According to www.greeninfrastructure.net
Green infrastructure is strategically planned and managed networks of natural lands, working landscapes and other open spaces that conserve ecosystem values and functions and provide associated benefits to human populations.
Locally, Onondaga County is boosting Syracuse's green infrastructure (GI) so that it will keep 250 million gallons annually of storm runoff out of the city's combined sewers. This GI will augment the county's grey sewage infrastructure (pipes, storage tanks, two regional treatment facilities). By 2018, grey and green together will capture 95% of the city's combined sewage during an one-year storm event. This grey-green infrastructure will prevent most of the city's combined sewer overflows from polluting its three creeks (Onondaga Creek, Harbor Brook, Ley Creek) and Onondaga Lake.
For the next eight years the county has ambitious plans. It will construct green roofs and parking lots/roadways/sidewalks with a porous design/pavement. It will plant 8500 trees and build rain gardens and teach the public how to use and install rain barrels. Much of the 250 MG capture will happen through big municipal projects on city-owned land. But, rain falls indiscriminately and so the county has set up a fund to encourage businesses and not-for-profits in certain combined sewer areas to capture the stormwater falling on their properties. To learn more about this opportunity, go to www.savetherain.us/green-programs/green-improvement-fund/.
And just like recycling, GI will no be successful without city homeowners doing what they can to infiltrate rain water where it falls. The goal is to prevent much of the runoff from reaching our storm sewers. That means education is a large component of the county's GI strategy. Besides hiring a media team, creating a website www.savetherain.us, the county funded a collaboration of organizations and community groups to raise public awareness about GI. For more on this initiative go to our Community Collaboration page.