The Briar Chapel 'Green' Blog
Friday, May 6, 2011
by Shannon McSwiney
Marketing Manager, Newland Communities
First, let me thank you for moving ahead with me to the next green blog - there is so much "behind-the-scenes" information to share that its best we focus on each key area and give it the attention it deserves.
Today, we will talk about natural resource assessment and wildlife habitat protection. It sounds simple enough, but indeed this is a very complex and important component (aren't they all?).
Briar Chapel was designed as a compact community- this means that naturally it generates higher density development over a smaller footprint than would occur under a traditional site design. The community in total is built upon 1600 acres, but homes at Briar Chapel take up only about 650 - 700 acres. By doing so, a larger amount of open space was preserved - 900 acres to be exact! This open space is where you'll find the nearly 24 miles of hiking and biking trails, and 20 various parks (both active and passive) throughout Briar Chapel. Yes, your homesite might be a bit smaller but you've got 900 acres to explore and use as your backyard!
Some folks might say they wish the homesites had more natural trees…In order to build homes; trees do have to be removed… But that doesn't mean one cannot be responsible about it. Actually, 50% of the homesites in Briar Chapel are situated to be adjacent to or back up to open space - the mature tree may not be directly on your homesite, but it's only a few steps away. And by building on this smaller footprint not only does that help to preserve the beautiful natural spaces for residents to explore and relax upon, but the preservation helps to mitigate impacts to the flora and fauna of the community overall.
The most species-rich areas typically occur along streams. In Briar Chapel these areas are protected by riparian buffers, which can also help protect floodplains and downstream property. Virtually all existing wetlands on site are being preserved, helping to conserve biological diversity, protect wildlife, protect water quality, and prevent flooding.
Additionally, Briar Chapel Parkway and Great Ridge Parkway roads have a beautiful median consisting of existing and the relocated trees. The absence of a curb and gutter on the median side allows drainage ditches to filter stormwater before being released into the drainage system.
These are a few of the ways in which Briar Chapel's land plan and design have been developed to preserve our natural resources and indigenous wildlife and landscape.
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