Health, wellness center wins Cahaba River Society awardt

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

St. Vincent&8217;s One Nineteen Health and Wellness was awarded the Blue-Green Design Innovation Award by the Cahaba River Society last Thursday.

The award was received due to &8220;rain gardens&8221; being placed throughout the parking lot of One Nineteen.

Jane Reed Ross, who designed the landscape, said islands in parking lots are usually built up which makes water repel off the land; however, her design allows water to be flushed and drained back into the grass.

&8220;We are very proud to be honored and that we are being recognized for our work as far as the creation of sustainable landscapes to keep the environment clean,&8221; said Ross.

Beth Stewart, the society&8217;s executive director, said the rain garden at St. Vincent&8217;s One Nineteen treats rain as a resource instead of a waste product.

&8220;There is a lot more runoff than in a natural space and

the water in the parking lot is able to run into the landscape and soak into the ground. The water is able to go into retention ponds and then into Lake Purdy. We want to show that protecting the river is feasible and compatible with growth,&8221; Stewart said.

Nan Priest, vice-president for planning and marketing for St. Vincent&8217;s Health System, said making the landscape environmentally friendly was always in the plans.

&8220;From the beginning we were looking for something that met practical and functional needs along with the needs of the community and environment,&8221; said Priest.

Ross is also planning a similar landscape to be used at the Hilltop Montessori School in Mt Laurel.