Cistern at Center for Green Technology in Chicago

Next week, I have the pleasure of traveling with local officials from Northwest Ohio to the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee to learn about their green infrastructure programs and policies. This two-day tour will highlight both buildings and landscapes that protect our rivers through natural stormwater management by incorporating rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavement, and rain barrels.

Our first day is in Chicago and starts at Chicago Center for Green Technology.At this LEED certified building, we will see native planting areas, a large cistern, rain barrels, and green roof test plots.Our next stop is City Hall’s rooftop garden. From there, we’ll travel to Center for Neighborhood Technology, another LEED certified building. While traveling up to one of Center for Neighborhood Technology’s green infrastructure demonstration projects at St. Margaret Mary Church and School, we’ll have the chance to stop at some of the Green Alleys that the Chicago Department of Transportation has installed along the way.

Our second day will begin at Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. We will then go to Bradford Beach on Lake Michigan where several rain gardens have been installed to work with the outfalls that are releasing stormwater onto the beach.We’ll then travel to Menomenee Valley Park – River Lawn where natural areas function as stormwater management and stop at Johnson’s Park (an American Rivers collaborative project). If time allows, we will try to check out Josey Heightsa new urban sustainable development in downtown Milwaukee.

As you can see, this is a packed tour full of green practices for stormwater and beyond.I am excited to see what will come out of this for Northwest Ohio. Maybe our first green roof? I’ll keep you posted.