Summary

Students are introduced to innovative stormwater management
strategies that are being used to restore the hydrology and water
quality of urbanized areas to pre-development conditions.
Collectively called green infrastructure (GI) and low-impact
development (LID) technologies, they include green roofs and
vegetative walls, bioretention or rain gardens, bioswales, planter
boxes, permeable pavement, urban tree canopy, rainwater
harvesting, downspout disconnection, green streets and alleys, and
green parking. These approaches differ from the traditional
centralized stormwater collection system with the idea of handling
stormwater at its sources, resulting in many environmental,
economic and societal benefits. A PowerPoint® presentation
provides photographic examples, and a companion file gives
students the opportunity to sketch in their ideas for using the
technologies to make improvements to 10 real-world design
scenarios.

Engineering Connection
Green infrastructure and low-impact development are decentralized
stormwater management strategies that provide on-site water
quantity and water quality treatment. These systems utilize
physical, chemical and biological principles to improve the water
quality of urban stormwater runoff. Under natural conditions (pre-
development), stormwater runoff has unabated access to the soil
surface. This stormwater runoff recharges the groundwater supply
and provides a certain level of stormwater cleansing, improving the
long-term security of drinking water supplies and supporting
ecosystem function. Green infrastructure is considered a new
technology and significant civil and environmental engineering
research is underway. Engineers are taking a look at how nature

Educational Standards  Florida: Science  International Technology and Engineering Educators Association: Technology  Next Generation Science Standards: Science Learning Objectives After this lesson. that is.naturally manages stormwater and nutrients and conducting research to understand how to best design. where the rain falls.  Explain the advantages of green infrastructure and low-impact development technologies compared to traditional stormwater infrastructure. The guiding principle of low-impact development (LID) is to manage water resources at their sources. Introduction/Motivation Today we will discuss green infrastructure and low-impact development. install and maintain these systems over their anticipated lifespans. which are beneficial technologies that provide controls for water quantity (volume) and water quality (treatment) of stormwater runoff within urban watersheds. students should be able to:  Describe the guiding principles of green infrastructure and low- impact development. and where it would go without .  Select location-appropriate green infrastructure and low-impact development technologies.

Green infrastructure systems are sustainable solutions to the traditional centralized stormwater treatment.human influence." To achieve sustainable development." From an environmental perspective. provides natural stormwater management. reduces energy usage. 2013) Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers Lesson Overview  Present the GI and LID Technologies Presentation (a PowerPoint® file) using the slide narration content provided below. 2) social and 3) economic. and improved psychological well-being. . Social aspects to consider are the beautification and increase in recreational opportunities. Sometimes this is referred to as the "triple bottom line. 1987). improved health through cleaner air and water. improves water quality. green infrastructure increases groundwater. (Katzenmoyer. Green infrastructure (GI) is a type of LID that uses natural systems to manage stormwater runoff in a decentralized fashion. three pillars of sustainability must be addressed: 1) environment. and increases natural habitat. The most well-known definition of sustainable development was introduced in the Brundtland Report (WCED. typically receiving stormwater from areas less than two acres in size. and preferably less than one acre. Economic concerns that are met range from reduced future costs of stormwater management to increasing property values and local tourism. "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

They also provide a level of treatment (quality) based on a one-size fits all approach. a method that is less reliable at targeting specific pollutants of concern. at which they adequately perform. These systems are designed to capture and attenuate a specified volume (quantity) of water from large areas. Instead of treating an entire neighborhood. treating stormwater at the sites. in a decentralized fashion (Passeport. these systems are designed to capture stormwater runoff from a handful of homes. If no second projector is available. project on the classroom board the GI and LID Technologies Design Scenarios(also a PowerPoint® file). 2009). applying the GI and LID technologies. typically 10 to 100 acres. A low-impact development approach to stormwater management is typically applied to areas less than 2 acres and favorably less than 1 acre.  At the same time as the main presentation. After each technology is introduced in the presentation. which is intended to engage students in selecting and sketching their designs for location-appropriate GI and LID technologies as they are covered in the presentation. You may want to tape large pieces of paper or poster board to the classroom board in order to capture the designs. print out the design scenarios file as a multi- page handout and have teams use colored markers to sketch in their GI and LID designs over the 10 design scenarios. or as an alternative way to do this. . refer to the coordinated design scenario slide and direct students to use chalk or whiteboard markers to draw in their design plans. This approach manages nutrients (quality) and volume (quantity) of stormwater runoff on-site as a result of increased infiltration and reduction in stormwater runoff. Slide Narration for Green Infrastructure and Low-Impact Development Technologies Presentation (Slide 1) Traditional stormwater management practices focus on centralized systems.

