Green infrastructure refers to mimicking natural processes of dealing with stormwater. For example, instead of rainfall running off unnatural, hard surfaces, such as parking lots into storm sewers, green infrastructure can be used to absorb stormwater and create natural drainage conditions.
Our water resources – including lakes, streams, ponds, rivers, and wetlands – are valuable green infrastructure. For stormwater at a regional scale, green infrastructure allows rainwater to infiltrate into the ground or slowly move through a system instead of running off and contributing to localized flooding. At neighborhood and site scales, green infrastructure can reduce the need and costs for certain grey infrastructure, such as larger storm drains. Green infrastructure improves our water quality by removing pollutants such as sediment.
We work with communities and neighborhoods in southwestern Illinois to evaluate and implement green infrastructure at the site (e.g., yards, parks), neighborhood (e.g., ditches/swales, trees), and regional (e.g., creeks, rivers, wetlands) scales.