Green Infrastructure 101
Green infrastructure practices are site-specific stormwater management techniques that mimic natural hydrologic processes to slow down, provide storage, infiltrate, and allow the evaporation of rain and snowmelt where it falls. Alternatively, grey infrastructure – gutters, storm drains, pipes – is only designed to move stormwater away from the property into a stormwater pond or directly into a waterbody via a stormwater outfall. Examples of green infrastructure include:
Rain Barrels and Cisterns
Barrels, tanks and cisterns that capture roof water and store for a later use such as landscape irrigation, boat washing, etc.
Depressed areas with engineered soils and native and/or long-rooted plants to collect stormwater that allow it to be stored, be taken up by plants, or infiltrate into the ground.
Roofs designed with a waterproof membrane, drainage system, and a layer of plants to capture and absorb water.
Bioswales and Hybrid Ditches
Shallow channels designed with engineered soils, an underdrain, and planted with grass or native plants that help slow stormwater, filter out pollutants, and allow water to soak into the ground.
Permeable pavement systems allow stormwater and snowmelt to soak through the surface through pores, joints, or gaps, and into the ground below.
Infiltration practices capture and temporarily store stormwater, before allowing it to soak into the ground.
Tree and Planter Boxes
Compact stormwater collection systems that filter stormwater through layers of mulch, soil, and trees or plants.
Discharge of downspout reconnected into a rain garden, planter box, grassy area where it can soak into the ground, rain barrel, or cistern.
Grassy, landscaped, or native planted strips that intercept stormwater and debris from paved areas to prevent pollutants from going directly into a waterbody.
Designed wetland system that uses natural hydrologic processes and wetland vegetation to slow down stormwater and capture pollutants.
Landscaped areas planted or restored with native vegetation.
Preserving and Enhancing Wildlife Habitat
Maintaining and enhancing natural areas including trees, shorelines, and wetlands.