In 2019, Lappeenranta drew up a master plan for a meadow network to increase the biodiversity of the urban environment by converting grass areas into meadows. In addition, the meadow network will generate cost savings, as it provides a way of utilising excavated soil and reducing the carbon footprint.
In 2021, meadow mounds became an important part of the meadow network, and their implementation has yielded many benefits. A key goal of the implementation of the meadow mounds is to reuse clean surplus soil from the city’s construction sites.
The meadow mounds originated from experiments
The implementation of the meadow mounds was first started on an experimental basis in connection with one of the central street construction sites and with fairly general plans. Prior to the actual implementation of the mounds, the future location, the available surface area and the desired height of the mounds as well as the slope of the ramps suitable for maintenance had been determined.
During the summer and autumn of 2021, three large clusters of meadow mounds were implemented in different parts of central Lappeenranta. Clean excavated soil from three ongoing street construction sites was used in the mounds. In addition, almost all of the excavated soil formed in connection with the renovation of the city’s playgrounds in 2021 was dumped in the meadows mounds. As a result, about 45,000 square metres of grass area were converted into flowering meadows.
The experienced machine operators, who had a clear vision of how the mounds should be shaped to fit the landscape, had a key role in the implementation of the mounds. The experiment on the implementation of the meadow mounds was successful, although it occasionally required quick decision-making because the street construction site was simultaneously in progress and construction had to proceed. The creation of meadow mounds will continue in the future, and new dump sites are being actively sought.
Blooming mounds delight and benefit the residents
The meadow mounds are designed to fit in with the existing landscape, to be easy to maintain and to provide many benefits.
During the establishment of the mounds, it has been important to ensure that the residents have been informed in a timely manner of the changes in the environment. Information about the establishment of the meadow mounds has been provided, for example, by means of informative signs on site and by publishing announcements on social media and on the city’s website.
The residents have reacted positively to the flowering meadows, as they have already been adorning the environment for several months with their blooming annual flower plants. Flowers can be picked from the mounds at the end of the flowering period.
The meadow mounds also help bind dust from the traffic area, among other things, and serve as buffers between the busy road and the pedestrian and bicycle route.
- Laura Ratilainen, City of Lappeenranta, firstname.lastname@example.org