Green Infrastructure

PROGRAM SUMMARY

Green infrastructure is an approach to resource management decision-making that considers the interaction between natural areas and the built environment and looks to use natural systems to address environmental, economic and social priorities. Because green infrastructure can yield a number of benefits, the reason communities turn to this approach is varied. At the regional scale, green infrastructure tends to refer to the network of natural areas that provides habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water. At a more local or site scale, green infrastructure often refers to stormwater management systems that mimic nature by soaking up and storing water. 
 
In urban settings green infrastructure is primarily viewed as a method for addressing stormwater impacts, particularly those tied to water quality and quantity, while simultaneously delivering a host of other benefits. In these applications, green infrastructure relies on a combination of vegetation, soils, natural processes, and rain harvesting to manage wet weather and create healthier, more livable communities. When stormwater planning and the implementation of site-scale green infrastructure practices takes into consideration how these applications interact and function as a larger system, the impacts to water quality can be significant, and often at a cost that is less than an approach that relies on gray infrastructure alone.
 
For more information on the EFC`s green infrastructure program, please contact Jen Cotting at jcotting@umd.edu, 301.405.5495.
 

 RESOURCES

Interactive GI Map 

♦ Green Infrastucture Resources Directory

♦ Green Infrastructure in the Mid-South: Recommendations for Implementing and Financing Green Infrastructure Elements of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint Vision Plan

♦ Encouraging Efficient Green Infrastructure Investment

♦ City of Memphis Resource Directory

  PRESS

Warrington seeks help with picking properties, The Intelligencer, August, 27, 2014 

Green Infrastructure Map

The EFC has launched an interactive green infrastructure financing map that uses infrographics to showcase 20 diverse communities from across the country, with a special emphasis on the innovative financing tools they’ve used to build green communities. 

Supporting HUD Communities

The University of Maryland EFC is working with several other centers in the EFC Network to deliver capacity building technical assistance to recipients of HUD-EPA-DOT Sustainable Community Partnership Grants.  The assistance focuses on water and green infrastructure needs and has taken the form of large-scale workshops, community-specific “office hours” sessions, and development of a clearinghouse of additional outside resources.

Financing Green Infrastructure in Blair County, Pennsylvania

February 1, 2016

The EFC partnered with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and American Rivers on a multi-faceted effort, led by the Alliance, to build a green infrastructure program and create sustainable stormwater solutions across all 13 MS4s in Blair County.  The effort included both planning and implementation projects to help Blair County move forward in meeting water quality improvement goals and develop a sustainable, long-term regional program.

Warrington Township, Pennsylvania

In 2012, Warrington Township, Pennsylvania passed a voter approved referendum committing $3 million to open space protection. The EFC worked with Warrington Township to identify ways in which the community could leverage its open space dollars to serve multiple community priorities and gain additional benefits the community had not identified.