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Clean Rivers, Clean Lake 8 -- Green Infrastructure Vision-- Jeffrey Mengler


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Clean Rivers, Clean Lake 8 -- Green Infrastructure Vision-- Jeffrey Mengler

  1. 1. Isn’t Chicago Wilderness an Oxymoron?
  2. 2. Green Infrastructure ??
  3. 3. But Seriously, What is Green Infrastructure?• Chicago Wilderness Definition: – Green Infrastructure – interconnected network of natural areas and open space that conserves ecosystem values and functions that sustain our society. – Which is based on definitions used and published by The Conservation Fund and the book Green Infrastructure by Benedict and McMahon
  4. 4. What is Green Infrastructure?• Contrast that definition with that of USEPA:An approach to wet weather management thatis cost-effective, sustainable, andenvironmentally friendly. Green infrastructuremanagement approaches and technologiesinfiltrate, evapo-transpire, capture, and reusestorm water to maintain or restore naturalhydrologies. --- which is more focused on wateras it may be used here in Sweetwater.
  5. 5. CW Original Project PurposeDevelop a tangible,green infrastructurevision that reflectedthe goals andrecommendations ofthe BiodiversityRecovery Plan.
  6. 6. Project Approach• Held a series of workshops with CW members and resource agencies – over 90 participants – Initial workshop with Metropolis 2020 – Follow-up meetings w/NE Illinois advisors (corrections and additions) – Workshop in SE Wisconsin – Workshop in NW Indiana – Input from City of Chicago green infrastructure process
  7. 7. The Background Data• Baseline data included: – Streams and rivers – Floodplains – Wetlands and lakes – Woodlands – Grasslands – Natural areas – Publicly owned natural lands – Watershed boundaries
  8. 8. Summary• Over 140 resource protection areas identified, totaling over 1.8 million acres• Compares to: – 360,000+ acres of protected public natural open space in Chicago Wilderness – over 6 million total acres within the 3- state assessment area
  9. 9. • Green Infrastructure Vision at four scales: – Regional - by working with regional planning agencies incorporate conservation development principles and natural resource preservation and stewardship into land use and transportation plans. – Community - by incorporating principles of biodiversity conservation, sustainability, and people- friendly design into land use plans and ordinances. – Neighborhood - by promoting the preservation of natural spaces, conservation design and access to nature into developing communities, and – Site - by promoting native landscaping, the use of rain gardens and rain barrels, and through the greening of schoolyards and other community open spaces.
  10. 10. Ongoing GIV Implementation• Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge & ICC Pilot• Millennium Reserve & Calumet ICC Pilot• S.W.A.T. – Sustainable Watershed Action Team• Knowledge Base Pilot• CW Outreach Plan• Field Museum GI Workshop Series• Environmental Practice GI Theme Issue• Chicago GI Plan• NW Indiana Regional Plan• Transportation Initiative• Trees and Green Infrastructure initiative
  11. 11. ImplementationFocusAreas
  12. 12. Develop and disseminate tools Sustainability Guide for Municipalities Conservation Design: Model Ordinance Cost/benefit analysis Natural Landscaping Guide• Local jurisdictions were unfamiliar with GI concepts and conservation planning
  13. 13. CMAP GoTo 2040 Plan“Goal: Increase Conservation Open Space from 250,000 to 400,000 acres”
  14. 14. RecommendationsA top GO TO 2040 priority is to expand thegreen infrastructure network: – Increase parks. Provide more parks in developed areas to increase park accessibility. – Preserve natural areas. Preserve the most important natural areas in the region. – Make connections. Provide functional connections between parks and preserves, using the green infrastructure network as a design concept.
  15. 15. Refinement of the CW Green Infrastructure Vision August 2, 2011
  16. 16. Identified Primary Landscape Types and Attributes• Landscapes are “a mosaic of ecosystems or land uses that possess common attributes that are repeated across a large area.” (Richard Forman)• Landscapes provide the rationale for deciding what resource attributes or features to include and connect within your green infrastructure network.• Landscapes can be categorized in a variety of ways depending upon your network design goals Landscape Type Landscape Attribute • Forests • Large blocks of unfragmented forests that support forest interior and neo-tropical migratory bird • Wetlands species • Freshwater aquatic • High quality wetland complexes that provide flood systems mitigation and water quality benefits • Minimally impaired stream reaches with riparian • Prairies vegetation, within minimally impacted watersheds that support water quality and wildlife habitat • Large blocks of native prairie that support endangered area sensitive bird species
  17. 17. Collected and Assessed GIS Data for Network Design • Data quality assessment – Find best available data – Fitness for use – Spatial/Attribute Consistency – Lineage – Currency – Completeness – Resolution Data Quality Assessment Matrix
  18. 18. Design and Connect Network Features Core Areas: • Contain fully functional natural ecosystems • Provide high-quality habitat for native plants and animals Hubs: • Slightly fragmented aggregations of core areas, plus contiguous natural cover Corridors: • Link core areas together • Allow animal movement and seed and pollen transfer between core areas
  19. 19. What are the Results and Benefits of this Green Infrastructure Network?•Need Much More Monitoring of Projects atall 4 Scales•Organizations like USEPA, Center forNeighborhood Technology trying to gather•Some Studies like one in Ohio . . .
  20. 20. Study used a reverse auction economic incentive to place raingardens and rain barrels onto parcels in a 1.8-km2 watershed nearCincinnati, Ohio.Hydrologic, water-quality, and ecological monitoring programdocumented environmental conditions before and after treatment.Results were installation of 83 rain gardens and 176 rain barrels ontomore than 20% of the propertiesPreliminary analyses indicate that the overall discharge regime wasaltered by the treatments.Distributed storm-water installations contributed to ecosystemservices such as flood protection, water supply, and water infiltration;provided benefits to the local residents; and reduced the need for larger,expensive, centralized retrofits (such as deep tunnel storage). -Environmental Practice 14:57–67 (2012)
  21. 21. Gray Infrastructure
  22. 22. Water Quality and Quantity. . .
  23. 23. Questions