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The Rapid’s Central Station Adds LiveWall, Fourth in Grand Rapids

LiveWalls are living walls containing green plants, most of which are edible. They also help cool the buildings they are attached to, which means they save money and fuel.

The newest one is located at The Rapid‘s Central Station, and is the fourth such wall in Grand Rapids.

People waiting to catch a ride at Central Station will now enjoy one of the area’s largest outdoor living walls.

The 500 square foot planted wall was completed last week by a joint effort between Spring Lake-based LiveWall, LLC, and Summit Landscape Management, of Grandville. The green wall took agout four days to install and plant with a selection of colorful, cold-hardy perennials (grown in Spring Lake by LiveWall).

The Rapid is not only a source for public transportation in Grand Rapids, but they are fast becoming a player on the national scene for their use of hybrid buses and use of green buildings. The Rapid has two LEED certified buildings, both of which feature green roofs. The Rapid’s green roofs help to protect water quality by reducing storm water runoff, restore lost habitat, and save on cooling costs.

“We worked with a local contractor and a local supplier who uses western Michigan sources of plants, soil, plastics and aluminum, ensuring that this investment benefits the local economy,” said Steve Schipper, The Rapid’s manager of fleet and facilities.

LiveWall President Dave MacKenzie, who also owns LiveRoof, LLC, the company that supplied the living roofs atop The Rapid’s buildings, is confident the additional green space will have a positive impact on the community.

“When it comes to the social and environmental benefits of keeping people connected to nature, the evidence is piling up. From lasting positive impacts on mental health, to reduced vandalism and crime rates, to cooler and cleaner air, reintroducing plants lost to development is a very good move for the community. And, with a living wall, beautiful and functional gardens can thrive where no workable land is available,” he said.

The Rapid’s green wall will be the fourth publicly visible LiveWall System in Grand Rapids.

Currently there are 1,400 square feet of vertical garden, mostly edible plants, installed at The B.O.B.; the Downtown Market contains an 800 square foot living wall on the south and west walls; and John Ball Zoo has a green wall on the chimpanzee house.

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