Chicago Wal-Mart to Sprout Green Roof

The first Wal-Mart inside Chicago’s city limits will also be the first Wal-Mart to host a grassy meadow on its roof, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The initiative is part of a deal the mega-chain made with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Covering 67,000 square feet, the roof will feature three inches of soil and a flowering oasis of cactus-like plants, hardy enough to survive a Chicago winter (this picture, not specifically of the Wal-Mart roof, offers a hint of what's to come). Designed to reduce rainfall runoff, the roof will not need an irrigation system. Expected to be completed with the new store this summer, Wal-Mart's green roof could be the first of many in Chicago. Last Fall, Daley launched the city’s environmentally-driven Green Roof program, which divvies out $5,000 grants to residential and small commercial business owners. Reportedly, the green roof program could, in conjunction with other green roofs, lower the city’s air temperature. ::Chicago Sun Times via ::Able Chicago

Image courtesy of the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee.