How a Permeable Path Cut Costs and Saves the Environment

A photograph of a Custom Park Flexi®-Pave permeable path installation.

Custom Park Surfacing uses KBI’s proprietary Flexi®-Pave product to make permeable paths — primarily because it has so many environmental benefits. It is a soft, flexible surface for playgrounds that is ADA compliant, safer for kids, and shows unmatched durability for permeable surfaces; but it also features a number of other environmental positives. It’s porous surface aids in stormwater mitigation, and it’s made of recycled post-consumer tires to name just a few points. 

Custom Park’s builds using this unique product meet and exceed the high standards demanded for stormwater mitigation, are cheaper and hold up better in the long run than gravel surfaces which require continued maintenance, and help reduce the need for a variety of other mitigation tactics like retention ponds, and stormwater infrastructures like pipes and storm sewers. 

Environmental Impact of Permeable Paths

An infographic showing the environmental impact of stormwater runoff
<em>Image Source Dane County Stormwater and Erosion Control<em>

Stormwater runoff is the fastest-growing type of pollution in our own region. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, stormwater runoff accounts for one-sixth of all the nitrogen and phosphorus, and one-fourth of the sediment fouling the Chesapeake Bay. This pollution is deadly for aquatic life, and ultimately a burden to watermen who depend on the Bay for a living. 

Studies also show that as the amount of impervious surface area increases, stream health in the same area decreases. Stormwater runoff is the top cause of stream impairment. With 45% more water moving, our streams and rivers face an accelerated rate of erosion, endangering the habitat of the species that dwell in them.

When stormwater is absorbed into the local environment surfaces — think grass, and trees, and other ground cover plants, pollutants the result of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that would otherwise wind up in bodies of water don’t wind up destroying the biodiversity we’re all working so hard to protect. Flexi®-Pave can reduce dissolved nitrates and phosphates from entering the water table by up to 88%. 

Flexi®-Pave also uses a high volume of recycled, post-consumer tires as the bulk of its material, helping to keep even more pollution out of landfills. As a result of its recycled rubber component, it’s also flexible and more able to stand up to environmental stresses year round. It doesn’t crack from cold or heat, so it can sometimes be even more durable than traditional impervious paving materials like concrete or asphalt.

Flexi®-Pave In Action

A photograph of a Custom Park Flexi®-Pave Installation at Grand Lake

One of our recent projects was the Grand Lake Trail in Sarasota, Florida. Built for the Grand Lake development, it features 52,200 square feet of total paving (6’ by 8,700’ linear) that runs around a retention lake providing green space and exercise for residents and wildlife. 

While the development project is on private land, local government zoning requirements didn’t allow poured impermeable concrete, so Custom Park stepped up to help make the trail even more effective than a gravel trail would have been. Because the area receives a high enough annual rainfall, local government required alternative paving methods to ensure the new development wouldn’t contribute to flooding. 

On top of the environmental benefits, Flexi®-Pave shows a savings over the life of the trail. Gravel costs anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 to maintain monthly. At the low end, the permeable paving saves the local development $270,000 over its 15 year lifecycle, and more than half a million dollars on the high end. 

Beyond simply paving trails, Flexi®-Pave is also used for playgrounds, driveways, and a variety of other applications that help reduce pollution, recycles waste materials, and save money for our clients. We can also customize the color of the paving to fit your needs, whether to make the paving look less obtrusive or to make it stand out.

If you’re interested in Flexi®-Pave or any of our other paving solutions, contact us today. 

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