In 2010, a century old elm in Boston’s Back Back gained notoriety after a group of residents worked to save the towering giant.
As one of the neighborhood’s original street trees planted more than 125 years ago, this aging beauty had stretched its toes up and through the brick sidewalk. To smooth passage over the roots, an experimental macadam was installed but didn’t work out. It was time to try another alternative.
After extensive talks with the city of Boston and the Back Bay Architectural Commission, the previous material has been replaced with a more durable and aesthetically pleasing product called KBI FlexiPave – a rubber and aggregate surface that is ADA certified, the color of brick, and extremely water permeable.
The Garden Club of the Back Bay generously fronted the $1,400 to install the new surface before winter set in. Now they are asking for donations to refill their coffers for the next project.
The tree is on Marlborough Street near the corner of Fairfield. Take a test stroll or roll over the new surface. It’s smooth and has a bit of cushion to it. If you like this treatment, don’t be shy, consider making a tax deductible contribution. It’ll be greatly appreciated.
Checks should be made out to The Garden Club of the Back Bay and mailed to: Margaret Pokorny, 384 Marlborough St., Boston, MA 02115.
Watch our 1-minute video to see how FlexiPave changes from a loose aggregate to a solid surface, plus a demonstration of how extremely water permeable it is.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Video: © 2014 Ed Cherubino
Photos: © 2014 Penny Cherubino