Originally presented at StormCon 2023.
Who hasn’t driven by a dry, dusty and brown stormwater BMP and wondered: Does it have to look like that? The purpose of this presentation is to provide examples of landscaped stormwater BMPs and green infrastructure throughout the U.S. including award-winning designs. Topics to be covered will include example projects, appropriate native plant selection, irrigation needed to establish plants versus long term reduction in irrigation needs, lessons learned from years of projects in place, operation and maintenance costs and savings associated with native plant, and additional economic benefits. The presentation will include images of landscaped projects in a variety of land uses including commercial, industrial, residential, transportation and also a variety of roadway, freeway and greenway improvements. Case study images will demonstrate how native flowering plants in full bloom help blend stormwater BMPs into the natural surrounding landscape, increase visual appeal of the BMP as well as the overall site design, and demonstrate how BMPs can actually be a feature and focal point of the site design rather than a required component for regulatory compliance. Attendees will walk away with the following: An understanding of how to incorporate native plantings into site design of stormwater BMPs; benefits of native plants throughout the U.S., including filtration of harmful contaminants out of stormwater and providing food and cover for wildlife; benefits of drought tolerant plants in the arid Southwest; operation and maintenance benefits of native plantings and; economic benefits of incorporating native plantings into stormwater BMP design.
About the Presenters
Michael Drennan PE is Director of Water Resources and Green Infrastructure. He provides leadership in the development of integrated solutions which help communities create a healthier balance between the built environment and the natural ecosystem. He is a licensed civil engineer in California and has over thirty years of experience in water, wastewater, stormwater, and green infrastructure solutions. He has dedicated his career to developing practical solutions that provide community benefits and regulatory compliance.
Jackson Wandres has over 35 years of professional experience designing and overseeing the construction of urban public open space projects. He is an expert at weaving Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management Practices (GI SMP’s), including rain gardens and bio-swales, into his designs for green parks hardscape plazas and streetscapes. For the past 24 years Jackson has managed numerous NV5 projects for NYC Parks and DOT, integrating GI BMP’s into each to build resilience and improve water quality.
Mike Smyth is a practicing Landscape Architect with over 37 years of experience and who is licensed in four western states. His stormwater infrastructure design experience includes greenstreet infiltration planters, flood control channels, detention/retention basins, riparian restoration, wetland mitigation, and roadside bioswales. Each new project benefited functionally and aesthetically from some combination of woody plants, herbaceous materials, and/or permanent seeding. A thorough and thoughtful design process can produce facilities that are attractive, functional, affordable and reasonable to maintain.