Backstage @ Bloedel: Camellia Trail Restoration

The Situation:
Over the years the Camellia Trail developed swale at a low point. This occurred where the
underlying soil was spongy. Swale had increased to the point that the trail was under water during short rainstorms. Worse, the trail remained flooded for a long time after the rain was over.
To prevent this the trail must be slightly higher than the surrounding ground so it will drain properly.
Additionally, the trail was unsightly, even when dry, because the contour had become irregular.

The Solution:
The solution was to remove the surface bark, dig out the spongy organic material, back fill with aggregate and replace the bark.
The surface level was built up to the point that it is now above the water level likely to occur in
a severe rain episode.
In this picture, the aggregate has been put down and leveled, but has not yet been compacted.
Note that you can see boot prints in the aggregate.

Compacting the Aggregate:
The aggregate is compacted with a motorized plate compactor. This is a critical step because,
if the surface is not compacted, the trail will breakdown prematurely.
Typically several passes with the compactor are required to properly compact the aggregate.
Note that with properly compacted aggregate, the gardener’s boot leaves no impression in the surface.

The Results:
After the aggregate has been compacted, a layer of bark is added. The bark is carefully raked to cover the aggregate.
The result is a good looking trail that is a pleasure to walk on, rain or shine.

The Team:
Ken Little
Diann Eckler
Darren Strenge

Time Required:
10 person-days

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