Mead Botanical Gardens is a beautiful, 48-acre natural habitat open to the public in Winter Park, Florida. Adults and children alike are able to enjoy community gardening workshops, summer camps, guided bird walks, classroom field trips and many other activities. It has a rich 75-year history that has resulted in a master plan of continual restoration to keep the area alive for future generations. One of the most recent projects included the armoring of an embankment located between a natural wetland pond and a storm water treatment outflow area.
The embankment had originally been protected with a turf reinforcement mat (TRM). Over time, the TRM fiber infill broke down and the netting was no longer able to hold the vegetation in place resulting in erosion and repeated maintenance. The city opted to go with HydroTurf® Z, a more permanent, embankment armoring solution consisting of an engineered synthetic turf with a high-strength, fiber-reinforced concrete infill.
Because it was critical that the embankment match the native vegetation, a blended combination of green and tan turf was chosen. There was also special consideration given to make sure the material seams were completely undetectable in order to maintain the natural aesthetics of the garden. Even with hydration and curing, the project was completed within 24 hours.
Backdropped against lily pads and native plants and trees, the embankment mirrors the look of perfectly manicured grass that will require little to no upkeep and will last for generations to come. In addition, HydroTurf® ensures that eroded soils will not displace into the water source that is being carried off the site in nearby Orange County neighborhoods.
Just a few months after the installation was completed, Hurricane Irma struck the area with high winds and heavy rain. The HydroTurf system performed as designed with no maintenance required after the storm.