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What is Green Infrastructure?

Green Infrastructure (GI) refers to a suite of techniques designed to mimic nature by increasing the area that rainwater can infiltrate into the soil, slowing it down to allow natural filtration and groundwater recharge.

There are many ways to implement GI from large municipal projects to smaller scale business, parking lots or home landscapes. Here is a partial list of GI elements:

Bioretention: Anytime the landscape is graded or shaped to keep stormwater on site while it infiltrates into the ground, it is known as bioretention. Examples of this include vegetated swales, rain gardens, and detention basins. These all use depressions in the earth to retain water.

Pervious pavements: Also known as permeable or porous pavement, this can be asphalt or concrete with empty voids built in to allow water to permeate through it. While not recommended for heavy road use, pervious pavements work well in pedestrian, bicycling, and parking applications.

Green Streets, Green Alleys: A solution that integrates several different GI elements into one streetscape. An example could include a downtown area with rain gardens, pervious pavement, street trees and planter boxes.


Green Infrastructure Basics, EPA:

What is Green Infrastructure?, NGICP:

What is Green Infrastructure?, American Rivers:

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  1. Toni Pogue

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