Thursday, August 27, 2015  |  0 Comment(s)  |   Email   Print

Sustainable Models for Green Infrastructure Maintenance Regional Meeting

by Ryan Mackin

On August 17 and 18th, professionals representing municipalities, sewer and environmental authorities, academic institutions, non-profits, and for-profit design and maintenance contractors from across the Great Lakes region met in Buffalo, NY to discuss the current state and future of green infrastructure maintenance in their communities and abroad.

The meeting, hosted by Cleveland Botanical Garden, People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH), the Vacant to Vibrant team and Delta Institute, addressed common concerns of securing care and function of green infrastructure sites beyond their implementation, while brainstorming a variety of local and regional solutions. Topics ranged from sustainable funding sources and streams, to workforce development and training programs, to GI design considerations.


Visiting the PUSH-V2V nursery that will help supply plants to current and future green infrastructure installations on Buffalo's west side.


The agenda for the meeting was as follows:

Monday, August 17
6pm                     Check-In and Networking
6:30pm                 Tour of PUSH Green Development Zone
7:30pm                 Dinner
Tuesday, August 18
Setting the Stage
8am                     Breakfast
8:30am                 Welcome and Introductions
8:45am                 Problem Statement
State of green infrastructure operations and maintenance: overview of
challenges and high-level case studies of what is being done
9am                     Case Study: PUSH
                 How PUSH facilitated conversation with practitioners; different actors
                 in the decision making and implementation chain
9:15am                 Assessing your city’s existing capacity for GI maintenance
                           Valuing and prioritizing resource, social and financial
                           capacity needs
Understanding the Capacity to Maintain
10:15am               Budgeting: What maintenance funds are needed and when?
                            Traditional and innovative ways to pay for maintenance
11:15am               Resource Smart Design – maintenance considerations when
                            selecting GI installation
                           Social Capital – maximizing workforce development
                           Municipal Management – how municipalities are managing
Noon                    Lunch
12:30pm               Expanding Landscape Contractor Capacity
                           Get existing firms to add skill and leverage workforce trainees
                           Policy tools: local, state and federal policy mechanisms
1:30pm                 Converting Cost to Value
                           Full cost accounting for both green/grey infrastructure,
                           forecasting maintenance costs
1:45pm                 Wrap up and Next steps
                            What to expect after the meeting ends

Participants from six Great Lakes states included:






Many thanks to all meeting participants for making this a thoroughly engaging and productive event!

Delta Institute is completing a comprehensive report out from all ideas and strategies generated last week. We will be sure to share with participants and those who couldn’t attend as soon as the report is available.



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