Green Streets Vermont Training Materials
Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (2018). Green Streets Vermont Training Materials, Grand Isle, VT: Lake Champlain Basin Program.
Municipal officials would benefit from guidance on how to incorporate cost effective, green infrastructure in urban roadside environments. Adherence to green infrastructure principles, practices, and the adoption of new technologies has proven to be effective at providing a suite of community benefits including stormwater management, energy savings, wildlife habitat, social and health values, and economic benefits. Of particular importance is the use of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) in urban roadside environments to address drainage and stormwater runoff issues that are too common along traditional streets. Optimal stormwater management looks beyond simply removing rainfall as quickly as possible, which risks negative environmental impacts associated with both stormwater quality and quantity, increased polluted runoff, sedimentation, and bank erosion. Instead, GSI focuses on efforts to retain and treat – or even eliminate – runoff at the source and improve water quality.
To meet this need we developed a comprehensive green street guidance document, Vermont Green Streets Guide, and associated training materials that provide practical information and advice on how to incorporate trees, landscaping, and other green infrastructure techniques to create high quality urban roadside environments in Vermont. The guidance document includes primarily Vermont and regional examples of green infrastructure and identifies specific practices based on cost-effectiveness, maintenance needs, benefits, and public appeal. Some examples include replacement of closed drainage with grass swales, tree planting, replacement of existing raised islands in parking lots with sub-grade islands or rain gardens, and other landscaping solutions.
The Vermont Green Streets Guide is a resource for community leaders, community planners, and policymakers wishing to advocate for and implement Green Streets throughout Vermont. It serves as a step-by-step document for communities to identify why Green Streets are relevant, where and how they can be implemented, and who will implement and maintain them.
The Guide is also a tool to help community leaders evaluate the role of their streets and parking lots in the environmental, economic, and social networks of their communities. It offers a framework for intentional design that incorporates natural systems into the urbanized contexts of streets and parking lots under local or state jurisdiction. It is intended for new developments, retrofits, redevelopments, and anywhere Green Streets opportunities exist within and adjacent to the public right-of-way or parking lots.