downslope of the garden area.
Before the Bioswale & Community Garden
Survey: Utilities and property boundaries in the vicinity were identified. Not good to build on someone else's property or dig into a power line.
Soils & Groundwater: Research indicated that soil infiltration rates might be low and the potential for the groundwater table to be relatively close to the ground surface during wet years (12-18 inches). As such the bioswale was designed to be relatively shallow (6 inches).
Location: The swale was located downslope of the garden area and an existing drainge swale to intercept stormwater runoff. A wide gap was placed between two cells to allow direct access to the garden area from the HOA community center to the east of the community garden property.
Step 1. Property boundaries, underground utilities and excavation area marked in the field to guide construction crews.
Step 2. Heavy equipment does the heavy duty digging [4/22/2014]. Thanks Leon County Public Works!
Step 3. HOA members and other volunteers finish grading. [5/31/2014]
Step 4. Bring in the Plants! [7/1/2014]
The Garden in Action
Maintenance & Monitoring
On September 19, 2015 several members of the Lafayette Oaks Community Garden gathered for the formidable Fall maintenance of the bioswale. After a morning full of weed pulling, dirt digging, mulch dumping and wheelbarrow racing, the south bioswale was completely reclaimed and just a smattering of pesky weeds remained entrenched in the north swale. Small skirmishes with the weeds in the north swale continued on for a couple of weeks before final victory was declared by the gardeners and volunteers and a celebratory layer of free mulch from the county dumped on the battlefield. Some highlights of this epic struggle are depicted below: