The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1827 with a mission to connect people with horticulture and create beautiful, healthy, and sustainable communities. As a part of that mission, and funded by EPA Urban Waters Small … Continued
The Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña (ENLACE) is a public corporation created under the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s Law 489 of September 24, 2004, as amended, to coordinate and implement public policies and projects regarding the restoration … Continued
Through their Parks with Purpose program, The Conservation Fund and partner organizations are designing and implementing green infrastructure in underserved urban communities while engaging and training residents to make way for lasting change.
To further combat the impacts of CSOs, stormwater runoff, and pollution in urban watersheds, local organizations and businesses formed the RI Green Infrastructure Coalition (GIC) in 2014. The Coalition is made up of nearly 40 local businesses, non-profits, and government offices in the Providence-Metro and Newport-Aquidneck Island areas. They are forming partnerships and using green infrastructure to decrease stormwater flooding, address climate change impacts, enhance water quality, and promote equity in urban watersheds.
Groundwork Rhode Island (RI) is a non-profit organization working with residents to create healthier and more resilient urban communities through physical improvements and stewardship that help the environment and create economic opportunity in high-poverty areas. Creating connections and partnerships with … Continued
The Plaster Creek Stewards initiative began at Calvin College in 2009 to provide experiential education and a working lab for students. Through several Michigan Department of Environmental Quality grants, EPA Urban Waters grants, support from the Urban Waters community, and … Continued
Environmental Community Action, Inc (ECO-Action) – a grassroots organization that works with individuals and communities to fight for their rights to clean air, land, and water – provides resources and creates partnerships to support the communities they serve. They have … Continued
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) – a consortium of municipal governments partnered under state law – has been the primary planning body for the Pioneer Valley since 1962. The PVPC is responsible for increasing communication and cooperation among government … Continued
The mission of the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC) is to encourage, support and promote the restoration and preservation of the Woonasquatucket River Watershed as an environmental, recreational, cultural, and economic asset of the State of Rhode Island. Our long … Continued
Environmental Community Action, Inc (ECO-Action) – a grassroots organization that works with people to fight for their rights to clean air, land, and water – acts as a support system to the communities they serve by providing resources and creating partnerships with other organizations. They have developed many programs designed for educating and empowering the Proctor and Intrenchment Creek watershed communities to advocate for equity and environmental protections. Among their initiatives, ECO-Action is heavily involved in community education and advocacy towards the implementation of green infrastructure projects that address stormwater flooding issues and provide more livable neighborhoods for underserved communities.
This project seeks to advance future green infrastructure (GI) projects through a growing partnership of municipal regulators, GI professionals, and scientists by quantifying urban runoff at commercial facilities near underserved schools. Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) will collect water samples … Continued
In 2013, the Proctor Creek Watershed was designated by the EPA as an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location, with goals to engage the community while improving water quality, providing green spaces, and supporting green infrastructure. The Conservation Fund was awarded an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant in 2016 to work with residents and multiple organizations of the Proctor Creek Watershed to create green infrastructure solutions that benefit the community and the environment.
Since 1988, Amigos Bravos has been working to protect and restore waters in New Mexico. Engaging and educating the community is integral to their mission, which is guided by social justice principles and dedicated to the environmental health of communities. Two … Continued
This report provides the latest research on the social, health, and economic benefits of urban green space, with an emphasis on tree canopies. Research shows that more trees and green space in urban areas directly reduce pollution, reduce heat, encourage exercise and related health, lower stress, and improve longevity among residents.
As a result of the Portland community-based collaboration funded through the EPA Urban Waters Program and led by the Oregon Operations Office, the EPA Office of Sustainable Communities provided technical assistance to the Jade District to develop community-based green infrastructure … Continued
RiverXchange—a school-based program that supports and supplements Common Core and 21st Century Standards—is designed to introduce water resources concepts to young people using a variety of fun methods that integrate writing, math, science, and physical activity. By interacting with models, reading relevant texts, learning from experts, and going on field trips, students learn about watersheds, river ecosystems, and the importance of water conservation. They also learn how to monitor water quality and calculate their own ecological footprints, then internalize these concepts by writing about them in their own words.
This report on Sustainable Models for Green Infrastructure Maintenance in the Great Lakes Region summarizes the findings of a 2016 convening in Buffalo, NY of local government, land bank, sewer district, nonprofit, landscape, and community and workforce development professionals from … Continued
In urban settings, stormwater runoff is one of the leading water quality concerns due to limited surface area where water can infiltrate into the soil. Impervious surfaces result in water flowing quickly across pavement and down gutters and sewers rather than dispersing out evenly over the landscape. The farther and faster the water travels, the more contaminants and sediment it picks up along the way.
