Group looking to plant green roof on Century Center - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Group looking to plant green roof on Century Center


Grass on the roof?

One of the more prominent buildings in Downtown South Bend could soon be going green.

Greening the Bend is looking to replace the roof on the Century Center with a living roof.

The group wants to plant low maintenance, drought-resistant plants and trees to pretty-up the 6,500 square foot area of the roof.

"We'd be able to put a small gathering area. The century center, museum of art could use it for a public accessible venue for a small gathering of about 20 people," says Kathleen Petitjean with Greening the Bend.

Of course Petitjean says there are environmental benefits too, like reducing heat and alleviating stormwater.

"It will mitigate stormwater going into our storm water system so that the plants will use the water and will dissipate the water into the air and then any extra water will go slowly into the storm water system," says Petitjean.

 Petitjean says it may also be possible to display lightweight sculptures from the Museum of Art.

A local company has also donated solar panels to run the irrigation system and low voltage lights for events.

It's an idea residents seem to be on board with.

"It's something different. You know, get out and go get something to eat if that would come from it. That would be really neat," says Cecilia Cooper of South Bend.

Nicole Mcneil who works near downtown says, "I think it's an interesting idea. I think it would be good for the environment."

The city funded a $6,300 engineering study to make sure this type of project was feasible, results show it is.

But Petitjean says the $300 thousand for the actual project will come from the private sector and she's confident they'll come up with the cash.

"If you want to help out by throwing in a buck you can say you helped green the roof of the century center. This is something everyone can help with because we're not looking for taxpayer dollars, we're looking for support from the community at large," says Petitjean.

Petitjean says they'll raise money all year and hope to start the project next Spring.

To learn more, visit You can also find them on Facebook, just search for Greening the Bend.

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