Green infrastructure projects are win-win for communities. The projects treat stormwater pollution and also provide multiple additional benefits like green space, natural habitat, cooling, flood protection, and community health. When done correctly, green infrastructure projects also provide local green jobs that strengthen communities.

It is not unusual for green infrastructure installations to blend in to the landscape. Green infrastructure projects look like gardens, road side vegetation or tree plantings. Sometimes the fact that the gardens, swales and trees are designed to remove pollutants and provide additional benefits to the community is lost.

Nature at Work signs can be seen round RI including in the Woonasquatucket River Watershed
and at the Newport Gateway Transportation Center.

The Green Infrastructure Coalition (GIC) has developed a signage project to begin to showcase green infrastructure projects so people can learn about the beauty and environmental functions they provide. With leadership from the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council and Groundwork Rhode Island a GIC committee worked with a designer on signage language, templates and icons that could be incorporated into signs.

The “Nature at Work” icon was finalized first. Inspired by construction site “Men at Work” signs, the GIC’s goal is to see “Nature at Work” signs throughout the state, identifying green infrastructure projects installed by cities and towns, state agencies, and private developers, as well as GIC partners.

The group created a template for larger signs with the title, "Nature is at work here!" and icons describing six green infrastructure co-benefits – Clean: Uses plants and soils to filter out pollution; Protect: Absorbs rain and reduces flooding; Economy: Reduces utility bills and creates jobs; Cool: Replaces hard surfaces that hold heat; Wellness: Cleans our air and creates welcoming spaces; Habitat: Attracts animals like butterflies, turtles and frogs. In the center of the sign is space for a description of the particular green infrastructure installation. And there is room at the bottom for giving credit to project sponsors and partners. Template wording has been modified to fit distinctive features of particular projects.

The GIC hopes the sign is widely used and will provide the sign template and icons, free of charge, to anyone installing green infrastructure. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, as part of its stormwater program, has offered to print green infrastructure signs for any members of the Green Infrastructure Coalition.

Please contact Meg Kerr ( to learn more about the GIC’s signage program.

Last Call! Registration is now open for the March 10, 2018 Land & Water Conservation Summit.
There will be two excellent workshops on green infrastructure! Come join Rhode Island’s conservation leaders for a day of networking and workshops.
The Green Infrastructure Coalition is a project of the Environment Council of Rhode Island. We are made up of over forty organizations from around the state that work on projects to create nature based solutions for stormwater issues facing Rhode Island. Our projects and programs are geared towards educating the community on what is being done to address polluted runoff and flooding across the state. Our goal is to advocate for and help create new projects by using natural green infrastructure in Rhode Island.
John Berard is the State Director of Rhode Island Clean Water Action. Clean Water Action is a member of the Rhode Island Green Infrastructure Coalition.
RI-GIC Website