USA: Updated green infrastructure toolkit serves as a regional resource
Central Ohio communities know that environmentally sustainable storm water infrastructure – or green storm water infrastructure (GSI) – not only serves to improve the region’s streams and rivers, but is a long-term approach that can protect the safety and health of residents while saving taxpayer dollars. Now communities have even greater access to green storm water infrastructure information through the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC’s) updated Green Infrastructure Toolkit.
Green storm water infrastructure combines natural and engineered systems by mimicking natural processes. GSI can improve water quality and reduce the quantity of storm water runoff by slowing it down, providing storage, and allowing for infiltration right where the water falls. Examples of green infrastructure include: bioretention areas, such as plantings in parking lot islands; rain gardens; and wetland and floodplain preservation and restoration.
MORPC’s Green Infrastructure Toolkit debuted in 2017 and highlights examples of green infrastructure procedures, models, and tools used in Central Ohio, around the state, and across the country – illustrating how to select the most appropriate methods, policies, and codes for local needs. MORPC partnered with the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District and local communities to develop the toolkit’s interactive map.
With the most recent update of the toolkit, those in MORPC’s area of interest have better access to training resources and local case studies. The training resources point to certifications, as well as educational tools and resources, which can be used as local governments make decisions regarding managing storm water.
Local case studies emphasize that green infrastructure strategies can be a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing solution to reduce the impact of storm water runoff while promoting economic vitality. The Toolkit provides information about the practices implemented, funding sources when available, and provides images of in-the-ground BMPs implemented in Central Ohio.
“Our hope is that the Green Infrastructure Toolkit continues to inspire better and more environmentally friendly ways to deal with storm water runoff, as well as to provide best management practices to our local governments when looking at adjusting their local codes and regulations so that more of these methods can be put in place" - MORPC Planning and Environment Director Kerstin Carr