Jessica Knickerbocker, PE
City of Tacoma, Environmental Services, and much appreciated Exchange Planning Committee Member
“I’m involved with every phase of a green infrastructure project from the cradle to the grave,” Tacoma Environmental Services Engineer Jessica Knickerbocker explained, listing project conceptualization, grant writing, and maintenance follow-ups as just a few of her work responsibilities.
Jessica works with solid waste, surface water, and wastewater management, serving as the lead for numerous GSI projects including Point Defiance in which she served as project manager. This “rain garden on steroids,” features a waterfall formed by stormwater at the entrance to Point Defiance Park (the second largest city park in nation).
Her favorite aspect of her job is its capability to improve both the environment and the community’s use of it, as demonstrated by Point Defiance. The project serves as a learning tool for local high schools’ and universities’ students who tour the site to visually conceptualize GSI by observing the dirty water enter the stream and come out clean.
Most recently, Jessica received the City Habitats Award for Leadership in Innovative Green Infrastructure Design and Implementation for her outstanding work in advancing regional stormwater efforts and her “commitment to effective and innovative design, engineering, installation, and maintenance of solutions for a more sustainable future.”
“Working on GSI alone was like rolling boulders uphill by myself,” Jessica joked, explaining the difficulty that GSI workers face in changing the way things have always been done in their respective municipalities. At the Exchange’s first meeting in Philadelphia, she realized there was a whole group of GSI leaders across the country who felt her pain and has since come to rely on the Exchange as her primary support network.
Moving forward, Jessica is focused on providing and improving GSI industry standards, especially those related to permeable pavements, and has started a task force of experts from across the permeable pavement design and construction spectrum.
We look forward to highlighting the backgrounds, perspectives, and achievements of members! Please share any news and stories about yourself and your work.