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New Marinette County Resource Center features a 'Green Roof'

Posted at 8:58 AM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 10:03:20-05

MARINETTE (NBC26) — Marinette County is known for its beautiful outdoor spaces, but the city of Marinette itself doesn’t really have much green.

That’s starting to change, one rooftop at a time, said Martin Keyport, facilities and parks director for the county. A green roof completes Marinette County’s newly renovated Resource Center at 1925 Ella Court in Downtown Marinette, formerly the county’s jail and law enforcement center.

“We were trying to bring a little bit of green back into the city," he said. "There’s not a lot of places where you can have an opportunity to actually step outside and have a comfortable safe place to enjoy your break or just take a quick walk around our walkway here but the benefits to our staff we hope will be great.”

The covering is primarily a low-growing green sedum, which looks like grass but does not require cutting. It absorbs and conditions rainwater, which will reduce storm water run-off. It also will extend the life of the roof, saving the county money.

“I’ve got a layer of insulation I don’t have sun directly on, I don’t have snow directly on," said Keyport. "There’s a layer, a buffer if you will, in between the outside air conditions and the conditions within my building.”

The rooftop also includes a climate-controlled glass atrium. The building is now home to office spaces for county officials. Jennifer Short, Director of Development and Tourism, said she’s excited to sit out on the new roof, once the nicer weather hits.

“Hopefully it’s something that takes off and others in the area will also consider this type of technology for future renovations at their facilities," she said.

This green roof might be the only one of its kind in the entire county, said Short.

“Sustainability is important, number one for the environment but also for attracting people looking to relocate to the area," she said. "They want to be a part of a community that cares.”

The green roof was made possible by a grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan, a non-profit that aims to protect and improve the lake’s water quality.