A Drainage Issue that Led to a Beautiful New Space

IMG_0269So often in life, problems or issues arise that demand an immediate solution …and as we set out to tackle the problem with the determination to possess a larger view of the circumstance – the problem begins to look more like a challenge and an opportunity.  This approach so often results in unexpected good, that reaches far outside the initial problem.  You all know what we mean by that, right?  You encounter a problem situation, and in the solution, you find something wonderful.  That happened to us recently when the time came to address a major drainage issue in our parking area at the Lodge.

Let’s back up – you all have seen the stormwater management devices for retention and infiltration in developments and large parking lots, yes?  These low-impact designs are intended to minimize the impact of heavy rains on surfaces that are prone to run-off, such as any paved surfaces and to a lesser extent, gravel surfaces.  The gravel parking lot at ThorpeWood flows into a yard drain which goes underground in a 12″ pipe and delivers the water and any debris that it may be carrying into a very large under ground gravel pit. This design allows us to carry the run-off to a retention area and then have the water slowly drain into the soils of the wooded area some 200 yards from Bussard Branch.

Over the years, however, the pipe carrying the storm water and debris and dead-heading into the below ground gravel pit became impacted with debris and was no longer passing the run-off into the gravel but rather was backing up. The original design of the system had no clean-out pit in which the debris drops out of the water and is periodically removed from the pit.

We had to handle this problem, and the solution was to build and install a clean-out pit.  In the process of doing this work we destroyed the adjacent lawn area off the Stone Porch.  What to do? Rebuild the area with new topsoil and either sod or seed or not! The area had never grown grass satisfactorily and was often just too wet.  The space is well used by private events and corporate groups using the Lodge and gets heavy traffic – part of the reason that grass doesn’t do so well here. So what we decided to do was to turn it into a flagstone patio.  Just take a look at the idyllic spot it created!


So, there you have it – a drainage issue that led to a beautiful new space!  Many groups have already taken advantage of this space for their meetings and events here at the Lodge.  When it is bitter cold and snowy/icy here on the mountain, we like to picture ourselves enjoying this space on a lovely Spring day, when new green has come to the mountain and the trees are in bud and bloom.  Feel free to employ this strategy when you need a visualization technique to get through the cold days ahead!  And, stay warm out there, friends!