Sustanable Walls

Sustainable Stone: A Day Spent in Masonry By: Andrew Wiegand, Dan Streen, Tom Herchek, Kevin Deidrick, Nate Arp   In keeping with the class theme of sustainability, we decided to invest our time in promoting the ecosystem of Bonney Castle. While some individuals chose to work on the Knot Garden, or the removal of invasive plants, we took on the project of restructuring the surrounding limestone. This allowed us to experience a process that was both foreign and strenuous.   When assessing the sustainability of Bonney Castle it was easy to see that much of the stone work around the side of the house needed a great deal of maintenance. Large sections of the stone were falling away from the foundation, while other stones were causing some erosion of the soil. The first step in alleviating the problem was to remove the previously laid stone so that we may dig a trench in which we could place a new limestone foundation. This foundation would serve as a good anchor to keep the stone in place while still allowing for the transportation of water into the soil. The removal of this stone also allowed us to remove some of the invasive plants that had begun to thrive in the area.   Being our first experience in stone masonry, we were able to learn a myriad of new skills and understanding. A great deal of this was in gaining an insight of the locally based economy and its products. In working with stones from the early 1900s we were able to keep our hands on the rich history of Portage County while actively supporting it’s future. A major component in the bridging of this historical gap was the protection of the stone. By making sure that the stone stayed intact we were retaining its sustainability while honoring the work of those individuals who had previously processed the stone.