Living Wall

Flex MSE Vegetated Retaining Wall

Erosion Control & Invigoration of Trail Slope

This particular area was part of the Fredericton trail system that was underutilized and in desperate need of some sprucing up. In addition, the existing slope that ran from the trail was very steep, with a drop of approximately 30 feet. What it needed was a retaining wall and one that would look great!


The project goal was to create a permanent, green solution that would allow the slope to be supported, creating a safe and attractive solution for the trail above. In addition, the aesthetic of the slope would be improved, thereby re-invigorating this area. A natural and green solution via a living retaining wall would create both the practical and aesthetic solutions required, as well as one that was low maintenance and had a long life-span.

Flex MSE Solution:

The site of the slope was prepared by clearing brush in the Fall. The following Spring, an excavator was brought in to complete the site prep. Ideal for sloped, irregular sites, Flex MSE’s flexibility allows contractors to easily adapt to changing grades.  This helps cut down prep and installation time vs. traditional hard systems. As a malleable system, Flex MSE can easily adapt to an imperfectly levelled site.  The install took six weeks for running between late May and June. This was the ideal timing for the vegetation plan. Laying the bags was the easy part of the job, even for first time users of the product. The retaining wall was then vegetated with plugs of a variety of low-growing perennial ground-covering shrubs.

The City of Fredericton has used Flex MSE for various applications of all sizes since this initial project. The easy installation and low impact, combined with the ability to meet the practical requirements and ability to create visually appealing spaces, make the product ideal for public spaces. Flex MSE’s easy installation, system longevity of over 100 years, and extremely low carbon footprint make it a favourite for all types of municipal park works.


The final result was a completely vegetated retaining wall. The wall looks as good as the day it was installed, if not better as the vegetation has matured. The wall is very structurally sound and has not shifted, which has provided the support required for the bank. All the vegetation is now well-established, having been cared for during the initial planting, and the area has an increased visual appeal.

It’s a great product and we look forward to using it in future projects

Mike LaCroix

Here’s a great article about this project by CBC. Photo Credit for the image in this post goes: (Gary Moore/CBC)

More Posts