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Metropolitan Planning Council director highlights positive year for stormwater solutions

In a recent blog post, Josh Ellis, director of Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council, provided five reasons why 2015 was a good year in Chicago for stormwater management policy and infrastructure. Ellis cited the completion of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s Thornton Reservoir, which will prevent stormwater from entering Chicago area waterways, and referenced […]

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Green Infrastructure Toolkit Helps Address Urban Flooding in Midwest

Communities across the U.S. Midwest are seeking solutions to sewer overflows, basement backups, and other costly effects of urban flooding. New green infrastructure design templates now are available to help Midwest and Great Lakes region communities combat urban flooding and rethink stormwater management. The templates emerged an ongoing collaboration among Chicago-area government, nonprofit, and for-profit […]

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Illinois Creates Model Stormwater Ordinance for Communities

Flooding in urban areas from stormwater runoff may be mitigated when state and local governments plan a coordinated effort to reduce risk. The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) offered their support to communities by developing a model ordinance that city and county officials can use when revising […]

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Green Projects Reduce Stormwater, Improve Resiliency in Central Ohio

On Nov. 19, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) celebrated the opening of the new Scioto Greenways. The project is a 13-ha (33-ac) parkland with 2.4 km (1.5 mi) of multi-use trails. The project cost $36 million and involved removing the Main Street dam, planting 800 trees, and creating up to 350 jobs. MORPC provided […]

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MSD Announces $100 Million Rainscaping Program

On Dec. 22, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) announced a plan to complete $100 million in Rainscaping improvements to much of St. Louis City and portions of nearby North St. Louis County. Rainscaping practices include such features as rain gardens, bioretention cells, pervious pavement, and green roofs that slow and soak up rainwater […]

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Researchers Assess Green Infrastructure Effects at the Catchment Scale

In a new study, Kent State University and Cleveland Metroparks researchers have collected some of the first data testing the effectiveness of green infrastructure projects at the watershed scale. “[Green infrastructure] strategies are used throughout the country and in other countries, but the novel thing is that we were able to demonstrate that they work […]

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EPA Launches New Tool to Support Community Interest in Green Infrastructure

The Green Infrastructure Wizard, or GIWiz, is a new web-based tool from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is helping communities consider the benefits and uses of green infrastructure. The tool responds to growing community interest in using green infrastructure as a means of addressing water quality concerns and a range of other local […]

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Levee Protects Des Plaines River Communities from Flooding

In September, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) announced the completion of Levee 37, which will help prevent flooding in Des Plaines River communities. The levee will protect more than 600 existing homes and dozens of businesses in Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights from future flooding with an estimated annual savings of […]

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Detroit Future City Releases Guide to Revamping Vacant Lots

On Oct. 5, Detroit Future City (DFC) announced the release of a field guide for transforming vacant lots into assets. The guide offers step-by-step instructions and resources to transform vacant land into a variety of landscapes. This actionable tool is designed to improve neighborhoods by enhancing their physical appearance, contributing to more resilient natural infrastructure, […]

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Study Examines Performance of Trees in Bioswales

In a study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, researchers discovered that certain tree species were best at removing stormwater from bioswales and cycling runoff back to the atmosphere. The trees studied were planted in an upgraded parking lot at the Morton Arboretum, just outside of Chicago, in the 1990s. Partially funded by a […]

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