St. Paul’s School in Clearwater expanded its campus in 2002 by adding tennis courts and athletic fields to the school grounds. The athletic fields were built adjacent to Allen’s Creek, and the riprap that protected the shoreline was failing after 20 years of tidal and wave action.
With the shoreline erosion threatening the stability of the new athletic fields, school officials contacted Mai, Couch and Associates, Inc. (MCA) to find a cost effective solution. In addition to the budgetary concerns and solving the erosion problem, residents on the opposite shore and St. Paul’s faculty made it clear to MCA that any shoreline solution had to be aesthetically pleasing. St. Paul’s principal also wanted students to be involved in planting the vegetation along the shore as a school project. ArmorFlex 30S, with a 20 percent open area allowing for the establishment of the vegetation, was selected for the site. More than 15,000 SF of the product is installed along Allen’s Creek to solve the erosion problems.
“What we like about the ArmorFlex is that you can cover and plant over it, and it serves as a buffer” stated Charles Callaway, President of Callaway Marine Technologies, Inc. “Even if we have some weather-related event that strips the vegetation away, the ArmorFlex stays in place and you can just replant new vegetation”
The skeptical residents on the opposing shore are now very pleased with the view as the fully-grown vegetation has completely obscured the ArmorFlex. The site continues to benefit the school’s educational efforts by providing an outdoor classroom where students learn to identify various types of vegetation.