On Dec. 5, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced its Environmental Excellence Awards. One of the projects awarded is an innovative approach to stormwater management by the City of Rome in Oneida County. The city’s Canopy Restoration Project focused on using urban forestry to reuse vacant building space, increase property value, reduce runoff, and reinvest in Rome’s urban core. The city retrofitted downtown surfaces with porous pavement made from recycled tires and a subsoil (CU-Structural Soil) that prevents cracks and allows for healthy tree-root development. After conducting an initial tree inventory to determine the benefits provided by the city’s urban trees, the city planted 450 new trees in urban low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. Once mature, these trees will capture an estimated 2631 m3 (695,000 gal) of rainwater.
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