Castlegar main corridor comes...

Castlegar main corridor comes to life with 22 new trees

Castlegar located within the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, is home to a small but growing community. It is also a hub for regional trade and transportation. Castlegar is known for its vast forests. However, until recently, its streets were significantly lacking in trees.

In 2018, the City of Castlegar embarked on a master plan to add more trees to the main roads. Citygreen was engaged by Marwest Industries (on behalf of the City) to help bring this vision to life – efficiently, affordably and sustainably.

The project commenced in June 2018 on Columbia Avenue. Together with local contractors and trades, Citygreen’s urban landscape solutions have transformed this previously barren space into a vibrant city corridor.

Project goals

The City’s major goal for this project was to incorporate as many trees as possible into the Columbia Avenue corridor. As the only intown route between the uptown and downtown areas, this corridor attracts a high volume of road and foot traffic.

The City wanted to integrate urban trees into the landscape, creating a seamless aesthetic from the mountains to the streets, while also providing much-needed shade.

As Dean Thompson from Urban Systems explained, “It’s in quite a busy urban area. We wanted to make it feel continuous with the forest around us by bringing elements of the surrounding area out to the road.”

“We also wanted to provide shade and encourage people to spend time on the street. This is a pretty harsh corridor with lots of hard surfaces. So, providing a refuge and shade was an important goal for this project.”



Project challenges and solutions

Stratavault was selected as the best solution for a number of reasons. Its ability to deliver maximum soil volume (over 94%) for healthy tree root growth, combined with its incredible strength, made it  ideal for this high traffic area.

“Uncompacted soil volume is very important for the success of these trees. Without it, they wouldn’t be given the proper nutrients or ability to grow, especially in such a harsh urban corridor like this,” said Dean.

“Stratavault is rated for the correct loading, so it was safe and reliable to install right under the heavy travel lanes, where we wouldn’t necessarily want structural soil,” he added.

Like all Citygreen solutions, Stratavault is made using 100% recycled polymers, providing maximum green building benefit. This, along with ease of installation and stormwater management benefits, added extra value to the project.

“The Stratavault soil cells have a small footprint and they are easy to install. They also integrate with stormwater distribution channels we have to provide water for the trees. This creates a healthier environment for the trees to thrive naturally,” said Dean

Elaborating on the water management benefits, Dean explained: “It’s great that we can incorporate rainwater into the soil cells for a number of reasons. One is that rainwater is a resource we can capture and use. Another is that the soil cells keep rainwater from running into the river, which is connected to a large catchment on site. Being able to keep less-than-ideal rainwater out of the river is fantastic.”


Project outcomes

The City’s project goals have been realised, with 22 healthy trees now installed along Castlegar’s main corridor. The combination of Oak Ash and Maple trees add shade and colour to the street, providing a pleasant experience for both pedestrians and drivers.

To further enhance the project, each tree is complemented by a unique piece of street furniture, which entices people to spend more time on the street.

In terms of Citygreen’s solutions, there’s been nothing but praise from project stakeholders, including Dean Thompson from Urban Systems.

“From an engineering standpoint, I felt very comfortable specifying Stratavault right next to the road, under the travel lanes. The load capacity is certified by a structural engineer as well as the Citygreen product sheets, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use Stratavault for future projects,” he said.

“We’re providing a healthy environment for the trees using a 100% recycled product that’s easy to install and integrates stormwater. I can certainly see an uptake of Stratavault in the next five years. There are no downsides to using this product.”

Want more trees for your next project? Talk to our team

“Great customer service, quick response times and a very in depth QA system with constant support.”

- Laura Wiesenekker, Project Engineer, Densford Civil -

“Citygreen is a very professional  business, and I found everything was great in terms of deliveries, product supply and information. It was all forthcoming and helped us to complete the project.”

- Keith Burns, Architect/Designer, Keith Burns Architect -

“Citygreen offered training and invaluable technical assistance during the works.”

- James Callan, Estimating Manager, Complex Co Pty Ltd -

“Our experience, in working with a Citygreen Design Studio was second to none. We found responses from the design studio to be very timely, and technically thorough. We went backwards and forwards a number of times, looking at different iterations of the design and, nothing was too much trouble to examine and explore different possibilities. I would highly recommend the Citygreen Design Studio to any future client considering using your services.”

- Sandra Smith, Principal Landscape Architect, City Of Monash -

“We are big on compliance on all projects, and the fact that their SmartCertify cloud platform covers all bases, and supports their 20 year warranties, is critical – especially that these pits are being installed under roadways and footpaths.”

- Johny Purkaystha, Civil Program Engineer, Central Coast Council -

"I reviewed all the previous projects that we have installed in the past couple years using your product and I can happily report back that we have 0% mortality in the soil cells, which is incredible!"

- Brendan Wilton, CEO, Trim Landscaping, Bedford, Canada -