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Downtown Education Ecosystem

Horace Mann partnered with Knob Hill Landscape Company to create a one-of-a-kind natural ecosystem at its Springfield headquarters.

Beginning Stages

In November of 2022, Knob Hill Landscape Company began work on one of the largest, one-of-a-kind natural ecosystems they've ever created, in partnership with Horace Mann, for their downtown Springfield headquarters.
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This project is unique because the entire ecosystem is self-contained and self-sustained. No chemicals are used, and the patio is made of permeable blocks with layers of rock underneath to naturally filter all rainwater and any runoff from our grounds. It will utilize a 40,000-gallon natural filtration system to keep the water crystal clear and safe for animals"

- Josh Shelton - Horace Mann -

Project Phases

The Horace Mann Ecosystem Project took eight men, and 101 working days from November 7, 2022 to April 28, 2023. This included installation of a wetland filter, an intake bay/surface water skimmer, three waterfalls, tree stumps and logs, fish and wildlife, including 153 koi fish, and a permeable paver patio. 150,000 gallons of water with 9 pumps circulating a total of 90,000gph, 6 Slate Urn Fountains, 650 tons of mossy sandstone boulders, 300 tons of river rock, 200 yards of soil, 150 tons of limestone, 2,000 sqft permeable pavers, 1,100 perennials, trees, shrubs & water plants, a 1⁄2 acre of sod, and 120 low-voltage lights went into the final product.

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The wetland filter naturally filters the ecosystem by water flowing through multiple layers and sizes of river rock. This is key to water clarity and biomimicry of the ecosystem. This shallow water area with multiple species of water loving plants mimics the marshy areas that naturally filter the waters near rivers, lakes and streams. No chemicals are ever added to the ecosystem. The intake bay/surface serves as a pre-filter to the water as it is being pulled through a layer of river rock before entering the pumps. The three waterfalls constructed throughout the ecosystem aid in water flow and increase water oxygenation to greatly improve the environment for our fish species. Tree stumps and logs aid in the biomimicry of the ecosystem by introducing multiple, different, local species. By providing multiple homes for these microorganisms to thrive, they will provide nourishment for the plant and fish life within the ecosystem. The fish are an equally important component of the ecosystem as they feed on algae and other organisms found in the water system. Finally, the permeable paver patio joints between the pavers are filled with granite chips which allows the rainwater to penetrate the pavers. This prevents any storm water runoff from entering the ecosystem and otherwise possibly contaminating the water source.
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Knob Hill Downtown Natural Ecosystem Night Photo 4
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We Aim to Please

The clients are the heart and soul of our company. We strive to build long-lasting relationships with transparency, honesty and the fact that we create a bigger family with every project. Let us create your dream outdoor space.
All Rights Reserved | Knob Hill Landscape Company | @2023
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