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Sources and Courses for Understanding More about Green Infrastructure Issues

Back to Basics

Biodiversity -- Everything Counts!

Biodiversity is one the basic ideas behind the Green Infrastructure Plan. Learn about biodiversity and how it connects Cheverly with the rest of our planet.

Ecology, Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services

What does it all mean? Find answers here.

Where to Look for Resources

Smart Growth Resource Library, Smart Growth Network

A searchable catalogue of reports, websites, tools and case studies dating from 1997 on.

Resources for Green Infrastructure Planning, Maryland State Department of Natural Resources
Bibliography, existing projects, GIS data and tools.

Resources and Publications, The Conservation Fund
Case studies, articles, books, websites and funding sources.

US Forest Service Open Space Programs
“The Forest Service has developed a Open Space Conservation Strategy to identify how the agency can best help conserve open space, with an emphasis on partnerships and collaborative approaches. The agency is interested in addressing the effects of the loss of open space on private forests; on National Forests and Grasslands and the surrounding landscape; and on forests in cities, suburbs, and towns.”

Chesapeake Watershed Network

“The Chesapeake Watershed Network is a community of organizations and individuals working to protect and restore the land and waters of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. “

Green Infrastructure: Ideas and Policies

When and where do we intervene in our natural areas? When and where do we let nature do its work?

Botanist Rod Simmons offers his ideas in "Hope and Reality for Urban Ecosystems," published in the Winter 2015 issue of Marilandica.

The Value of Green Infrastructure

A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic,
Environmental and Social Benefits

A new report by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers quantifies the economic value of green infrastructure’s benefits.

Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure

The basics of green infrastructure, with links to more information, from the EPA.

Conservation: An Investment That Pays

A Trust for Public Land report on the economic benefits of parks and conservation.


Green Infrastructure. The Conservation Fund

Green Infrastructure: Smart Conservation for the 21st Century. Mark A. Benedict and
Edward T. McMahon. Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse Monograph Series.
“This monograph is derived from Modules 2 and 4 of the Participants Manual for the May 2001 pilot offering of the Conservation Leadership Network course, Green Infrastructure: A Strategic Approach to Land Conservation.”

The Natural Capital Project: Aligning Economic Forces with Conservation. Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund
Includes a Natural Capital Modeling and Mapping Tool, http://www.naturalcapitalproject.org/toolbox.html

The Value of Open Space: Evidence from Studies of Nonmarket Benefits, Virginia McConnell and Margaret Walls (2005). Resources for the Future.

EPA Official Speaks on Green Infrastructure (2007).
“I believe that there are many opportunities for green infrastructure practices to be applied to protect water quality and enhance our communities. States and thousands of communities and transportation agencies across the nation face difficult challenges in meeting stormwater and sewer overflow regulatory requirements. Green infrastructure provides tools for these communities to meet regulatory requirements and nonregulatory needs in the context of broader community goals.”

Green Infrastructure Policy Issues Package. Wisconsin State Environmental Resource Center (SERC) (2004)
Talking points: Haphazard development needlessly damages the environment; Healthy ecosystems benefit human communities; Conservation is good, but smart conservation is better; Green infrastructure is smart conservation; Green infrastructure works within the context of human activities; Green infrastructure has many benefits.

Growing Greener: Conservation by Design. Natural Lands Trust
“Communities across Pennsylvania are realizing that they can conserve their special open spaces, greenways and natural resources at the same time they achieve their development objectives. How? Conservation through local zoning and subdivision ordinances, an approach we’re calling Growing Greener: Conservation by Design.” 

Outreach and Education 

Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature


Web Soil Survey
“Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information.”

Local and Regional Green Infrastructure Plans

Local plans

Open Space Master Plan, El Paso Texas (2007)
“The idea is to look at all the open-spaces, parks, trails, greenways, and natural undeveloped land, not as individual, discrete items, but rather to integrate them into an organized system.”

Green Infrastructure Document Draft (2007). Indianapolis Department of Public Works
A Department of Public Works takes the lead.

