Penn State Extension will be hosting a free webinar on green infrastructure
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
12 – 1 PM
Green Roofs for Stormwater Management
Join Rob Berghage, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Horticulture, Director of the Center for Green Roof Research at Penn State University as he discusses the use of green roofs for stormwater management and his work at the Center for Green Roof Research
For more information on the webinar series and to register/sign on for any of the webinars, visit: http://extension.psu.edu/green-infrastructure
This webinar series is co-sponsored by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership, Stroud Water Research Center, and US Forest Service.
Green Infrastructure Resources
Do you have a manual or website related to GI that you think others would find particularly useful? Forward the reference information (see example entry below) to Beth Dutton, firstname.lastname@example.org to have it added to a resources list on the GIN Google Site.
Green Infrastructure Status Report
In the summer of 2014, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics Infrastructure Policy Committee determined it was necessary to do a report on the status of green infrastructure initiatives in the region. The committee was interested in examining the benefits of green infrastructure, especially related to water management, as well as the economic, social, and environmental benefits derived from green infrastructure installation. The committee also wanted to further understand the challenges and barriers associated with green infrastructure expansion in the region, primarily related to design, maintenance, cost, and requirements of installation.
After months of background research on green infrastructure designs and interviews with a variety of stakeholders working on green infrastructure-related initiatives in the region, the committee reached consensus on a variety of recommendations for the region moving forward. The recommendations revolve around increased research and planning around green infrastructure initiatives, as well as further engaging the public in dialogue and educational activities related to green infrastructure, and are provided in their March 2015 Green Infrastructure Status Report.
The IOP www.iop.pitt.edu welcomes comments and feedback and hopes that this report will contribute to further constructive discussions related to policy around green infrastructure initiatives in this region now and into the future.
Our thanks to the Green Building Alliance and Walnut Capital for a great tour of the Bakery Square 2.0 site on May 7th!
See the GIN Google Site for “Bakery Square Green Infrastructure” which has graphics from their Stormwater Master Plan, including constructed and planned rain gardens, parking lanes with pervious pavers, green roofs and pond. The handout was provided by Walnut Capital at the tour.
Dormont’s Stormwater Public Information Initiative
Congratulations to Dormont for their public information campaign “Stormwater 101” which was awarded the 2015 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence!
Visit Dormont’s website to see the series of informational flyers that were developed by an ad hoc committee of residents to inform and motivate community residents about stormwater management issues.
Spring Clean Your Concrete
Cleaning pervious concrete is a critical element in maintaining the system. This video demonstrates pervious concrete being cleaned using a "dry vacuum" cleaning method.
More information on pervious concrete is available on the Specify Concrete website.
Center for Watershed Protection Webinar
Photo Credit – Stormwater Maintenance and Consulting, from Chesapeake Stormwater Network’s Presentation: “Bioretention Maintenance: In the Trenches”
Green Infrastructure & Green Jobs
1-2:30 PM EST
Many existing workforce development and employment programs are expanding to incorporate installation and maintenance of green infrastructure practices, particularly in cities that are ramping up deployment of green infrastructure practices. While this is a natural fit, programs must be tailored carefully to include not only technical training, but other workforce skills and support. In some cases, green infrastructure trainees are acquiring certifications to enhance their chances for employment in the field. This webcast will features several programs around the country, and will highlight best practices for these types of programs, as well as critical lessons learned.
The Westmoreland Conservation District is hosting the Center for Watershed Protection's Green Infrastructure and Green Jobs webcast on May 20th from 1:00 - 2:30 PM. All webcasts will be broadcast at the J. Roy Houston Conservation Center, 218 Donohoe Rd., Greensburg, PA 15601.* Cost is $15 and includes all handouts and 1.5 professional development hours.
For more information about the webcast and to register, visit: http://wcdpa.com/event/webcast-3-green-infrastructure-green-jobs/
* Those wishing to view the webcast on their own computers will have to purchase their webcast access directly from the Center for Watershed Protection Price: Non-member $159/Member $99. Go to www.cwp.orgto register.
New research by U.S. Forest Service scientists and partners found reduced narcotics possession within a half-mile of Philadelphia’s new green stormwater infrastructure projects.
The article which recently appeared in the American Journal of Public Health , “The impact of green stormwater infrastructure installation on surrounding health and safety,” shows that narcotics possession after green stormwater infrastructure construction at treatment sites was 18% to 27% lower than at matched control sites. By contrast, there was a citywide 65% increase in narcotics possession between 2000 and 2012.
Why specifically narcotics possession? “That was a surprise,” said Michelle Kondo, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and the article’s lead author. “Police officers tell us that it could be an example of the ‘broken window’ theory. Green infrastructure and regular maintenance is making the area look cared for and less abandoned and thus less hospitable to criminal activity.”
Green Infrastructure Monitoring - Millvale’s Hawthorne Road Bioswale
In 2013, TreeVitalize Pittsburgh, a public-private partnership managed by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, partnered with the Borough of Millvale and the Sisters of St. Francis to construct this bioswale on Hawthorne Road in Borough of Millvale. The project was designed by Art Gazdik, Principal of Groundwork Civil and installed by Best Feeds Outdoor Design. Design and construction of the projects was funded by PENNVEST. The bioswale is almost 400 feet in length, has an 8% average slope, and is broken up into several pool and riffle sections and contains approximately 15,000 gallons of storage.
The bioswale was monitored from April to October of 2014 by Art Gazdik, using a grant obtained by the North Area Environmental Council from the Allegheny County Conservation District. The March 2015 Project Monitoring Report for the Hawthorne Bioswale Millvale Treevitalize Project is now available on the GIN Google site. The monitoring showed that the bioswale reduced peak flows, increased infiltration rates, and delayed the resulting discharges, with an average flow reduction of 89%. There is still a lack of GI monitoring data in the region, and the methods and data in the report helps to address this.
Art will present the monitoring project at the September 24th GIN meeting, scheduled for 9 – 11 a.m. at the Penn State Center at the Energy and Innovation Center.
GINspiration….Great GI projects in other places
Credit Mark Lee. The "Peace Walk" trail art on the Cultural Trail.
Whether they are exploring the heart of Indianapolis, heading for a museum or one of the new shops or restaurants the Cultural Trail has spawned, or out for daily exercise, everyone present travels past some of the 25,400 square feet of stormwater planters and rain gardens.
"They're working incredibly well," Kevin Osburn, RLA, ASLA, says of the planters and gardens. "Some have been in place since 2007. We started construction in 2006 and finished in 2012."
The stormwater planters nearest the streets range from 8 to 9 feet wide. They vary in length from a minimum of 12 or 15 feet to the longest that run the length of a block. The inner planters or rain gardens also vary in size, from 5 to 8 feet wide. The stormwater planters are placed so that water drops into them. "We've gone as deep as 2 feet. We never wanted them to be deeper than 30 inches so that we had to leave guard rails around the planters," explains Osburn.
The stormwater planters contain beehive overflow structures to send overflow during heavy rains to the sewer system, but they're designed to capture 99% of rain events. They do not have underdrains. "The soils and subsoils here are very sandy and gravelly," says Osburn. "We're blessed that we have that kind of soil medium to work with."
He notes, "Collecting runoff from the streets into the public right of way—that whole concept was new to the city. We worked closely with DPW [the Department of Public Works] to get them on board. We used five different planter designs in the first phase. The city was still apprehensive. But they worked well beyond what anyone expected, so we replicated them. The first phase covered only a half mile. We used that method of collecting stormwater for the next seven and a half miles."
For more information on this project see the article from the Stormwater Journal.