Soils : Getting the Little Things Right

Ted Hartsig, MS CPSS

Soil is part of the living system that makes green infrastructure work. Critical nuances in soil design and function in green infrastructure can lead to failure if they are not understood and included in construction of stormwater management units. Every site is different and each site requires an understanding of the local and microenvironment that affects soil function, stormwater infiltration, and vegetation success. Learning of these "little" but highly important soil principles will improve your green infrastructure results and assure the long-term viability of your stormwater management design.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understand role of soil design for successful BMP performance, including infiltration and percolation, sustainable vegetation establishment and growth, and long-term success of stormwater management performance.
  • Learn and understand concepts of soils that have profound impacts on BMP design, function, and management.
  • Identify key design points and BMP restoration strategies and think differently about how soil functions in stormwater BMPs.

Presented by Ted Hartsig, MS CPSS – Senior Scientist, Olsson, Inc.

Ted is a certified professional soil scientist with specialization in natural resources management and restoration, including extensive experience in urban green spaces, stormwater management, and urban and rural ecosystem restoration. He has contributed to the development of soil and plant management strategies in both urban and rural landscape projects, including research and design of stormwater infiltration systems in BMPs, plant establishment and maintenance, and construction techniques to develop and maintain successful, sustainable soil profiles. He has authored multiple documents, including “Bioretention Gardens: A Manual for Contractors in Omaha,” and “Sustainable Landscapes: Rain Gardens, Bioswales, and Xeric Gardens.” His experience includes working with the professional design teams for the design and construction of native landscapes at the George W. Bush Library in Dallas, the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, soils for native landscapes for the University of Notre Dame Sculpture Park, and design and construction of soils for Memorial Park and Hermann Park in Houston, Tulsa’s Gathering Place Park, Boulevard Crossin Park in Atlanta, and corporate campuses across the U.S. He has a B.S. degree in Biology/Plant Physiology from Northern Arizona University and M.S. degree in Soil Science/Agronomy from Kansas State University.