(See the Additional Multimedia Support section for the link to this PDF document. These benefits are obtained through the absorption and evapotranspiration of plant and media within the green roof system boundaries. rainwater harvesting. leading to improved air quality. a reduction in energy use. The depth of media defines two categories of green roofs: extensive green roofs typically have media layers between two and six inches.) (Slide 3) Green roofs and vegetative walls are rooftops or sides of buildings that are planted with a media membrane and native vegetation over a waterproofing membrane/root zone barrier. bioswales. and an improvement of air quality. which may include a drainage and irrigation system. reduction in the amount of solar radiation reaching the roof surface. Green roofs and vegetative walls reduce environmental and human health impacts as a result of reduced stormwater runoff. improvement in community livability. downspout disconnection. Source of the image is a The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic. while intensive green roofs usually have media layers greater than six inches. and the opportunity for public education and outreach. permeable pavement. bioretention or rain gardens.The following green infrastructure and low-impact development technologies will be addressed in the lesson: green roofs and vegetative walls. Environmental and Social Benefits by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers. green streets and alleys. improved habitat. Additional benefits include reduction in atmospheric CO 2. planter boxes. and green parking. urban tree canopy. . reducing roof temperatures. (Slide 2) This table provides a list of green infrastructure practices and a summary of the benefits that GI can offer. and cooling effect due to evaporation on the media surface. Vegetation also takes up air pollutants and intercepts particulate matter. an increase in insulation. reduced urban heat island effect.

or rain gardens. are typically constructed with high-permeability media consisting of soil. typically adjacent to roof runoff and impervious areas such as streets. copyright (Slide 4) Bioretention. improve water quality. allow for overflow and exfiltration/underdrain. parking lots and driveways. designed to maximize infiltration. sand and organic matter. biodiversity and habitat. Rain gardens are ideally constructed in areas where stormwater collects. Benefits include improved local aesthetics. promote vegetative growth and biological transformation processes. reduce the quantity of potable water utilized for outdoor irrigation. fine particles. minimize urban heat island effect. These systems have been shown to increase property values. reduce carbon dioxide emissions through direct carbon sequestration. and the ability to trap and treat silts. and provide sites for community outreach. . Green roofs are a component of Seattle's green stormwater infrastructure strategy in higher density neighborhoods (left). heavy metals and bacteria from impacting downstream ecosystems. These systems are designed with a storage volume capacity. nutrients. taxable revenue to local municipalities. This native plant rain garden filters water from a Denver parking lot before it reaches the storm drain. provide groundwater recharge.

exfiltration and evapotranspiration. copyright (Slide 6) Planter boxes are urban bioretention systems with vertical concrete walls designed to collect and retain a specified volume of stormwater runoff. A typical design collects stormwater runoff from sidewalks. Permeable pavement . A stormwater planter in the sidewalk area manages street and sidewalk runoff. A xeriscaped landscape is designed in a way that limits or eliminates the need for irrigation. typical of standard bioretention construction. Several different types of permeable pavement exist. mulched or xeriscaped linear channels that provide stormwater retention and infiltration. Bioswales are a linear form of a bioretention system with a length- to-width ratio greater than 2:1. driveways and sidewalks. including pervious or porous concrete. porous asphalt and interlocking permeable pavers. parking lots and/or streets within the boundary of city owned property. but dissimilar to those surfaces because they are able to absorb and infiltrate stormwater runoff through their materials to underlying media layers. These planter boxes may have an open or closed bottom allowing for percolation. They are designed as an alternative to traditional stormwater piping. integrated into parking lots and road medians. (Slide 7) Permeable pavement surfaces are similar to sidewalks and roadways. These systems are typically designed for pedestrian low-volume vehicle traffic areas such as parking lots.(Slide 5) Bioswales may be vegetated.

