Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Program

Physical barriers prevent water from cycling naturally, resulting in flooding, sewer overflows, and risks to human health and property. City institutions that manage drinking, storm, and waste water are often separate systems or in separate departments. Mid-sized municipalities often lack the resources needed to adequately address these issues. The Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Program helps communities overcome the physical and institutional barriers to more effective stormwater management by providing communities with tools they typically lack: funding and expertise. By addressing these barriers, the Green Infrastructure Champions Program will facilitate broader adoption of green infrastructure throughout the Great Lakes basin.

The Great Lakes Commission Green Infrastructure Champions Program fosters the adoption of green infrastructure in communities across the binational Great Lakes region by creating a peer-to-peer mentorship network that accelerates knowledge transfer between pioneering and emerging green infrastructure champions. A small grants program complements the network to build green infrastructure capacity in emerging communities.

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) helps catalyze the adoption of green infrastructure practices and policies across the binational Great Lakes Basin.

The GLC’s Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Program convenes green infrastructure leaders and helps them share their knowledge in order to foster the adoption of green infrastructure in communities across the binational Great Lakes region. The program coordinates a peer-to-peer mentoring network of “green infrastructure champions” and “emerging champions” that lack resources or expertise to integrate nature‐based solutions into their stormwater management. Mentors and mentees are paired based on needs and expertise that are tailored to unique community goals. The program also awards mini‐grants to a subset of participants in the mentoring network, enabling those communities to develop specific tools or projects that can scale up green infrastructure. Mentors and mentees share lessons learned through periodic webinars among all participants in the mentoring network. Finally, the program offers workshops to showcase successful green infrastructure projects and approaches and to share experiences about the tools and approaches that enable successful green infrastructure implementation.

The program was piloted from 2016 to 2018 and will continue through September 2020.

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
[email protected]

Get the latest Great Lakes Commission news and events in your inbox!

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Get the latest Great Lakes Commission news and events in your inbox!