Rapid City Regional Airport Green Roof a continuing success for the facility
RAPID CITY, S.D.– On a clear day you can see forever, or to Mount Rushmore if you are on the Rapid City Regional Airport’s Green Roof.
Offering passengers a panoramic view and a break from the rush of the airport, the area has been a unique addition with a bit of a history.
Since 2012, airport officials had the idea for the project but struggled to get the right setup. The first set of plants that were installed died, and ideas of using materials such as rocks and AstroTurf were also ruled out for different reasons.
In 2018, a student from the School of Mines had an idea for a project studying water runoff and sustainability and brought in low-maintenance plants.
For the efforts on both the student and the airport’s behalf, they received an Acts of Excellence Award from the South Dakota Hall of Fame the following year.
Since its addition school representatives visit the area about once a year to help with upkeep of the plants and monitor progress.
“They were actually produced and grown in a nursery before they came out here, so they were pretty strong and pretty steady,” Deputy Director of Finance and Administration Toni Broom said. “And when they went into the ground they had more success, more chance of succeeding and we have seen that. They did very well and year-after-year they have come back quite well.”
Green roofs can provide structures with insulative and cooling properties during the year, along with helping extend the life of materials such as solar panels.