Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Pilot Program

Physical and institutional barriers have fractured the water cycle, especially in cities. Physical barriers prevent water from cycling naturally, resulting in flooding, sewer overflows, and risks to human health and property. Institutions that manage drinking, storm, and wastewater as separate systems — often in separate departments — place financial and administrative burdens on governments, taxpayers, and utility users. Mid-sized municipalities often lack the resources needed to adequately address these issues. The Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Pilot Program will catalyze the adoption of green infrastructure practices and policies across the basin by bringing together green infrastructure leaders and helping them share their knowledge
The Great Lakes Commission Green Infrastructure Champions Pilot Program will foster the adoption of green infrastructure in communities across the binational Great Lakes region. A key outcome is the creation of a peer-to-peer mentorship network to accelerate knowledge transfer by pairing pioneering and emerging green infrastructure champions. A small grants program will complement the network (in the pilot phase) and build green infrastructure capacity in emerging communities. The effort will also analyze green infrastructure laws and policies across the region and produce recommendations for areas of improvement.

Project Narrative

Green infrastructure is a cost-effective approach to water management that restores or mimics the natural water cycle. With funding from the Erb Family Foundation, the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) will help catalyze the adoption of green infrastructure practices and policies across the binational Great Lakes Basin.

The GLC’s Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Pilot Program will bring together green infrastructure leaders and help them share their knowledge. The program will create a peer-to-peer mentoring network of “green infrastructure champions” and “emerging champions” that will help heal the fractured water cycle in mid-sized municipalities across the binational Great Lakes region. The program will also examine green infrastructure policy barriers and opportunities and share the findings with its membership and key regional stakeholders.

A sister project, the Great Lakes Stormwater Technology Transfer Collaborative, is aimed at creating a stormwater technology sharing collaborative. Also funded by the Erb Family Foundation, the two efforts will work in tandem to reduce physical and institutional barriers to a more holistic and effective approach to stormwater management.

Project Partners

Funding

Funding for this project is provided by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.

For More Information

Victoria Pebbles
Program Director
Great Lakes Commission
734‐971‐9135
gichampions@glc.org

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