Earth Day has inspired me with the idea of the greening of Kirkland. If you Google “green walls” or “green roofs” you will see a wealth of information and companies devoted to creating attractive and even spectacular settings in foliage covered walls and roofs. CNN Money wrote a major article on cities like Boston and Chicago embracing the concept to improve appearance of ugly roof tops and benefit owners and occupants, who receive in energy savings.
Technology has come along quickly to allow for easy installation, lower cost and care. The northwest climate also seems ideal for the concept. The Seattle City Hall and a couple of our major TV stations even sport garden-like roofs.
With all the new construction downtown — Park Place, Merrill Gardens, Bank of America, McLeod project, and a new Chaffey building — the city has a once in a life time opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and a unique way to attract retailers and visitors to the community. By requiring or at least encouraging the various builders to devote some of their outside walls and roofs to greenery (plantings and various foliages) it would be an innovative and easy way to make our downtown community stand out.
An attractive landscape is something we all want. Reducing energy needs is something we all have to do. It may not convert Kirkland into the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but it would let us lead the way for other communities.
~David Lombard, Kirkland