Protection of Green Infrastructures Against Road Salt

Start Date
End Date
Sodium Chloride, the most predominant salt used on streets for melting snow and ice, is the lubricant of the modern lifestyle in northern climates during wintry weather conditions. These same streets and parking lots are also the battleground where cities strive to build green infrastructures for canopy coverage, stormwater management and aesthetics.
Green Stormwater Infrastructures are particularly prone to salt damages because it is designed to take the first flush of stormwater runoff from the streets, parking lots and sidewalks where salt usage is by truck loads. It is all too common to observe the damages and casualties on roadsides in spring, when plants start to display the impacts of salt through discoloration and canopy loss. At this stage, it is often too late to remedy and correct the damaged plants.
The professionals of green infrastructure urban forestry are aware of the issue. Many of these professionals have snow removal as part of their responsibility requiring salts as part of standard operating procedures. But during wintry weather, safety is far more important than the plants. And there is not many options to avoid salt usage. We will use case studies in Baltimore MD and controlled environment studies in Richmond VA to demonstrate a unique protocol of protecting plants from salt damages.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Campus Planning & Design
Horticulture / Plants
Parks & Recreation
Site Planning
Sustainable Development & Design
Urban Planning & Design
Water / Stormwater Management
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
1.Determine the impacts road salt has on the ecosystem and environment.
2.Learn and discuss how salt affects the health of roadside plants and in the green stormwater infrastructure.
3.Review and recommend methods to mitigate this problem.
4.Review case studies on road salt mitigation.
Wei Zhang
Course Codes
Zynnovation LLC

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