The Shops on Freedom is a strip mall located at the corner of Freedom Drive and Alleghany Street. The surrounding neighborhood has been selected to receive improvements in the form of façade upgrading and sidewalks to rejuvenate economic development in the area.
The pre-existing site contained a strip mall and large paved parking lot with a storm drain system beneath the parking lot.
The project involved the construction of nine bioretention areas (rain gardens) in pre-existing landscaped islands in the center of the parking lot. An approximately 3.4 acre portion of the parking lot drains to the landscaped islands. Rain intercepted by the bioretention areas will be monitored for rain garden efficiency. Runoff not intercepted by a rain garden will also be collected and monitored to compare treated versus non-treated results.
The island areas were increased to 700 square feet (20' x 35') and curbed with new concrete curbing. The islands were filled with an amended soil mixture of 80% sand and 20% organics placed above an under drain system. The expected permeability of the amended soil mixture is 1-6 inches per hour. The soil mixture was then covered with three inches of double-hammered hardwood mulch and planted with shrubs and herbaceous plant materials.