surfaces do not have the same strength as traditional concrete and thus are limited to areas that do not receive constant traffic. a reduction in energy use has been demonstrated due to a reduction in the urban heat island effect. copyright (Slide 8) The planting and protection of an urban tree canopy provides many social. These include interception of rainfall and runoff. In cold weather climates. Permeable pavement reduces stormwater runoff by allowing the underlying media layer to infiltrate and percolate stormwater runoff. A Chicago alley that experienced frequent flooding was reconstructed with porous pavers so that it no longer retains water. the ability to support biological communities within root zones or rhizospheres. The canopy also provides a reduction in air pollution contaminants such as . mitigating the need for salt use and reducing allocation of municipality money dedicated to de-icing roadways. and helps to increase groundwater recharge. increased evapotranspiration rates. an increased infiltration and soil storage capacity within the media layers. Also. this technology reduces the formation of a frost layer. ecological and economic benefits. This lets treatment mechanisms happen at the source. The urban tree canopy can also significantly reduce residential heating and cooling costs by providing shade and by acting as a windbreak.

restoring the health and vitality of the local watershed. By reducing the volume of water leaving a site from impervious surfaces. planter boxes. These systems allow for infiltration. sulfur dioxide and ozone. car washing or any other later use. bioswales. Rain barrels catch roof runoff for use to water nearby plants and trees. 2002) (Slide 11) Green streets and alleys refers to the integration of permeable pavement. bioretention and . and other GI technologies on-site. These systems are also extremely effective in arid climates by reducing the dependency on limited water supplies. (Salim. copyright (Slide 10) Downspout disconnection is the process of redirecting roof runoff away from traditional storm sewer collection systems to rain gardens.nitrogen dioxide. (Slide 9) Rainwater harvesting includes the capturing and storing of rainwater within cisterns or rain barrels to be used for onsite irrigation. as well as increasing habitat for many species. ND. bioswales. The vegetation in and around this Fargo. improved water quality and treatment efficiency on-site and at the source of runoff. Shown to reduce directly connected impervious areas (DCIA) by 40-44%. parking lot catches all stormwater runoff and filters it. you reduce the mass of pollutants entering the receiving downstream ecosystems. planter boxes. toilet flushing.

particulate A complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. planter boxes. green A type of LID that uses natural systems to manage stormwater runoff in a infrastructure: decentralized fashion. and development: where it would go without human influence). Benefits of green streets are equivalent to the benefits of green infrastructure and low-impact development. green roof: A rooftop planted with a media membrane and native vegetation over a waterproofing membrane/root zone barrier. planter boxes and other on-site GI technologies. designed to maximize infiltration. nutrients: Major chemical compounds derived from nitrogen. phosphorus and potassium that plants need to survive. These systems are designed to store storm event volume.native vegetation into the urban streetscape. intensive: Green roof and vegetative walls media layer greater than 6 inches. bioswales. green streets and The integration of permeable pavement. bioretention alleys: and native vegetation into an urban streetscape. typically receiving stormwater from areas less than 2 acres. promote evapotranspiration and biogeochemical processes. (Slide 12) Parking lots have low traffic volume. interlocking pavers. bioswales and tree canopies. matter: . high impervious area and vegetative islands. extensive: Green roof and vegetative walls media layer between 2 to 6 inches. Abbreviated as LID. Abbreviated as GI. Vocabulary/Definitions attenuation : To retain a specified quantity of stormwater from a storm event. sand and organic matter. mulched or xeriscaped linear channel that provides stormwater retention and infiltration. downspout The process of redirecting roof runoff away from traditional storm sewer disconnection: collection systems to rain gardens. bioswale: A vegetated. bioretention: A rain garden typically constructed with high-permeability media consisting of soil. bioswales. Green parking refers to the use of GI technologies in parking lots—most commonly pervious pavement. Green streets combine the principles of GI and LID into a product that can be implemented into the urban landscape. where the rain falls. green parking: A parking area that utilizes the principles of GI and LID. making them great locations to implement green infrastructure design. porous concrete. low-impact To manage water resources at their sources (that is. promote vegetative growth and biological transformation processes. improve water quality. rain gardens.

