One of the major challenges to adoption of GI practices is uncertainty surrounding how they will be maintained. Operations and maintenance has been repeatedly raised as a technical barrier to adoption of green infrastructure and remains a concern for many local governments in the Chesapeake Bay region and across the country less familiar with these approaches. Similar to any type of infrastructure, without appropriate and consistent maintenance, green infrastructure will fail. For example, rain gardens can lose functionality and fail just like a neglected detention pond or a roadway. This report examines some of the major barriers to effective operations and maintenance of green infrastructure practices in the Chesapeake Bay region and identifies strategies and best practices that local governments, practitioners, and other groups are using to develop and improve maintenance practices.
Like all stormwater infrastructure, green infrastructure requires regular inspections and maintenance to assure proper function. Maintenance of green infrastructure generally requires more labor and less heavy equipment than maintenance of gray infrastructure. EPA lists resources which address what to look for when you inspect green infrastructure and how frequently to conduct maintenance activities.
A comprehensive examination of likely changes to urban forests due to climate change. Offers planning and policy recommendations. While written for British Columbia, applicable to entire Cascadia region.
Creating Complete Streets means transportation agencies must change their approach to community roads. By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Adding the green component to Complete Streets multiplies public benefits while it helps manage stormwater.
EPA maintains a series of web guides to all aspects of green infrastructure, from planning to funding and long-term maintenance. Especially useful to determine where and how green infrastructure and urban forestry can meet federal and state rules for stormwater management. Includes many case studies, tools and calculators.
The National Association of Regional Councils provides an up-to-date directory of regional planning organizations. Many are organized into state associations of RPOs.
This guide is intended to help engineers, planners, developers, architects, arborists, and public officials understand how trees perform and interact in a stormwater management system, and the new technologies that are being used to increase the stormwater utility function of the urban forest, even in the densest urban environments. The presence of trees in a streetscape, neighborhood, and community can decrease the amount of stormwater runoff and pollutants that reach local waters.
Lenexa, Kansas earned national recognition with its Rain to Recreation initiative. The program treats the water as an amenity for the community rather than a liability, using a range of green and grey infrastructure strategies to reduce flooding and protect water quality, while also providing recreational and educational opportunities for the community. Rain to Recreation uses regulatory and non-regulatory approaches, as well as major capital projects and land acquisition to achieve its goals. Trees play a key role within these strategies. Land within floodplains and riparian zones that are purchased outright are being restored with native vegetation, including trees to increase infiltration of rainwater and filter out pollutants before they reach the river.
This document provides approaches that local government officials and municipal program managers in small to midsize communities can use to incorporate green infrastructure components into work they are doing in public spaces. The document presents examples and case studies of how integrating green infrastructure methods can enhance retrofits and maintenance projects and provide other multiple community benefits.
EPA’s Green Infrastructure office provides extensive support to communities planning or implementing green infrastructure projects.