This report, issued in 2011 by the American Society of CIvil Engineers (ASCE), provides an overview of existing water, sewer, and CSO infrastructure in the U.S., describes the “water and wastewater infrastructure gap”, addresses the differences in the condition and … Continued
This U.S. Water Alliance publication summarizes the overarching and regional challenges that demonstrate the need for more equitable approaches, then outlines the “three pillars of equity” based on USWA’s original research, as well as data from PolicyLink. The report goes … Continued
“The idea of an integrated systems approach to water is not new. Its full-scale implementation, however, has yet to be realized. There are many signs that water management in the US is entering another great era of change and innovation. … Continued
As urban sprawl continues to impact water quality throughout our communities, protecting urban waters before they become impaired is of great importance to all municipalities, stakeholders, and individuals. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate methods to protect urban … Continued
Space to Grow transforms Chicago schoolyards into beautiful and functional spaces to play, learn, garden, and be outside. Schoolyard transformations prioritize physical activity, outdoor learning, and community engagement. The green schoolyards incorporate landscape features, such as rain gardens, native plantings, … Continued
The overall goal of this project is to engage with local businesses and learning institutions to provide green infrastructure education and training to citizens in the Omaha metro area, especially in underserved parts of the City. This project will lead … Continued
By investigating water quality with community scientists we will have a better understanding of the severity and sources of pollution and a basis for future remediation in four of our most highly-urbanized watersheds. We will create an educated grassroots network … Continued
The project will identify, reduce, and prevent plastic from reaching the lower Passaic River watershed and Newark Bay complex. This goal will be achieved through surface water sample collection for microplastics, followed by public outreach and education. Student interns from … Continued
By focusing on Philadelphia and comparing this city’s mobility rates with other gentrification and displacement studies, it becomes evident that the effects of gentrification are extremely complex and can affect populations in a variety of ways depending on income level and other demographics.
Denver Parks and Recreation and the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative are leading an effort with the surrounding communities to re-envision approximately 80 acres of city property and existing open space around Heron Pond to serve as a regional and local … Continued
The Conservation Fund is working collaboratively with a large number of community organizations to improve environmental outcomes in Atlanta’s Proctor Creek communities. Since 2011, the Fund has been identifying opportunities for creating green space that manages stormwater flooding, reduces pollution, … Continued
Through a community driven effort, this project will aim to collect new nutrient data across the watershed that will aid the city of Knoxville and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in developing a watershed restoration strategy. By engaging local … Continued
The Darby Creek in the Delaware River Basin is an impaired urban water body with stormwater runoff pollution. This work will create a living laboratory space used for community education, stormwater performance research, and product development by companies creating green … Continued
This study was produced by Jobs for the Future (JFF) as part of NatureWORKS, a national initiative to understand the jobs, careers, skills, credentials, and potential of the U.S. green infrastructure workforce; and was funded by the U.S. Forest Service’s … Continued
This guide is a kind of “Green Infrastructure 101”. It summarizes the benefits of green infrastructure (GI), including economic, educational, and health benefits. It explains how GI can be less expensive and less difficult to maintain than gray infrastructure — … Continued
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is dedicated to restoring and protecting the most urbanized watershed in Massachusetts. It partners with federal, state, and local agencies, using science—including citizen science—to influence public policy. Its signature programs include a 15-year old … Continued
The Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC) partners with residents, commercial and industrial entities, local and regional governments, local civic and environmental organizations, and others to protect and improve water quality within the Wabash River watershed. Through initiatives such as the Paint … Continued
The Wabash River, which is Indiana’s state river, has a rich economic and cultural history. As a tributary of the Ohio River, it is part of the upper reaches of the 1,245,000-square-mile Mississippi River Basin, and so was a vital navigation and trade route for French traders traveling between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.
Created in 1937, the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) is charged with protecting and enhancing San Antonio’s creeks and rivers through service, leadership, and expertise. SARA is a leader in promoting sustainable water quality improvement techniques such as Low Impact … Continued
The San Gabriel River drains a 713-mile watershed in the San Gabriel Mountains, flowing as far south as Long Beach, where it enters Alamitos Bay as a tidal river. It shares its watershed with two other major rivers: the Los Angeles and the Santa Ana.
