Great Wall of Mulch Will Block Noise in West Long Beach
2013-08-08 · By Editor
Today, Mayor Bob Foster and Councilmember James Johnson, 7th District, topped off the 600-foot-long Great Wall of Mulch, which is believed to be the only Mulch Wall constructed in the United States. The Great Wall of Mulch extends the length of Hudson Park on the West Side, serving as an environmentally friendly buffer to reduce noise and eliminate the visual pollution of trucks along the heavily traveled Terminal Island (103) freeway.
“The Great Wall of Mulch demonstrates how the City of Long Beach continues to strive for more innovative and unique solutions for environmental issues, including reducing the level of noise from the freeway,” said Mayor Bob Foster.
The Great Wall of Mulch is 12 feet high and 3 feet wide, and made completely out of mulch, which is an organic material composed of green waste generated from routine tree trimming of Long Beach’s urban forest.
“Today, an injustice has ended,” Councilmember Johnson said. “The people of West Long Beach finally have an innovative ‘Green Wall’ along Hudson Park that will block the noise from the freeway, eliminate the visual blight, and improve air quality with trees and other plantings. I look forward to further improvements along the freeway as we protect the students, veterans, and residents who have lived next to this free without protection for far too long.”
In February 2012, the City’s Office of Sustainability constructed a smaller version of the Mulch Wall to demonstrate feasibility, and in February 2013 the Port of Long Beach partnered with the City to fund this larger demonstration project. The total project cost is $150,000, which is proving to be a cost efficient solution to eliminating the sight of trucks along the freeway as well as reducing the noise level of traffic. The funding also includes further exploration on effectiveness of the mulch wall, including whether it can absorb air pollution such as diesel particulates.
In addition to reducing freeway noise and blocking visual pollution, mulch provides multiple environmental benefits.
The City of Long Beach produces about 12,000 tons of mulch from tree trimming each year, and over the last four years has covered dozens of vacant lots with mulch to suppress the growth of weeds and reduce maintenance costs.
In addition, the City’s Green Team performs about 600 free mulch deliveries to residents a year.