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Education & Outreach   CSO044 - NYWEA 2012
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Education & Outreach CSO044 - NYWEA 2012


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What originally began as a means to provide plantings to disguise aboveground features on the project, evolved into a public educational area which is anticipated to include rain gardens, porous …

What originally began as a means to provide plantings to disguise aboveground features on the project, evolved into a public educational area which is anticipated to include rain gardens, porous pavements, and a bicycle and pedestrian path. The process that the County, its engineers, and the community stakeholders participated in to shape the CSO project restoration into a design that will meet the project needs of all involved will be discussed, in addition to “lessons learned”.

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  • Midland RTF is a wet weather storage and treatment facility: 2.5MG storage followed by 330 cfs of treatment (vortex separators, followed by high-rate disinfection)
  • These are the items the project team perceived to be issues to the community
  • We wanted to work with the leaders early on to understand how to provide the best communication to the public
  • Identify community leaders and neighborhood organizationsIdeas as to where to look – community centers, etc.In our project area, two main groups had already established themselves in the community: SUN (which works to….) and POC (which works to…)
  • It’s difficult to enforce what’s going on off-site; we and the CPM let the contractor know this was a big priority for the residents, and the CPM checked in with SUN to see if the community felt there were any issues.
  • This is not our site! This is what we were trying to avoid
  • The community leaders indicated displeasure from community members about aboveground vents and fenced areas that were installed under the RTF project.
  • The vents and control cabinets are associated with the existing conveyance flushing system. The cabinets and fencing needed to remain, however, the vents were revised to be at-grade structures which would be not be visibly obtrusive
  • We worked with the team’s landscape architect to develop a plan to improve aesthetics with respect to the fenced areas. The fenced areas could not be completely hidden with shrubs due to safety and operation concerns. The control cabinets and fence posts will be painted green, and the chain link fence fabric will be replaced with green vinyl coated fabric. Plantings and shrubs will also be provided to redirect the focus of the eye.
  • How did we address the community’s concerns?Construction management team provided updates on the construction at SUN meetings
  • The community leaders and project team wanted to incorporate elements of green infrastructure into project restoration
  • This is where the public outreach really took a turn. We started out incorporating green infrastructure and LID practices; however, the community leaders wanted to look at how to improve the green space. OEI is a local non-profit organization focused on advancing environmental education, planning, and restoration in Central New York. OEC is a youth organization focused on revitalizing the urban environment through urban forestry, green infrastructure and outreach efforts. Since OEI and OEC were focused on the same goal (educating the public about Green Infrastructure) Onondaga County reached out to them for assistance with facilitating community planning discussions. This is where the County Executive really made a commitment to work with the communities and implement Green Infrastructure. It wasn’t originally a part of the project, but the County Executive’s office supported the community’s desire to improve their environment through stormwater management.
  • The purpose of the add’l community meetings was to….. (fade in picture): one of the key success factors in the community meeting was the manner in which the education portion was presented: enthusiastic, educated, young community members led the education portion of the program
  • The community was so enthused about what they learned, they decided to restore their area in a way that could educate others about green infrastructure. There was discussion about having this be a destination for school field trips
  • Discuss each item in detail and how it relates to stormwater management and education. Rain gardens will receive flow from catch basins that are tributary to combined sewers. Porous pavement pathway will be used – will serve as a means to keep a dirt path from forming. Along the way, there will be educational signage relating to green infrastructure. While the butterfly gardens don’t add any true stormwater management benefits, the community wanted these as a way to beautify their area. Onondaga Earth Corps will solicit volunteers from the community to plant the rain gardens. The remaining work (including preparation of the rain garden beds) will be completed by the County’s project contractor.
  • Could sum up the lessons in the first bullet – this is key. Remember, communication is 2 ways: it’s important to convey your message, but also be sure the community feels that they are being heardAfter you have established relationships with the community leaders, use them as advocates for the project. The community respects and trusts them already – show the community that you trust them, too, by giving them pieces to present at “your” public meeting
  • We were working with a compressed schedule; however, we should have started earlier on the restoration meetings. By the time these meetings were held, the project was already out to bid. It wasn’t until the restoration meetings were being held that the immediate residents attended a meeting.
  • The public outreach on this project was truly a team effort, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t recognize….
  • Transcript

