Green Infrastructure Planning
Green infrastructure systems and practices are used to restore and maintain natural processes in streams and rivers in order to reduce the hydrologic and water quality impacts of the built environment while providing multiple societal benefits. This approach to stormwater management can support urban sustainability and use limited financial resources more efficiently by utilizing the natural treatment abilities of plants, trees, and soil to protect water quality, reduce runoff volumes and recharge groundwater supplies.
Green Infrastructure Implementation
CVRPC is partnering with municipalities to help them evaluate how green infrastructure can be applied in their community.
In 2009 CVRPC focused on the importance of green infrastructure planning by developing a GIS model that helps to quantify the benefit of incorporating low impact development (LID) techniques into existing and future development. The GIS model inventories stormwater infrastructure such as catch basins, drainage lines, drainage ditches, and culverts and also records certain features of natural drainage patterns (hydrology). Using this information, CVRPC is able to develop recommended upgrades to the stormwater management system, using green stormwater infrastructure practices. This may include vegetated swales, bioretention treatment structures, constructed wetlands or other drainage or treatment techniques.
The Town of Northfield has sucessfully completed this mapping process, and has installed a new structure on Central Street to treat stormwater runoff from the neighborhood drainage area.
Additionally CVRPC was awarded funds to construct a large Bio Retention area behind
the Legion Hall on Depot Square in Northfield, VT.
- CVRPC Northfield, VT Bio Retention Site State of Vermont Contract
- Preliminary Designs for Bio Retention Site
Municipal Outreach & Education
To bring information on green infrastructure to municipal officials, various resources are available through CVRPC. The Vermont Association of Planning & Development Agencies has created a Green Infrastructure Toolkit for Vermont Municipalities. It connects officials to partner organizations working on water quality, as well as educational publications, websites, case studies and info on regulations and permits. CVRPC also hosts workshops and presentations on Green Infrastructure. Workshops have included informational slides, as well as hands on exercises and visits to green stormwater infrastructure installations.
Municipal Plans & Land Use Regulations
During Fall 2013, CVRPC conducted an assessment of the Municipal Plans, Zoning Bylaws and Subdivision Regulations of 3 municipalities to identify gaps and assess barriers to Green Infrastructure, and prepare preliminary recommendations to overcoming those barriers. Following that assessment, CVRPC also worked directly with one municipality to draft model Green Infrastructure ordinance language.
Municipal plan and bylaw reviews were completed for the Towns of Northfield, Warren and Cabot. These reports can be downloaded at the following links:
- Town of Northfield: Green Infrastructure Assessment
- Town of Warren: Green Infrastructure Assessment
- Town of Cabot: Green Infrastructure Assessment