Mathieu Court Alley Greening Project
Project Description: Mathieu Court is a paved alley, 25 feet in width and approximately 640 feet in length. Working with the community to green this 16,000 square foot paved surface will promote a healthy community by reclaiming this space as a usable neighborhood amenity, and help deter undesirable activities that occur there now. Residents and community partners will not only be involved in the designing of the space, but also in the construction activities through part-time employment and volunteer opportunities.
The project will replace 16,000 square feet of impervious paving with landscaped areas, and with pervious pavers and/or turf cell where vehicle access is necessary. Incorporating bioswales and/or raingardens, and native planting, the project will mimic natural systems that clean and filter stormwater, recharge groundwater, and create habitat for native birds and beneficial insects. It will create a new community green space with tree canopy (possibly fruit or nut trees), community garden opportunities, and landscaped informal seating areas. Community gardens and edible landscape will create a source of fresh produce in a “food desert” neighborhood. Limiting vehicle access will allow for more shared use of the entire space, with opportunities for children to play safely, as well as providing a safe route of travel.
The greening of Mathieu Court will decrease air and water pollution by filtering stormwater, mitigating runoff, and providing tree canopy. The additional tree canopy and landscape area will also reduce heat island effect, mitigating effects of climate change. The existing asphalt paving can be recycled and incorporated into underlying base material for areas of pervious paving, thus limiting consumption of natural resources. Creation of an attractive neighborhood green will reduce the need for vehicle trips to get to an open space in this park-deficient neighborhood. It will also encourage and support the use and enjoyment of outdoor space, enhancing the community and promoting public health.