    • 1. Working Together: A Case Study Involving Community Stakeholders During the Design of the CSO 044 Conveyance Project Onondaga County, New YorkPresenter: Co-Authors:Kristin Angello, PE Nicholas CapozzaMalcolm Pirnie, the Water Division of ARCADIS Onondaga County Department of Water EnvironmentPresented at: ProtectionNew York Water Environment Association84th Annual Meeting Donald Geisser, PENew York, NY Malcolm Pirnie, the WaterFebruary 7, 2011 Division of ARCADIS Joanne Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive
    • 2. Presentation Agenda• Project Background• Project Issues• Methodology• Lessons Learned 2
    • 3. CSO 044 Conveyance ProjectBackground• Large CSO (115 acre sewershed)• Midland Avenue CSO Regional Treatment Facility (RTF) located nearby ▫ 2.5 MG and 330 cfs storage and treatment facility• Extend existing conveyances 500 linear feet to CSO 044• 96-inch diameter pipe, with conveyance flushing 3
    • 4. Project Site 4
    • 5. Project Issues• Deep excavation (approximately 40 feet)• Installation of steel sheeting• Heavy equipment in close proximity to residences• Loss of normal vehicular access to properties• Closure of several roads and sidewalks 5
    • 6. Methodology• Work with the community early in the design process. 6
    • 7. Identify Community Leaders• Neighborhood organizations• Community Centers• Prominent Faith Centers• Schools• Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN)• Partnership for Onondaga Creek 7
    • 8. Community Learns why the Projectis Important• Will improve the health of the creek• Court-mandated project• Can provide the community with an opportunity to “build it better”• Also a chance to explain anticipated disruptions 8
    • 9. Project Team Learns what isImportant to the Community• Construction Traffic• Idling Trucks• Dust Control• Aboveground Features• Information and Communication 9
    • 10. Construction Traffic• Included the City ordinance in the Project Documents ▫ Limited construction traffic to City of Syracuse Designated Truck Routes• Required Contractor and subcontractors to adhere to ordinance 10
    • 11. Idling Trucks• City ordinance did not exist• Required Contractor and his subcontractors to turn off trucks if not part of active construction 11
    • 12. Dust control• Requirements to control dust included in the Project Documents and enforced during construction 12
    • 13. Aboveground Features 13
    • 14. 14
    • 15. • Insert picture of before 15
    • 16. Information and Communication• Multiple workshops throughout design• Presented project at SUN meetings• Construction updates provided at SUN meetings 16
    • 17. Project Restoration• Bioretention basin• Bioinfiltration swales• Recycling of captured stormwater to perform supplemental conveyance flushing 17
    • 18. Project Restoration Image source: Google Earth Pro 18
    • 19. Additional Community Meetings• Onondaga Environmental Institute• Onondaga Earth Corps 19
    • 20. Additional Community Meetings• Educated the community on the importance of stormwater management• Discussed project restoration• Facilitated a brainstorming discussion as to how the community wanted their neighborhood restored 20
    • 21. The Community Spoke…• Trail for Education and Demonstration ▫ Porous walkway/bike way ▫ Exercise, walking and educational opportunities ▫ Rain gardens ▫ Educational stations ▫ Butterfly garden 21
    • 22. DesignElements• Rain gardens• Porous pavement educational trail (with signage)• Butterfly garden 22
    • 23. 23
    • 24. 24
    • 25. Lessons Learned - Successes• Communication and Education• Start early• Work with established community groups ▫ Establish relationships and advocates ▫ Have youth and community leadership speak and present at the public meetings 25
    • 26. Lessons Learned - Improvements• Start earlier• Ensure you’re meeting with the right stakeholders 26
    • 27. Acknowledgements• Onondaga County• CDM/C&S, A Joint Venture• Landscape & Prospect• Onondaga Environmental Institute• Onondaga Earth Corps 27
    • 28. Thank You! Questions ?