Potomac River Watershed Green Infrastructure Initiative. The Low Impact Development Center, Inc.
2003 workshop funded by National Park Service. “The goal of this initiative is to implement locally driven green infrastructure and LID designs by addressing and resolving the obstacles that impede their application.”

Growing a Greenspace Vision for Greater Atlanta
“Green infrastructure is strategically planned and locally managed networks of protected green space with multiple purposes. Its components include natural areas, open spaces and greenways. Green infrastructure provides economic, environmental and health-related benefits.”

Taos Green Infrastructure Plan (2004), Taos New Mexico   
“What are the three elements of Green Infrastructure? Hubs: Large continuous areas such as wilderness sites, parks, greenbelts, agricultural lands and historical/cultural sites; Links: Linear components that often times follow natural routes between hubs, including rivers, arroyos, acequias and trails; Gaps:Developed lands that could be targeted for restoration, including brownfield sites, mining areas and vacant lots.” Includes links to initial conceptual maps.

Green Infrastructure Plan for Saratoga County, Executive Summary (New York)
“The vision for the county’s green infrastructure network includes a system of unfragmented wildlife “hubs,” linked together by conservation greenways. It includes retention and conservation of core working landscapes of agriculture and forestry. It includes opportunities for people to connect to the land, through trails, parks and waterfront access.”

Green Infrastructure Plan for the St. Louis Region (2005)
“As our natural landscape diminishes, it is critical to determine the remaining natural and cultural resources in the region and take steps to protect and enhance a green infrastructure network. Green Infrastructure is a strategically planned and managed network of lands with conservation value that supports native species, maintains natural ecological processes, sustains air and water resources, and contributes to the health and quality of life of a region’s population.”

Open Space and Environmental Resource Protection Plan, Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (2004)
“The value of green infrastructure to a community is more than just aesthetic, green infrastructure also promotes economic development in commercial areas, increases property values in residential neighborhoods, saves energy, improves air quality and mitigates the impact of stormwater.”

Pantops, Albemarle Co Virginia, Master Plan (2007-2008)
Exceptionally detailed on-line documentation. 

Regional Plans
Green Infrastructure Strategy Model: Preserving Lifelines to Our Future

Summary of Iowa project. “The purpose of our efforts with this grant were to educate decision makers, city/county staff and stakeholders in the Runnells, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Mitchellville and Unincorporated Polk County areas regarding the concept of green infrastructure. We demonstrated to them how a green infrastructure plan can minimize the impact of development on water resources and provide outdoor recreation opportunities, improved health and safety, community character and economic benefits. Additionally, we illustrated that using green infrastructure to assist in the management of storm water management is a cost effective alternative to traditional public infrastructure. We engaged these individuals in the process of identifying the resources that are important to their community, mapped these resources for them and taught them about the tools available to protect these resources.”

Green Infrastructure: Designing with Nature. Mid-America Regional Council (2005)
“The Kansas City region will strive to create and implement cost-effective, green planning and design approaches that contribute to the health and quality of life of local communities, support wildlife species, maintain natural ecological processes, and sustain air and water resources.” “
Many communities increasingly appreciate the importance of “green infrastructure” — a planned,managed, interconnected network of natural areas like waterways, wetlands and forests; conservation lands like greenways and parks; and adjacent working lands like farms, ranches and corporate lands.”

Beaver Creek Watershed Green Infrastructure Plan. University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design (2004).
“A visioning exercise intended to create a reference document that can be used by a variety of individuals and institutions to guide decision-making about preservation, conservation, and development patterns.” 

Green Infrastructure Plan for Southeast Pennsylvania. Natural Lands Trust. (2003?)
“The real work is in greenway corridor development.” A slide presentation.

Green Infrastructure: An Integrated Approach to Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Community Planning.  Friends of Florida.
“The green infrastructure concept works to link and integrate open space pieces to one another as functional systems of forests, parks, trails and working rural lands.”


Learn Even More

Wink's Links

Resources selected for us by Wink Hastings, National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.

Subpages (2): Biodiversity Ecology