After letting the construction site soil rest for a year landscaping plans are now being implemented at the office grounds of the recently constructed MoveIt® offices in Breda, IA. In keeping with the renewable design of the building, plantings will be as sustainable and native as possible.
A large flower bed (700 square feet) near the front entrance was planted entirely with native prairie flowers. The plants were started with seeds taken from local prairie remnants by Diversity Farms, Inc. of rural Dedham, IA. The plant selection and planting were done by Inger Lamb of Prairie Landscapes of Iowa LLC. The deep roots of the prairie plants will absorb and filter water draining from the building’s roof and will require little more than weeding and an initial watering. The plants that thrive will fill in the bed and in a year will be truly beautiful.
Other plans for landscaping include a mixed native grass planting with more native flowers on the front lawn neatly bordered by a mown border of turf grass. This summer the grass will be killed where the new native grasses will be planted in late fall or early winter. The following year the new planting will be mowed often as the grass establishes itself which can take up to 3 years. This seed also will be local ecotype supplied and planted by John Judson of Diversity Farms. Future plans call for a prairie path and identification signs for the plants and flowers, a water containment structure and the addition of native shrubs.
According to D.G. Partridge, President of the MoveIt® Companies, the prairie plants will play an important role in reducing runoff of water containing fertilizer and sediment. “The land surrounding our building is part of the Blackhawk Lake Watershed, which has become an impaired waterway. The water that runs through the area around our building passes directly into Blackhawk Lake. Our goal is to improve water quality with this simple technique.”