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

Who Are We?

Image Credit: Kate Venturini

Manton Heights Rain Garden

Groundwork Rhode Island trainees creating a rain garden at Manton Heights in Providence, in April 2011.

The Green Infrastructure Coalition engages 37 not-for-profit organizations with city planners and other officials to promote and construct pathways for rainwater, melting snow, and other run-off to avoid pavement and infiltrate earth. Avoiding pavement means preventing oil and other automotive fluids, dog urine, bird droppings, and other animal waste , de-icing sand, and other incidental pollutants from making our urban waterways ugly and un-sanitary. When street landscapes, gardens, swales and revitalized abandoned lots are implemented by institutions, city departments, and non-profit organizations, the resulting cityscape will be attractive to business, tourism, and residents while improving water quality in nearby rivers, ponds, and bays. Infiltration techniques range from a shallow sandy bowl planted with perennials to roof gardens (aka “green roofs”), tree boxes, and permeable pavement.

Designing for and mitigating flooding is an increasingly important part of the framework of Green Infrastructure as we experience sea level rise and increasingly intense storms generated by climate change.

Resilience to flooding is integrated into project design and policy planning. The “Green” of trees works both to let roots direct water into the earth and to provide shade against solar heating of city buildings and pavement. Coordinating “Gray” and “Green” infrastructure creates effective public policy. Public health, quality of life, and environmental benefits accrue from Green Infrastructure policy and practice.