Tree Transplanting Project Prepares Site for Brock Environmental Center
Preconstruction is one of the most important parts of a project due to the intensive planning and preparation required to get ready for the groundbreaking. For the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, VA, one of the most important preconstruction factors is the environment.
The center’s groundbreaking will occur this summer, but this past month has been focused on transplanting the trees on site in two phases. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) gathered volunteers from the community to help move small trees and shrubs to enhance buffers for nearby waterways, aid habitat restoration efforts and prepare for groundbreaking.
Phase 1: Transplant small trees
The first phase of the tree transplant took place in early March and involved CBF staff and volunteers moving smaller trees and bushes from the construction area to habitat restoration areas around the site. Currently, a number of small live oak and pine trees in the construction area are not in locations well suited for long-term growth. These trees, along with other “high tide bushes” growing in the construction area, were relocated to restoration locations on the site.
Arborists were involved to identify areas where the trees had the maximum potential to grow and mature on the site. The trees serve as valuable runoff filters and buffers for the adjacent Crab Creek and Lynnhaven River.
Phase 2: Transplant large oaks
The second phase of the tree transplant involved professionals moving larger live oaks on the site with a tree spade, a tool that preserves the root systems of the trees. The project was completed by mid-March in time for the start of the growing season in southeast Virginia. This allowed for optimum growth for the trees before the summer.
Once the Brock Environmental Center is completed, there will be additional native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants added to the property.
In addition to the landscaping plans, Hourigan Construction is working with SmithGroup JJR and Skanska to ensure that the facility will become a nationwide model for sustainable construction. The project also will adhere to the strict environmental standards required to earn Living Building Challenge certification. The ultimate goal for the center is a “net zero” impact on the surrounding land, water and air quality, and our preconstruction efforts are laying the groundwork necessary to make this a reality.