Are You Missing Out on the Benefits of Green Stormwater Infrastructure?

Posted by Ecogardens


Green stormwater infrastructure is a growing need in our world, as cities bloom and rural areas feel their effects. Are you missing out on its benefits?

Stormwater is a huge problem.

When we say huge, we don’t just mean “large” or “sizeable” or any other half-measure word that politicians use.

We mean huge.

It’s a problem to which we must start paying attention, but we have to do it in the right ways … and that means going green.

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Topics: Stormwater Management

The Definition Of Stormwater And What It Means For You

Posted by Ecogardens


Stormwater is liquid that results from rain, snow and other forms of precipitation. In an urban environment, we typically use the term “stormwater” in the context of surface water that aggregates on impermeable surfaces. 


It just sounds kind of scary, right?

I mean, you’ve heard the term. You know it’s a problem. You understand that addressing it is of critical importance.

But unless you work in landscaping or an environmental niche, you may not understand what to do about it. As a homeowner, building manager, investor or institution, you probably feel unsure what your responsibility to the environment should take – and that’s okay.

Let’s talk about the definition of stormwater and what it means for you today.

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Topics: Stormwater Management

How to Develop a Rural Stormwater Management Plan

Posted by Ecogardens


Rural stormwater management is a critical – and often under-addressed – need in our world today. Anywhere humans live, we need a smart plan for purifying water and funneling it where it needs to go. 

We should definitely celebrate the fact that stormwater management has become a better-known concept in cities across America.

* pause for champagne and party crackers *

However, the focus on cities has had one unintended side effect: In the effort to respond to urban needs, many people have forgotten the importance of rural stormwater management.

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Topics: Stormwater Management

What You Need to Know About Combined Sewer Overflows

Posted by Ecogardens


Combined sewer overflow events plague many cities that rely on old infrastructure to manage both sanitation and surface runoff. It’s time we made a change.

If you’re like most, avoiding the contents of a toilet is pretty high on your list.

It might disgust you, therefore, to discover that the sewers in many large cities regularly back up and flow into the streets.

While this fact is certainly ripe for some bathroom humor, it’s actually a very serious problem. When heavy rains lead to an abundance of stormwater, some sewers can’t keep up. Current city planning incorporates stormwater management practices to prevent this from happening, but our older urban spaces have yet to hop on board.

it’s time we change that.

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Topics: Stormwater Management

How to Use Urban Ecological Design to Help Cities Prosper

Posted by Ecogardens


Urban ecological design is a critical discipline if we want to bridge the divide between city infrastructure and the natural world.

So, exactly what is urban ecological design, you’re wondering? Well, that starts with asking: What’s wrong with our cities in the first place?

You don’t need to read City Mouse, Country Mouse to understand the divide between our sparsely populated rural places and our bustling urban spaces, complete with all the conveniences of modern times.

(Although if you haven’t read that book, you should – whether or not you have children. It’s a classic, mostly because, mice with clothes.)

The problem is that too many people see cities as centers of civilization, exclusive of the environment. On the other hand, nature is an idyllic escape that simply can’t exist inside metropolitan boundaries.

Frankly, we don’t care for that way of thinking. The only way we’ll heal the environment and transform cities into healthy places to live is to meld the two. That’s where urban ecological design comes in.

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Topics: Urban Ecology, Stormwater Management

What Is Green Infrastructure and What Does It Mean for You?

Posted by Ecogardens


Understanding green infrastructure is the first step in leveraging its awesome power toward a better future

Sometimes remakes just aren’t as good.

Seriously, ask anyone who’s ever loved a movie from the 80s if the new version is better. (Spoiler alert: They’ll say no.)

The same goes for nature’s ability to handle the vast gallons of stormwater that pour down from the sky during every shower and blizzard – versus our ability to manage that water on our own.

That’s where green infrastructure comes in. 

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Topics: Stormwater Management, Green Infrastructure

What Is Stormwater Management and How Can You Help?

Posted by Ecogardens


While we don’t often stop to think about the magnitude of each rainfall and snowfall, the environment still has to deal with the massive quantities of runoff that result. So what is stormwater management, and why does it matter?

As the US Geological Survey points out, runoff from stormwater is an extremely important part of the world’s ecosystem. It carries water downhill to fill lakes and rivers, wears away at stone and dirt, forms climates and habitats in its wake.

That’s during natural processes, though. In cities, these mechanisms aren’t nearly so healthy. Rainwater pounds away at rooftops, sidewalks, streets and other impermeable surfaces, but can’t get through. It heads to sewers instead, picking up pollution and disease along the way.

Obviously, we need a way to manage all that runoff. If you’re asking “Well, what is stormwater management?” then you’re in the right place. Let’s talk about that.

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Topics: Stormwater Management

What You Should Know About Stormwater Detention and Retention

Posted by Ecogardens


Think stormwater retention and detention are interchangeable terms? Think again … here’s a brief crash course in the differences between the two. 

If ever two terms were created to confuse, it’s stormwater detention and stormwater retention. I mean, come on … someone was just playing a cruel joke on us.

It’s critical we push past any English language befuddlements, however, because these two terms are extremely important to creating a better, happier ecosystem – both here at home and across the world.

Stormwater, see, is an incredibly problematic fact of urban living. The extremely high percentage of paved-over surfaces in the city – think asphalt, cement and concrete – water doesn’t have anywhere to go once it descends from the sky.

Long story short: It pools in streets and sewers, it picks up pollutants and disease, it transmits them to wildlife and waterways. In short, stormwater sucks and we need to do something about it.

First, though, we need to know what we’re dealing with vis-à-vis solutions. So what exactly are stormwater detention and retention? Let’s clarify both terms, then take a quick look at how you can employ each.

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Topics: Stormwater Management

Why Do You Need a Stormwater Management Plan?

Posted by Ecogardens


While we often enjoy a soft drizzle or thrilling thunderstorm, the water pouring from the sky during these events usually does more harm than good in the city. 

Ever looked out the window to see your kids playing in puddles and said to yourself, Awwww cute! Look how much fun they’re having.

*insert smiley face*

The problem is that puddle is not nearly as cute as your little beans. In fact, the very fact that water is pooling in your yard proves you need a stormwater management plan.

Why? Because stormwater brings with it a wide variety of ills. It is environmentally damaging and dangerous to public health, and thus far our cities aren’t doing nearly enough to combat it. The good news is, you can.

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Topics: Stormwater Management

What Are Green Roof Systems and Why Do They Matter?

Posted by Ecogardens


Green roof systems help to heal the breach between urban environments and the wildlife they’ve displaced, and offer many other environmental benefits as well. 

Let’s play a quick game of “Would You Rather.”

Would you rather: Living or dead? Barren or green and lush? Environmentally destructive or ecologically beneficial?

Cleveland Cavaliers or LA Lakers?

Wait, that doesn’t matter. LeBron already made his decision.

Point being, we’re pretty sure that given the choice, you would choose urban spaces that buzz with pollinators, wave prettily in the breeze and surround you with a feeling of green serenity. 

That environment is totally possible on rooftops, from the tallest building to the humblest residential roof or deck. All it takes is a thorough understanding of green roof systems.

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Topics: Green Roofs, Stormwater Management