St. Paul Fire Headquarters

The St. Paul Fire Headquarters at West 7th and Randolph Avenue is the first city-owned building in St. Paul to feature a green roof: the R.C. Knox Memorial Garden Green Roof. The green roof and patio are accessible to the public during regular weekly hours.

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  • The St. Paul Fire Headquarters at West 7th and Randolph Avenue is the first city-owned building in St. Paul to feature a green roof: the R.C. Knox Memorial Garden Green Roof.
  • The roof features over 100 species of native plants and ornamental plants, no-mow turf, a small pond, and even a vegetable garden where firefighters grow herbs and vegetables for their meals.
  • The growing media varies in depth and composition to accommodate the wide range of plant species. Sedums and succulents grow in a very lean mixture only 5” thick, while vegetables grow in 18” of media with more organic content.
  • Water runoff from the entire building is collected in a 6,000 gallon cistern and sent to a subsurface drip irrigation system in the green roof. This system allows the green roof to thrive even during droughts, using only water that would otherwise be infiltrated into the site or discharged into the storm sewer.
  • A Green Roof Interpretive Center and Garden Classroom allows the green roof to be used as a teaching environment. A teacher’s guide and student activity book, along with interpretive materials on the roof, offer information about the environmental benefits of green roofs – and their role in reducing fire risk.
  • Capitol Region Watershed District awarded a grant for a portion of the installation cost, and is currently monitoring the roof’s performance in reducing and treating stormwater runoff.
  • The green roof and patio are accessible to the public during regular weekly hours.
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