Sarah Rodriguez, CHS Junior, placed first at the Student Television Network National Competition in Seattle, WA this past March. She competed in the Multi-Media Journalist individual contest where she produced a feature story for broadcast and online print story based on the topic, “Making it Happen.” Sarah had 6 hours to meet her deadline which included 3 hours to develop a topic, gather her video and conduct her interviews; and 3 hours to edit.
Rooftop Gardens Provide Leisure and Environmental Benefits for Seattle’s Residents
-Sarah Rodriguez, Centennial High School
Among the bustling city life, it may be hard to find tranquil spaces in Seattle. Rooftop gardens are currently booming and are found all over the city. The maintenance, however, is different than your normal backyard garden. Special maintenance requires special workers.
Irrigation specialists, such as Manny Rodriguez, have a unique role in the upkeep of Seattle’s rooftop gardens. “Most of the apartments and businesses here have rooftop gardens, and there’s special types of draining systems that go on the top of those because we do get a lot of rain”, says Rodriguez.
Rooftop gardens can be used in residential, commercial, and public areas, as well as for healthcare and educational use. The draining systems accommodate the gardens for each particular use. “It has to be a special kind of draining system. They design it so people can go up there and hang out, They make it a place where people want to be, and in order for that there has to be a good draining system”, states Rodriguez.
The environmental benefits of rooftop gardens include reductions in energy use and cooling costs, as well as the recycling of rainwater. In Seattle’s summer months, 70%- 90% of rainwater can be retained, and 25%-40% can be retained in the winter.
Dan Feenney, property owner of one of Seattle’s public spaces, states that the public spaces have been popular over recent months. “The tenants within the building come down here to eat lunch, we have gatherings here, and a summer barbeque”, says Feenney.
As many people, and the environment, benefit from the garden, it is important to realize that maintenance workers behind the scenes are the ones making it happen.