The recent Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Forum in Silver Springs, MD in April is still generating a ‘buzz.’ How wonderful that this same place, Prince George’s County, which gave rise to low impact development practices, has sparked a renewed investment in creating healthy, livable communities, through the approach known as “green infrastructure”.
The two-day forum hosted many of the leaders in low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure. We were genuinely impressed by the number of local mayors and town officials, planning directors, state and federal partners, and non-profit organizations training young adults to design and build rain gardens and green roofs, who attended and shared their ‘boots on the ground’ experiences. We in Region 3 are poised to respond, along with our partners, to expand the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns (G3) Academy to deliver the tools and funding opportunities to these green innovators (and converts) who ‘rocked us’ at the forum with their enthusiasm and desire to build green streets and green infrastructure practices into their overall town plans.
One outcome of the forum is the overwhelming interest in a LID design competition. We all were inspired by the keynote speaker, Mr. Robert Adair, who described the City of Houston’s LID Design Competition.
OK, Texas, we’re ready to take on the challenge, too! As part of the G3 Academy, we will move forward. Look for a LID Design Competition coming to your area!
Interested in greening your street and your town? Come join our G3 Academy and visit http://www.greenhighwayspartnership.org/index.php and click on “G3 Initiative.”
About the author: Susan McDowell joined the EPA family in 1990. Her work on community-based sustainability throughout her career includes the award-winning Green Communities program which has traveled across the United States and internationally. She brings her ‘ecological’ perspective to most of her work including the G3 Initiative.