rainwater The capturing and storing of rainwater within cisterns or rain barrels to be used harvesting: for on-site irrigation. Groups are challenged to create their own pervious pavement mixes. pea gravel.Students are given the materials to see something that is otherwise invisible to them—plants breathing. quantity: Associated Activities  Just Breathe Green: Measuring Transpiration Rates . Then they calculate and graph the rates at which the plants breathe—their transpiration rates— and compare transpiration rates among different plant species. . In a multi-trial experiment. field capacity and infiltration rates. determining storage capacity. compost and gravel.  Does Media Matter? Infiltration Rates and Storage Capacities - Students gain a basic understanding of the properties of media such as soil. and how these properties affect the movement of water (infiltration/percolation) into and below the surface of the ground. stormwater The volume of water from stormwater runoff. stormwater A measure of the pollution collected from pervious and impervious surfaces quality: from stormwater runoff during a storm event. storage volume: The volume of water capable of being stored within a GI or LID system. They test each type of material. ponding zone: Rainfall runoff collection area. they put small native plants under plastic domes and measure the condensation over time.Students use everyday building materials—sand.permeable A surface that is similar to sidewalks and roadways in terms of allowing pavement: vehicular traffic. cement and water—to create and test pervious pavement. toilet flushing car washing or any other later use.  Making "Magic" Sidewalks of Pervious Pavement . sand. Then teams apply the testing results to the design their own material mixes that best meet the design requirements. planter box: An urban bioretention system with vertical concrete walls designed to collect and retain a specified volume of stormwater runoff. but dissimilar due to its ability to absorb and infiltrate stormwater runoff through its surface to underlying media layers.

They learn about the four vertical zones that make up a typical rain garden. in the community. Attachments  GI and LID Technologies Presentation (pptx)  GI and LID Technologies Presentation (pdf)  GI and LID Technologies Design Scenarios (pptx)  GI and LID Technologies Design Scenarios (pdf) Assessment Pre-Lesson Assessment Questions: Sustainable development is most commonly defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  A Guide to Rain Garden Construction . (WCED. experimenting with material ratios to evaluate how infiltration rates change with different mix combinations.Students are presented with a guide to rain garden construction in an activity that culminates the unit and pulls together what they have learned and prepared in materials during the three previous associated activities.  Come up with several ideas of how stormwater management can address the three pillars of sustainability. or at students' homes to provide a solution for flooding areas. (Example . 1987) The three pillars of sustainability are the environment. Then groups each create personal rain gardens planted with native species that can be installed on the school campus. economy and society. referred to the triple bottom line.

wetland vs. Also. vegetables vs. (Example answers: A rain garden is a natural system used for collecting stormwater runoff. Example plant options might include native vs. Have groups discuss and free draw on paper their ideas for possible solutions to each real-world scenario and come to a consensus on the best solution. discuss the benefits of each green infrastructure and low-impact development improvement and how it relates to the three pillars of sustainability (environment. bees and butterflies). society).) Lesson Embedded Assessment GI and LID Design Sketching: Before starting the GI and LID Technologies Presentation.) Review students' designs see if they incorporate location- . or as an alternative way to do this. tree vs. upland or terrestrial. divide the class into groups of two to three students each. create jobs and benefit the community. non-native. After each slide in the presentation. refer students to the coordinated slide in the GI and LID Technologies Design Scenarios (also a PowerPoint® file) projected on the classroom board. print out the design scenarios file as a multi-page handout and have teams use colored markers to sketch in their GI and LID designs over the 10 design scenarios. This process engages students in selecting and sketching on images of real-world scenarios their designs for location-appropriate solutions as they are introduced and described in the presentation. answer: Protect the environment. shrub. (If no second projector is available. A rain garden uses plant roots and soil to soak up rain. economy. Ask and discuss why students would choose to use certain plant types over others and where they would place them.)  What is a rain garden? Describe it in your own words. Have the students debate the pros and cons of their design solutions to form a class consensus and sketch on the board the GI and LID solution they would use for each of the 10 urban environment scenarios.

porous asphalt and pervious interlocking pavers. outdoor basketball courts. an improvement in air quality due to plant species' abilities to . amphitheaters and pedestrian walking malls throughout the urban environment. Post-Lesson Assessment Wrap-Up Questions: Conclude the lesson by asking students the following questions. bike paths. What areas within the city would you recommend? (Answer: Recommend use of these permeable pavement materials for low-volume traffic areas such as parking lots. sidewalks.  You are an engineer and advisor to the local city council. The city council has requested your expertise in selecting locations appropriate for permeable pavement such as porous concrete. driveways. Discourage implementation in high traffic areas and areas where heavy trucks travel.)  What are the environmental and human health benefits of green roofs and vegetative walls? Answer: Benefits include the reduction in quantity of pollution entering downstream ecosystems due to a reduction in stormwater runoff. a reduction in energy use due to an increased insulation factor.)  What are the guiding principles of green infrastructure and low- impact development? (Answer: The guiding principles of these technologies are to manage stormwater at its sources using natural means and to establish conditions so that hydrology and water quality of developed sites approach that of undeveloped sites.appropriate GI and LID technologies in order to gauge their comprehension of the lesson's stormwater management concepts. in either class discussion format or as individual writing assignments.

