The first ever Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange Annual Convening was held May 15th-17th in Portland, OR. Thank you to all who came and participated in the event! A special thank you to our Portland hosts, Jane Bacchieri and Kerry Rubin, who graciously volunteered their time and energy in order to make our first convening a success! The event included:

  • 114 attendees, including 57 Exchange members from 33 different cities and municipalities across North America, 9 expert panelists, 21 stormwater funders and an array of volunteers from the Portland staff
  • 4 different local GI site tour options, including: stormwater cycling, private property innovations, tabor to the river, and green streets maintenance
  • 18 green infrastructure-related presentations, consisting of 4 large group plenary sessions and 14 small group breakouts
  • Members had wonderful plenary and breakout sessions. Members can log in or sign up for our website to access the presentations from these sessions!

Members determined priority topic areas for the network in the next year and volunteers for leadership positions. The highest-voted topics were:

  • Innovations in Maintenance
  • Metrics and Measuring
  • General Design
  • Monetizing GI Co-benefits
  • The Public Health Connection
  • Modeling and Monitoring
  • Procurement Tools
  • Street Tree Design Issues
  • Engagement with Construction
  • Messaging and Branding

If you expressed interest in any of these topics at the Annual Convening, you should have already received an email from Paula regarding next steps. Please notify Paula or Hannah if you are an Exchange member who wasn’t at the convening and would like to participate in one of these topic areas.

The following members stepped up and took leadership roles within the Exchange by signing up for our Planning Committee.

  • Tyler Antrup, New Orleans City Planning Commission
  • Adrienne Aiona, Portland BES
  • Jane Bacchieri, Portland BES
  • Sarah Bloom, San Francisco PUC
  • Jenna Calvi, Burlington Water Resources
  • Jessica Knickerbocker, Tacoma Environmental Services
  • Carrie Rivette, City of Grand Rapids
  • Lisa Sasso, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Dept
  • Melina Scholefield, City of Vancouver
  • Wing Tam, City of Los Angeles

Thank you to all who completed our evaluation and provided us with your feedback. Members voted overwhelmingly to continue the tradition of annual convenings in the future! Highlights from the event, as told by our members, included:

“Being able to talk one-on-one with other GI program decision-makers who are often too busy to respond to requests or don’t like putting things in writing” – Melissa Enoch, New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection

“Understanding who is feeling similar issues in their communities was impactful. I now have a list of contacts of folks to call if things come up” – Michael Carey, City of Tacoma Environmental Services Dept.

“This was the best professional event I’ve attended. I learned so much and met lots of great people.” – Jenna Calvi, Burlington Water Resources

“Tuesday evening social because you had a chance to get to know people and get comfortable with them to have great conversations” – Andy Szatko, Omaha Stormwater Program

“Most useful meeting in a long time” – Tyler Antrup, New Orleans City Planning Commission

“I now have a deep pocket of contacts if I need a question answered or perspective on an issue/project” – Polly Perkins, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

View more pictures from the event here!

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District  plans to award $1.5 million in grants to community groups and businesses in 2017 as part of their green infrastructure partnerships program.  Read more about their GI grants to help pay for rain collection projects here.

Read this article to learn about the EPA’s grant to help fund the People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc (PUSH Buffalo) training program for unemployed Buffalo residents in environmental jobs.

The city of Tucson recently published a Green Infrastructure Maintenance Guidance video to instruct maintenance crews on the proper techniques and plant knowledge necessary to keep up with their recent GI installations. Watch the video to get ideas for your city here.

Our heartfelt gratitude to our funders for their support of our mission, which makes our work possible.