Oct 20, 2021 Nature & Outdoor There’s no need to be green with envy over our new “green roof”—it’s free for all to see and enjoy! A green roof is a layer of vegetation planted on top of a flat or slightly sloped roof. Also known as vegetative or eco-roofs, green roofs are beneficial for many reasons, including stormwater management, energy savings, and improved health benefits due to reduced pollution. Image courtesy of @ozarkgreenroofs via Instagram. Constructing the Green Roof In 2020, we moved Louise Bourgeois’s Maman from the entrance of Crystal Bridges to the South Lawn and added an enclosed dome to protect the Garrison Lobby from inclement weather, provide new programming opportunities, and improve the guest experience. A smaller green roof already existed on top of the Museum Store, which held a deep base of planting mix to support diverse varieties of plants and small trees. As world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie designed and prepared the enclosed dome, he decided to wrap the existing green roof around the new dome structure, significantly increasing its size. That’s when Crystal Bridges’ Horticulture team stepped in to bring the new rooftop to life. Image courtesy of @ozarkgreenroofs via Instagram. Image courtesy of @ozarkgreenroofs via Instagram. Finding the Right Plants In 2021, we planted thousands of new plants—about 20,000, to be exact—on the rooftop surrounding the outside of the dome. These plants are visible from the Elevator Tower at the entrance of the museum. The new space surrounding the dome had a much shallower depth than the existing green roof over the Museum Store, which limited planting options. The Horticulture team conducted research on similar green roof configurations and came up with a list of plants that were known to be successful under similar conditions. For the full-sun portion of the roof, the team ordered 5,040 Sedum kamtshcaticum, 7,200 blue spruce (Sedum reflexum), 4,680 weihenstephaner gold (Sedum floriferum), and 2,520 angelina (Sedum rupestre). They also planted 1,050 shade-tolerant coral bells (Heuchera ‘Citronelle’), around the Elevator Tower, which is far shadier than the rest of the roof. In the end, the team planted more than 20,000 plants over the course of a week. “We’re happy to create something beautiful and productive in an area that usually conflicts with the environment,” said Clay Bakker, director of trails and grounds. Hats off to Crystal Bridges’ Horticulture team for their creativity and hard work! Written by Meredith Wagner, social media manager.