In an effort to encourage effective stormwater management practices on public parks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds released a report, Green Infrastructure in Parks: A Guide to Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement.
The 23-page guide presents a framework to help municipal parks agencies develop partnerships with stormwater managers. The report
- covers common questions about what green infrastructure is and some of the benefits it can provide,
- establishes a green infrastructure partnership planning timeline from identifying potential collaborators to undertaking pilot projects, and
- provides case studies detailing successful green infrastructure partnerships between park and stormwater managers from across the country.
Additionally, the report offers park managers guidance to match the unique conditions of their land to suitable green infrastructure solutions.
“Green infrastructure can help to maximize the environmental, economic, and social benefits of parks,” the guide reads. “By building strong partnerships, agencies can improve park lands and access to parks, better manage stormwater, increase community resiliency to shifting weather patterns, and provide funding to implement and maintain park enhancements that benefit the community.”
Public parks are a natural fit for green infrastructure installation. Typically, parks already contain open spaces that absorb stormwater. Many common park features – parking lots, roads, playing fields, and visitor centers – can be built or retrofitted with minimally invasive stormwater management measures to improve permeability, beautify the land, and minimize runoff pollution.