Designing with Nature in Detroit: Innovative approach to incorporating green infrastructure captures rainwater while beautifying neighborhoods

"I am overjoyed when I look at these projects and think about what they are doing. One thing that we have in this city is land. We have tons and tons of land. And being able to make that land productive is going to be an amazing benefit for us in the future. So I hope that we can continue to do these types of projects and that we can inspire others to do them, as well," said Palencia Mobley.

Rain Garden Initiative: Cleveland Botanical Garden spearheads “Vacant to Vibrant” region-wide pilot program (Indiana, Ohio and New York)

Three cities in the United States are part of a pilot program by the Cleveland Botanical Garden aimed at helping communities struggling with abandoned homes. Sandra Albro said the work isn’t meant to be the answer for all vacant properties, but it is one approach. “In many of the neighborhoods in Gary and Cleveland, these are the first investments that have taken place in these neighborhoods in decades,” she said.

Leading Change in the USA: Seattle’s Strategy Would Accelerate Adoption of “Green Stormwater Infrastructure”

“Green stormwater infrastructure is a valuable tool for us, because it helps us prevent stormwater pollution and greens our neighborhoods at the same time. This win-win combination is critically important," stated Mayor Edward Murray. Seattle's Strategy sets an interim goal of managing 400 million US gallons of stormwater runoff annually with Green Stormwater Infrastructure by the year 2020.

GREEN CITY, CLEAN WATERS: “The opportunities ahead will be limited only by the confines of our imaginations and the extent of our determination,” says Howard Neukrug, Water Commissioner, City of Philadelphia

“We want regulations, incentives, policies in place so that it’s not the water department that is designing the street or designing the building or the rain garden. That needs to be done by public or private entities,” stated Howard Neukrug. "And so we’re leading the way, we’re demonstrating, we’re innovating, putting things in place. But then we’re stepping back and letting others take over."

“The key to the Whole Systems approach is understanding the integrated significance of the three flow paths in a watershed,” says Chris May, Kitsap County

“We at Kitsap County have used this Whole Systems concept to develop our strategy for retrofit and rehabilitation – it is not sufficient to do only a single (or even a few) things – it is necessary to do everything! We know we need to work on multiple scales and on multiple fronts to improve conditions in our small stream watersheds – that’s our strategy," states Chris May.

“To protect watershed health, understand the watershed as a Whole System,” says Dr. Richard Horner, University of Washington (Seattle)

In the mid-1990s, the pioneer work of Dr. Richard Horner and Dr. Chris May resulted in a hydrology-based framework for protecting watershed health. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Dr. Richard Horner. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat, and aquatic life.”

Green City, Clean Waters: City of Philadelphia names first “Stormwater Pioneer”

The Stormwater Pioneers program showcases innovation and a true dedication by property owners and others to decrease pollution. "We're hoping to keep trash, debris and other pollution out of the water supply so that everyone can enjoy a clean Schuylkill River. If we can play a small part in making the environment better for the next generation, that's a major plus for us," stated Joe Jaconski.