Bioswales are a critical component of a water-sensitive urban design (or a low-impact urban design), and incorporation of trees into these green infrastructural components is believed to be a novel way to return stored water to the atmosphere via transpiration. This research was conducted in The Morton Arboretum’s main parking lot, which is one of the first and largest green infrastructure installations in the midwestern United States. The parking lot is constructed of permeable pavers and tree bioswales. Trees in bioswales were evaluated for growth and condition and for their effects on water cycling via transpiration.
From rain barrels to conservation landscaping to tree canopy, Montgomery County, MD has produced a comprehensive handbook with step-by-step instructions on how to implement home-sized stormwater management programs. Most can be implemented by the homeowner; some may require contractor assistance. In cases where contractors are required, the guide lists some of the criteria you might chose to select one.
EPA synthesizes the various ways costs and benefits of gray and green infrastructure can be assessed and compared. A must read for newcomers to the issue; it makes a powerful case, and shows how others can do the same. Complete document offers case studies, tools, calculators and extensive resource materials.
Trees and forests have a natural ability to reduce stormwater runoff. As more and more communities encourage or even require the use of natural vegetative systems as part of their stormwater management programs, municipal planners and engineers require technical tools that allow them to quantify the stormwater benefits of this “green infrastructure” in a way that works seamlessly with existing models and methods. This fact sheet summarizes methods and tools to account for the ability of green infrastructure to reduce runoff and remove pollutants. It is organized into two categories:
- Methods for incorporating green infrastructure into runoff models
- Models and calculators for estimating the functions, benefits, and economics of green infrastructure
Many different types of tree BMP’s exist. On this website the most prevalent types pertaining to stormwater management are described: tree preservation, bioretention, and paved surfaces.
This toolkit aims to provide municipal managers and decision-makers with a clearer understanding of how to identify opportunities for green infrastructure implementation, which green infrastructure treatments are most suitable for a specific site or purpose, and how to make informed decisions based on reasonable cost estimates.
The Green Build-out Model is a planning tool that quantifies the cumulative stormwater management benefits of trees and green roofs for different coverage assumptions across the District of Columbia. It calculates potential reductions in stormwater runoff within the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) and the combined sewer system (CSS) that contribute to water quality impairment in the Nation’s capital.
The City of Lancaster Plan, prepared by CH2M Hill, covers all aspects of green infrastructure from top to bottom, roof to trees, rain barrels to curb cuts. This plan is notable for its focus on targeting the right practice to the right place, estimating potential life-cycle costs, offering schematic designs and illustrations, comparing green to gray alternatives, and providing step-wise guidelines for implementation. For planneers and officials uncertain where to begin, the plan sketches and supports a protocol for identifying high priority projects.
The release of the STAR Community Rating System (STAR) in 2012 marked an important milestone in the urban sustainability movement. Hundreds of stakeholders worked together by consensus to deliver a common framework for sustainability with nationally accepted standards for measuring the depth and breadth of the social, economic, and environmental issues that our nation’s cities and counties are facing. STAR stands for Sustainability Tools for
This article presents the results of a study proving the effectiveness of using trees in bioswales. A bioswale integrating an engineered soil and trees was installed in a parking lot to evaluate its ability to reduce storm runoff, pollutant loading, and support tree growth. Storm runoff, pollutant loading, and tree growth were measured. The bioswale reduced runoff by 88.8% and total pollutant loading by 95.4%. The engineered soil provided a better aeration and drainage for tree growth than did the control’s compacted urban soil. The superior performance of the bioswale demonstrated its potential use for large-scale application in parking lots and roadsides to reduce runoff and support tree growth.