(Answer: Rain gardens are ideally constructed in areas where stormwater collects. you reduce the mass of pollutants entering receiving downstream ecosystems.) Additional Multimedia Support An excellent online resource (including photograph examples) for the technologies introduced in this lesson is The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic.)  Describe ideal locations to construct a rain garden. parking lots and driveways. restoring the health and vitality of the local watershed. . and an increase in community livability. This concentrates the pollutants over a smaller area.pdf. available at http://www. restoring the natural hydrology of the developed site compared to traditional stormwater infrastructure that provides limited infiltration and releases the stormwater into downstream surface water ecosystems.cnt. such as streets. making it harder for natural systems to provide high stormwater quality removal efficiency. typically adjacent to roof runoff and impervious surfaces. Environmental and Social Benefits by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers.)  What are the advantages of GI and LID compared to traditional stormwater infrastructure practices? (Answer: By reducing the volume of water leaving a site from impervious surfaces.org/repository/gi- values-guide. take up air pollutants and intercept particulate matter. Traditional stormwater practices capture stormwater from large watersheds and provide water quality and quantity attenuation at centralized locations. GI and LID practices allow for the stormwater to infiltrate at the source.

(2010). C. W. Line.. S. K. L. Smith. V25.. doi: 10. R. at http://water. and Brown.tb01572. Opportunities and challenges for managing nitrogen in urban stormwater: A review and synthesis. Low-impact development practices: A review of current research and recommendations for future directions. . Newcomer. and Potter. A source for many good installation photographs of GI and LID technologies at the U.S.. 186(1-4). doi: 10. Ecological Engineering. 351-363. and Finneran.. M. B. Bradley. doi: 10. R. E. A. W.. (2009). Journal of the American Water Resources Association.gov/region8/green- infrastructure. Field Study of the Ability of Two Grassed Bioretention Cells to . A. (2013). Hunt. Marengo. 39(1).and Ekberg.. J. F.. A. J. K. E.S. develops an integrated green infrastructure plan to reduce CSOs and stormwater and nutrient runoff. (2003). K. A.. J. EPA's "Green Infrastructure: LID and GI in the Semi-Arid West" at http://www2.015 Dietz.. A. (2007). 1507-1519.1016/j. E.x Katzenmoyer. References Collins. A. R. C. C.1111/j. Evaluation of hydrologic benefits of infiltration based urban storm water management. 205-215.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_what.Another excellent online resource (including photos) is the U. Jontos. S. E. Water Environment & Technology-WEFTEC.cfm.. Lawrence..epa. M. EPA's What Is Green Infrastructure? Website. Kaushal. PA.1007/s11270-007- 9484-z Holman-Dodds. Passeport.03..ecoleng.. T.epa..Water Air and Soil Pollution. Going green to save green – The City of Lanacaster.N4. Potts. T. Stander..2003. K. 36(11). A.2010. G.1752- 1688. D.

Oxford. ISBN 019282080X. Igwe. Rabbaig.com/content/wef/wefproc/2002/0000200 2/00000006/art00004 World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED.pdf Contributors Ryan Locicero. Brigith Soto . Grazioli. Sherrill. Maya Trotz. M. WEF/CWEA Collection Systems 2002.0000006 Salim.. United Nations. 135(4). Our Common Future. Jennifer Butler.1061/ (asce)ir. 1987.Reduce Storm-Water Runoff Pollution. http://conspect. J.nl/pdf/Our_Common_Future- Brundtland_Report_1987. 65-76(12)."Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation. http://www. Imad. M.ingentaconnect. (aka Brundtland Report). UK: Oxford University Press.. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering-Asce. Krysta Porteus.1943-4774. (2002) "Demonstration of Downspout Disconnection Effectiveness. aka Brundtland Commission). doi: 10. 505-510. A. pp.. William Zeman.