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Educational Resources

What is Green Infrastructure or Green Infrastructure BMPs

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Green Infrastructure or  Best Management Practices (BMPs) are systems that manage stormwater by absorbing and treating rainwater to improve water quality and reduce stormwater run-off. Stormwater runoff is when water flows over impervious surfaces (i.e. roads, roofs) from rainfall, often causing flooding, erosion, and pollution. Green Infrastructure or Green Infrastructure BMPs use plants, soils, and other materials to slow, filter, and cleanse stormwater runoff (i.e. plants, trees, permeable pavement).

Types of Green Infrastructure

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Bioretentions

A bed of native plants, soil mixture, and stone aggregate which filters and reduces stormwater runoff and removes pollution to improve water quality. In the Four Subwatersheds project, bioretentions are placed within curb extensions which extend the curb into the street and incorporate landscaping features. They can be used at roadway intersections, mid-block of a road, or along the length of a roadway. 

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Example of bioretention within a curb extension
Examples of  bioretentions in curb extensions on residential streets
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Bioretentions bump-outs in curb extensions on residential streets
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Diagram of how stormwater runoff flows into a bioretention system

Parking Lane Permeable Pavements and Green Alleys

Permeable pavers are surfaces that infiltrate, treat, and/or store rainwater where it falls. Porous pavements may be constructed from pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable interlocking pavers, and several other materials. These types of materials (pervious, porous, permeable) allows water to pass through the material. ​Green Alleys are alleys constructed with permeable pavers in place of impervious surfaces. 

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A green alley with permeable pavement
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A green alley

Bioretention and Permeable Pavement in Parking Lane

Bioretentions and permeable pavers can often be construed in the same area on the roadway which increases the benefits of green infrastructure BMPs

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Bioretention system and parking lane permeable pavement

How Does This Benefit You?

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Use as traffic calming to reduce roadway hazards for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. 

Neighborhood beautification

Conserve energy

Enhances streams and rivers