Woodside Courts Pocket Park Trail

In Silver Spring, MD just a few blocks from the headquarters of the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Montgomery County’s premier regulatory agency who oversees land development & tree protection, a project was in development for many years. There were several high profile mature trees on the parcel that the county insisted must be protected. An extensive Tree Protection Plan was developed by the Architect and Urban Forester / Arborist which incorporated the trees into the design. As a result, special measures were taken to minimize any impacts to the trees before, during and after construction. One part of the plan, the pocket parks within the tree protection areas, called for trails. The Architect at the time didn’t know about Flexi-Pave, so he specified pea gravel paths around the trees. On paper this seemed like a perfect solution. But in reality, the residents loathed the pea gravel. It spilled out of the edging, got in their shoes, rutted when they walked in it and so the HOA began to look for another solution. The challenge was that the M-NCPPC would only accept a tree friendly, non-invasive pavement in the tree protection areas. Pervious concrete and pervious asphalt were possible options, but they required extensive maintenance and vacuuming because they tend to fill up with fines over time and become impervious. Enter Flexi-pave, a product that eliminates the shortcomings of the other pervious pavements. When the HOA found out that Flexi-pave required NO vacuuming because it’s dynamic voids allowed sediment to pass through, they presented the option to M-NCPPC. Staff Arborists and planners at the county agency evaluated Flexi-pave’s claims and determined that it was a product that could be endorsed and would accept. In one official’s own words, “Unlike pervious concrete which we know will eventually become impervious, we consider Flexi-pave to be invisible as far as stormwater is concerned.” So since Flexi-Pave didn’t inhibit air or water infiltration to the tree roots, it was approved and installed around the tree high profile trees. Since completion, the HOA residences have applauded the new paving surface and the parks are used more frequently now.