This resource, developed by the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange, summarizes key funding, financing and implementation frameworks for green stormwater infrastructure. This summary was created by participants of the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange “Deep Dive” held on green stormwater infrastructure funding … Continued
At scales ranging from the neighborhood and city to the watershed and basin, some communities are doing the work of breaking down the silos in water management to increase sustainability and equitably maximize benefits across the community and watershed. So, … Continued
The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation presents Creating a Complete Los Angeles River Greenway: Stories and Guidance (Guide) to recognize the achievements of those who have successfully developed portions of the Los Angeles River (LA River) greenway while providing advice … Continued
As different parts of the country become drier, wetter or hotter, community leaders and citizens are looking to green infrastructure to improve their community’s resiliency to the effects of climate change. In 2015, EPA convened charrettes, or intensive planning sessions, in … Continued
In this recorded webinar, learn how communities in Cincinnati and New Jersey – driven by combined sewer overflow problems – are seeking ways to integrate water management with other sectors like transportation, health and energy to create multiple community benefits. … Continued
This guide outlines a simple and logical methodology to promote street-based stormwater management that can address the complementary municipal goals of improving water quality and restoring natural hydrology. This methodology is guided by larger cities’ analysis of and commitment to green street strategies. Cities … Continued
Recorded webinar presents Kansas City’s Middle Blue River Basin Green Solutions Pilot Project and the significant role that right-of-ways along streets play in controlling stormwater runoff, including what Kansas City has learned about building and maintaining community support of Green … Continued
Few environmental projects focus community attention as dramatically as those that seek to create (or retrieve) parks and trails along urban waterways. The Groundwork network has achieved significant success on such projects, including the Saw Mill River Daylighting Park in Yonkers, NY; the Spicket River Greenway in Lawrence, MA; the Elizabeth River Greenway in Elizabeth, NJ; and the Mill Creek Greenway in Cincinnati.
This wonderful guide, developed by the Chemung Soil and Water Conservation District in Horseheads, NY, has detailed, yet extremely understandable language and graphics (as well as humor) for people to be able to really understand our love-hate relationship with streams–especially … Continued
This document from EFC EPA, published in 2014, was inspired by and written for local government leaders. Though effectively managing urban stormwater runoff requires leadership and bold decision making at all levels of government, it is at the local level … Continued
This Trust for Public Land study shines a light on the successes and challenges of water-smart public parks, providing case studies of cities across the country. The document looks at both the technologies and the political issues involved in using … Continued
This issue of River Network’s quarterly newsletter explores the topic of turning our cities blue, of moving from gray to green infrastructure, and the related benefits to our communities of restoring the health of our urban waters. Download this resource
Description of how blue cities can undo the effects of open space and green corridor reduction. CRWA is working to reengineer urban landscapes to function more naturally to reduce flooding and stormwater runoff pollution. Download this resource
Recorded webinar presenting Baltimore’s Green Pattern Book, a tool created as part of the city’s Growing Green Initiative to help guide the greening of vacant land by city agencies, nonprofit organizations and individual residents.
Momentum for improving the Mystic River got started in 1969 when various agencies and local planning departments published a report outlining plans to tackle the high levels of pollution and improve recreational opportunities on the Mystic River Reservation, a publicly-owned nature preserve. By the early 1980’s, greenways with bike and pedestrian trails started to be installed.
Flooding in South Wilmington neighborhood is a severe and well documented issue. South Wilmington is situated in a 100-year flood plain and surrounded on three sides by the Christina River. Knowing the extent of these issues, the City of Wilmington applied for and received funding in 2013 to repurpose three brownfields sites into a wetlands park in order to alleviate flooding.
Baltimore, Maryland, home to over 30,000 vacant and abandoned lots and numerous economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, is also home to some of the most innovative job creation strategies and vacant lot reclamation projects in the nation.
Heartland Conservation Alliance (HCA) was created as an alliance of diverse partners who share a vision and work collectively to conserve natural areas, connect people to nature and convene partners. Their mission is creating multiple benefits for people by focusing on projects that save Kansas City’s valuable natural resources and give them back to benefit the community—“ecological democracy.”
While ECO-Action serves as the lead for the project there are many partners working together to address stormwater and combined sewer overflow impact on Proctor Creek. Green infrastructure concepts and principals are being infused into the Clark Atlanta University dual engineering courses. This marks a milestone in the efforts led by ECO-Action to increase awareness among faculty, staff, and students about the importance of green infrastructure and the type of positive impacts these practices and principals can have at a local level.
Once known as the most polluted lake in the nation, Onondaga Lake has received significant attention over the last several decades. The lake’s upper water’s have undergone tremendous improvement because of efforts to remediate industrial and municipal pollution. Improvements to the county’s wastewater treatment plant as well as the reduction of combined sewer overflows (CSO) through the use of both grey and green infrastructure have led to the resurgence of the lake’s fishery.
Plaster Creek is a 14 mile-long stream that drains a watershed covering approximately 58 square miles, in metropolitan Grand Rapids, Michigan. The creek initially flows through agricultural lands, then commercial and residential areas, and finally an industrial zone and low-income neighborhoods before emptying into the Grand River.
Ellerbe Creek flows out of the heart of Durham, North Carolina through the community on its 14 mile path to Falls Lake Reservoir, a drinking water source for more than half a million people. It offers a refuge for people and nature from the stresses of city life across its compact 37 square mile watershed. The entire creek has been designated as impaired since 1998 for ecological/biological integrity. Falls Lake Reservoir has similarly been identified as an impaired water body due to excessive levels of nitrates and phosphates associated with poorly managed stormwater and failing waste water systems.