Eliana Brown with the Water Resources Center and Morgan Johnston with F&S Sustainability provided a two hour tour on July 13, 2017 to six Illinois high school students through the NRES Research Apprenticeship program.
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Green Infrastructure (In Progress)
While Thor Peterson was working at Parkland College as a part-time grant-funded sustainability coordinator, he shared that "Parkland is in the scoping stage of developing a green infrastrucuture and sustainable landscape operations and maintenance
Green Infrastructure uses natural hydrologic features to manage water and provide environmental and comunity benefits. Such infrastructure includes green roofs, permeable pavement, and rain gardens. These techniques help improve stormwater quality and flooding by delaying peak flows and filtering pollutants. In addition to their technical benefits, they can be landscape features that enhance campus aesthetics.
Rainwater harvesting is the process of intercepting storm-water runoff and putting it to beneficial use. Rainwater is usually collected or harvested from rooftops, concrete patios, driveways and other impervious surfaces. Buildings and landscapes can be designed to maximize the amount of catchment area, thereby increasing rainwater harvesting possibilities. Intercepted water then can be collected, detained, retained and routed for use in evaporative coolers, toilet flushing, pet and car washing, indoor plant watering, pet and livestock watering, and for lawn and garden irrigation.
Rainwater harvesting systems vary from the simple and inexpensive to the complex and costly. Typically, these systems are simple, consisting of gutters, downspouts, and storage containers. Directing rainfall to plants located at low points is the simplest rainwater harvesting system. In this system, the falling rain flows to areas with vegetation. Inexpensive rainwater storage systems commonly make use of above ground containers such as a barrel or plastic tank with a lid to reduce evaporation and bar access for mosquito breeding. Any container capable of holding rain dripping from roof or patio can be used as a rainwater harvesting system.
Stormwater Management on campus is coordinated by the Division of Safety and Compliance, Environmental Compliance Department. For more general information about Green Infrastructure, visit http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/index.cfm.