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Green Infrastructure Tour

In late May, more than two dozen elected officials, stormwater planners, urban planners, and engineers took a tour of some of the region’s green infrastructure installations. The bus tour was organized by the TMACOG Stormwater Coalition and Ohio Balanced Growth Program. At the various stops engineers and landscape architects involved with the projects explained the design and function of the infrastructure and took questions. Presenters included representatives of DGL Consulting Engineers, Edge Group, Hull and Associates, Tetra Tech, the City of Toledo, Mannik & Smith Group, Ohio EPA, Toledo Botanical Garden, Toledo Zoo, Visions of Cullen Park Community Group, and the Zepf Center.

People on the tour learned how green infrastructure is used to address flooding, treat stormwater pollution, and revitalize the region. They heard about practical problems of construction and maintenance and how these structures have improved water quality and aesthetics in urban areas.



Tim Bockbrader, Principal with Edge Group, points out stormwater infrastructure
at Hensville.

Hensville, at the corner of Summit and Monroe streets across from Fifth Third Field, is an example of green infrastructure incorporated in a highly urbanized area. Designers began with a flat paved parking lot which drained stormwater into combined sanitary and stormwater sewers. The completed project collects the stormwater and directs it to trees planted in engineered soils. The water filters through the soils where it is naturally treated, and some of the water is taken up in the trees’ biomass. Any excess water is directed to stormwater drains that are separated from sanitary. All of the infrastructure is below ground, making maximum use of the space.

 




Cullen Park, at Summit St. and 101st St. adjacent to a Lake Erie marina, is a
large-scale stormwater wetland constructed in 2015 that now incorporates bird
habitat and birdwatching facilities. A series of vernal pools hold excess stormwater, naturally treating water and creating attractive habitat.


Other stops on the tour included Toledo Botanical Garden, scene of a dam removal and hydrologic restoration; The Toledo Zoo; and The Zepf Center and Uptown Green, both in downtown Toledo.

The bus tour was hosted by TMACOG’s Stormwater Coalition with support from American Rivers, Cleveland State University, and Ohio EPA. Sponsored by the Ohio Balanced Growth Program.


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