Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure
Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure is a program aimed at moving green stormwater infrastructure practices into the mainstream. Years ago, green-building standards such as LEED were considered eccentric and expensive. Now, they are mainstream – understood to be the smart way to build. The same thing is beginning to happen with green infrastructure.
To accelerate and facilitate the mainstreaming process, New Jersey future is working with developers and directly with towns, assembling teams of experts to provide education, training and direct technical assistance, and to facilitate and accelerate demonstration projects that show innovative and effective use of green infrastructure.
New Jersey Future is compiling a list of successful green infrastructure installations in New Jersey. If you are an engineer, developer, or manager of a green infrastructure project you would like to highlight, click here.
Resources to help accelerate your own green infrastructure project can be found here.
Our work with towns is focused on the environmentally fragile New Jersey’s Highlands and Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer (including the Pinelands) regions, where we will encourage the use of green infrastructure as a mainstream practice in growth and redevelopment areas. Click here to find out more about the pilot towns.
New Jersey Future is working with developers and design professionals throughout New Jersey to promote and advance the implementation of green infrastructure. New Jersey Future has partnered with the New Jersey Builders Association to convene a task force of developers, engineers, green infrastructure experts, and attorneys to advise and assist this important work and to act as ambassadors to the industry. To express interest in the Developers’ Green Infrastructure Task Force, email Kandyce Perry (kperrynjfutureorg) .
New Jersey Future has issued a Call for Submissions to identify and support two high-profile green infrastructure demonstration projects – one public-sector and one private-sector – located in one of the William Penn Foundation’s Delaware River Initiative Areas: the Highlands of northwest New Jersey or the Kirkwood Cohansey Aquifer area of southern New Jersey. Application guidelines, frequently asked questions, and instructions on how to apply are available here.
Green infrastructure is the use of natural systems and natural design, rather than storm sewers, to manage rainwater and snowmelt. Green infrastructure either (a) enables this runoff to filter into the ground where it falls, thus recharging critically important underground aquifers with clean water, or (b) captures runoff for a beneficial re-use such as irrigation. Examples include street trees, pervious pavement, rain gardens, rain barrels, green roofs, vegetated swales and bioretention basins.
Because it works. It cleans and conserves the world’s most precious resource, reduces flooding, improves public health, provides jobs, raises property values, beautifies neighborhoods and “downtowns” and supports wildlife.
Green infrastructure has been shown to increase property values and rental premiums, and returns water to aquifers critical to agriculture. Green infrastructure investments provide jobs that require no prior experience.
In addition to cleaning and conserving water, green infrastructure improves air quality, saves energy and restores ecosystems. Allowing rain to soak into the ground is basic to the natural water cycle. Native plantings support pollinators, songbirds and other beneficial wildlife
Green areas provide both physical and mental health benefits. People are happier living in places with trees and greenways. Green infrastructure supports walkable communities, provides for outdoor recreation and community gardens, and reduces the effects of excess heat.
Our work with towns is focused on New Jersey’s environmentally fragile Highlands and Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer (including the Pinelands) regions, where we will encourage the use of green infrastructure as a mainstream practice in growth and redevelopment areas. These regions include:
- Small, walkable towns
- Extraordinary environmental resources
- Statewide importance and value
- Flooding and water pollution that threaten people, businesses and ecosystems
- Direct impact on Delaware River water quality
- Engineers and landscape architects
- Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program
- New Jersey Builders Association
- Regional planning entities
- Nonprofit partners
Interested in working with us? Please contact Kandyce Perry (kperrynjfutureorg) .
There is a wealth of information about green infrastructure, but here are some resources we’d like to highlight. Click here to view our resources.
New Jersey Future and the New Jersey Builders Association will offer a suite of green infrastructure resources and tools at the Atlantic Builders Convention.
Three members of the New Jersey Future staff will be speaking at APA-New Jersey’s annual planning conference Jan. 26 and 27 in New Brunswick.
The communities of Byram, Hammonton and Newton have been selected as pilot towns for New Jersey Future’s Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure project.
In its second series of workshops, New Jersey Future brought together design professionals working in the Highlands and Pinelands regions to expand their understanding of green infrastructure.
Gloucester City, Jersey City, and Perth Amboy will receive technical assistance and engineering support services to design innovative, financeable projects that reduce combined sewer outflows (CSOs) while also making neighborhoods and downtowns better places to live, work, and invest.
Much of New Jersey Future’s work to mainstream green infrastructure
is supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.