Boston’s bus shelters are going green. On Monday, the Fairmount-Indigo Line CDC Collaborative, the Talbot Norfolk Triangle Eco Innovation District, and Land Escapes Design Inc—installed the first of three bus shelter green roofs as part of the Fairmount Line Bus Shelter Living Roof Initiative. This project (whose collaborating partners also include the City of Boston, JCDecaux North America, the MBTA, and the EPA Region I "Soak Up the Rain" Campaign), is one of several pieces of green infrastructure either planned or underway along the six-mile Fairmount Corridor.

The living roofs, which will be placed on top of bus shelters, consist of two to three inches of soil and local, drought-tolerant plants in a filter mat that can hold up to 24 gallons of water during a major rainstorm.

And although Monday’s rain might have interefered with the morning commute, it provided the perfect opportunity to demonstrate what these roofs will be doing. These roofs will absorb stormwater, help provide clean air along Talbot Avenue, increase the life expectancy of the bus shelters, reduce the urban heat island effect, and improve the overall look of the neighborhood. There will also be an educational poster inside the shelter to highlight the benefits of living roofs.

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The goal is to demonstrate the environmental benefits of green roof technology while creating green jobs. In partnership with YouthBuild Boston and TNT Eco-Teens, local youth will be trained in the construction and maintenance of the roofs.

The roofs will be constructed on one City-owned shelter and two MBTA bus shelters, and have the full support of Mayor Walsh.

“This public/private partnership reflects the goals and the spirit of the City of Boston’s Climate Action Plan,” said Mayor Walsh. “The highly-visible living roof installations along the Fairmount Corridor will demonstrate our preparedness and generate conversation about this important issue facing our City.”

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