Green Infrastructure Coalition, A project of the Environment Council of RI

Green Infrastructure Projects in Rhode Island

Image Credit: Dorothy Campbell

An expert from Groundwork provides a little guidance on how to space the plantings.

Many Green Infrastructure projects already exist across Rhode Island. Those listed below will give you a sample, and you may want to find them to take a look in person.

First shown below are projects sponsored by Green Infrastructure Coalition members. These are followed by other projects with which the Green Infrastructure Coalition has been closely connected. Since the Coalition focuses on the Providence metro area and the Newport-Aquidneck area these projects are all from those two locations.

At the bottom of the page are more Green Infrastructure projects from across Rhode Island. This list represents projects installed over the past five years by various agencies and NGOs, and includes more than 75 projects described in the University of Rhode Island Low Impact Development (LID) Inventory since 2008, many built by private landowners and businesses.

More about our work in the Providence-Metro area
More about our work in Newport-Aquidneck Island

Projects Sponsored by Green Infrastructure Coalition Members

Image Credit: Eugenia Marks

Project: Citizens Bank Rain Garden Demo

Location: Providence

Overview: At the confluence of the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck Rivers in downtown Providence, Citizens Bank and associated parking lot create an acre of run-off for rain and snow. Although designed to drain into an engineered sewer with particulate separator before discharging into the two rivers, this pavement offers a constantly used public space, including focal point for WaterFire, that will educate with signage and demonstrate with aesthetics a functioning rain garden.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Dave Gerraughty

Project: Depaving Dexter/Bucklin Intersection

Location: Providence

Overview: A team from Groundwork Rhode Island will remove segments of pavement and plant street trees to reduce runoff, infiltrate stormwater and ease heat island effects.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Meg Kerr

Project: J. T. Owens Park Rain Garden

Location: Providence

Overview: This vegetated infiltration basin at the corner of Niantic Avenue and Swanton Street helps prevent stormwater runoff in the neighborhood from reaching Mashapaug Pond. The runoff will flow to a rain garden and soak through permeable soils into the groundwater.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Jessica Pohl

Project: Kempenaar Valley Stormwater Infiltration

Location: Middletown

Overview: The Gravel Wet Vegetated Treatment System at Kempenaar Valley filters stormwater run-off of nearby impervious surfaces and residential lawns from the Two Mile Corner area in Middletown. This constructed wetland was designed to reduce bacteria loading into the Bailey Brook, which feeds two drinking supply reservoirs (Green End Pond and Easton Pond) for residents of Aquidneck Island.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Dave Gerraughty

Project: North Burial Grounds Amphibian Habitat

Location: Providence

Overview: Green infrastructure work might provide an occasional opportunity to create wetland habitats that would benefit amphibians. A drainage swale in the Providence’s North Burial Grounds provides a breeding pool for tadpoles of two species, Fowlers Toad and Gray Tree Frog. Greg Gerritt of Friends of the Moshassuck has received grants to video and compare drainage swales in urban locations that are not heavily impacted by automotive or industrial pollutants that would adversely affect amphibians through their skin.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Alicia Lehrer

Project: Pleasant Valley Stormwater Improvement

Location: Providence

Overview: Pleasant Valley Stream originates on the campus of Rhode Island College, and its watershed includes parts of Providence College, La Salle Academy, Mount Pleasant High School, and the surrounding residential community. It has been appropriated as an open stormwater channel, from which fate Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council is attempting a rescue.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council

Project: Red Shed Green Roof

Location: Providence

Overview: The Red Shed Bike Shop in Waterside Park is sporting a revamped green roof. A team of 15 workers from The Woonasquatucket Watershed Council’s River Rangers, Groundwork Rhode Island and One Neighborhood Works installed 160 vegetated shortgrass modules.

More about this Project

Image Credit: RIPTA

Project: RIPTA Parking lot

Location: Providence

Overview: The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority parking lot on Elmwood Ave. in Providence is the largest permeable pavement lot in New England and is designed to allow stormwater to seep slowly into the surrounding soils.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Wenley Ferguson

Project: Rogers High School

Location: Newport

Overview: The actions to reduce reduce runoff from areas on school grounds to the watershed that includes Newport’s Lily Pond include construction of rain gardens at two sites and pavement removal from two areas.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Dave Gerraughty

Project: Save the Bay

Location: Providence

Overview: Save the Bay Center was designed to be energy efficient and reduce stormwater runoff. Design elements include a sloped vegetated roof, bioremediation ponds, a permeable parking area and bioswales.

More about this Project

Other Green Infrastructure Projects in Rhode Island

Image Credit: Taber Caton, Principal, Searle Design Group

Project: Congdon House (RISD) Rain Gardens

Location: Providence

Overview: Two gardens between Congdon House and Dunnell House reduce runoff between the two buildings and slow and infiltrate stormwater flowing from paved areas nearby and the roofs of the houses.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Providence College

Project: Providence College

Location: Providence

Overview: There are four major projects on campus that incorporate vegetated swales, bioretention bays, infiltration trenches, permeable pavement and underground storage cells. The projects are designed to reduce and treat stormwater runoff to storm drains on streets near the campus.

More about this Project

Image Credit: Dave Gerraughty

Project: Roger Williams Park

Location: Providence

Overview: Five projects have been completed in the park to control stormwater flows and reduce phosphorus contamination. Techniques include bioretention gardens, pavement removal, infiltration basins and flumes to redirect stormwater.

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Image Credit: Dave Gerraughty

Project: Second Beach Depaving

Location: Middletown

Overview: The project removes pavement along the wall separating the parking lot from the beach to ease runoff in the parking areas and on Sachuest Point Road.

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Image Credit: Dave Gerraughty

Project: The Steel Yard

Location: Providence

Overview: The former brownfield site infiltrates 90% of its average yearly rainfall through a system of bioswales and permeable pavement. Lead concentration was so high that a top layer of soil was removed, and a cap of 12 inches of clean fill or pavement was added.

More about this Project

More Green Infrastructure Projects in Rhode Island

Small Rain Gardens From Around RI

Image Credit: Kate Venturini, University of Rhode Island

Bristol

Central Falls

Charlestown

Coventry

East Greenwich

East Providence

Jamestown

Johnston

Lincoln

Middletown

Narragansett

Newport

North Kingstown

North Providence

North Scituate

Providence

Warren

Warwick

West Greenwich

West Kingston

Westerly