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Pollinator Plants:Midwest Region

This guide features plants ntive to the Midwest that are highly atractive to pollintors and are well-suited for smaller-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces, and in farm field borders. In addition to supporting native bees, many of these plants attract nectar-seeking butterflies, moth, and humingbirds.

Trees and Stormwater

Trees intercept rainfall and help increase infiltration and the ability of soil to store water. By retaining water in their canopy – even for a short time – trees can disperse precipitation over a longer time period and reduce velocity of the water when it does fall. This Trees and Stormwater website is organized so that you can both learn about using trees in stormwater management, and make the case for doing just that in your own community.
 
The Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) and its team of national partners are developing a guide for local decision makers to integrate trees into stormwater management design and policy applicable across the nation.
 
The guide is being designed to help overcome the widespread lack of understanding, acceptance, and credibility of using trees for managing stormwater by providing a practical tool that informs local decision makers of options and best practices for including trees in stormwater facility design regulations and policies.
 
This grant was funded in part by the USDA Forest Service’s National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program as recommended by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council.

Step-by-Step Guide to Integrating Community Input into Green Infrastructure Projects

Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and its partner Amigos Bravos drafted this guide to help local governments integrate community input into their green infrastructure projects. It sets out eight steps that local governments can take and, for each step, provides details and tips to help local governments as they move through the process.

Native Landscape and Ecological Restoration Guide

The specific goals of this Chicago Wilderness Native Landscape and Ecological Restoration Guide are to enable organizations to:

1) facilitate the selection of qualified contractors or consultants to design, install and/or steward native landscapes;

2) set ecological restoration goals and expectations; and

3) objectively evaluate the work done by the contractor, their progress toward goals, and completion of projects to ensure that the ecological and aesthetic expectations are met.

Stormwater Repository

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative repository data and tools section provides accessible stormwater resources that can be useful for data analysis, mapping, and to design and calculate the benefits of stormwater BMPs. Hyperlinked names take you to each resource.

Financing Green Infrastucture

This briefing paper from the National Recreation and Park Association provides guidance on financing green infrasturcture projects. The key messages were:

 

#1 The budgeting process must consider the differing life cycle characteristics between green and gray infrastructure.
#2 Local taxes, user fees, and stormwater utility fees are suitable for both capital and O&M expenses.
#3 Grants and state revolving funds or other low- to zero-interest loans may fund planning and capital costs.
#4 Nontraditional sources of financing, such as public-private partnerships and nongovernmental funding, allow communities to leverage public funding against foundation, corporate, and community contributions.

New Jersey Developers' Green Infrastructure Guide

Developers understand that land development projects in New Jersey must be designed to “manage” stormwater runoff. NJ DEP regulations require that stormwater management standards be met through the use of “nonstructural strategies,” to the “maximum extent practicable.” Green infrastructure helps you, the developer, to do just that. This Developers’ Green Infrastructure Guide created by New Jersey Future and New Jersey Builders Association is meant as a resource to help you incorporate green infrastructure into your projects for maximum benefit.

Sustaining America’s Urban Trees and Forests

Nowak, David J.; Stein, Susan M.; Randler, Paula B.; Greenfield, Eric J.; Comas, Sara J.; Carr, Mary A.; Alig, Ralph J. 2010. Sustaining America’s urban trees and forests: a Forests on the Edge report. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-62. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 27 p. 

Close to 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas and depends on the essential ecological, economic, and social benefi ts provided by urban trees and forests. However, the distribution of urban tree cover and the benefi ts of urban forests vary across the United States, as do the challenges of sustaining this important resource. As urban areas expand across the country, the importance of the benefi ts that urban forests  provide, as well as the challenges to their conservation and maintenance, will increase. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the current status and benefits of America’s urban forests, compare differences in urban forest canopy cover among regions, and discuss challenges facing urban forests and their implications for urban forest management.

Planting Healthy Air

The Nature Conservancy's Planting Healthy Air report documents which cities stand to benefit most from tree plantings, in terms of both heat and PM reduction, and how much investment would be required to achieve meaningful benefits.
 
The analysis found that investing just US$4 per resident in each of these cities in tree planting efforts could improve the health of millions of people, and that trees are as cost-effective as many other common solutions.

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