Breathing Life into Parks with GSI


  • How to seek out projects that meet both stormwater and quality-of-life goals
  • Case studies of stormwater projects in parks that have moved from planning through design and are headed into construction
  • How to leverage stormwater funding to provide community benefits


As water utilities seek to solve stormwater issues, neighborhood parks that have suffered as a result of shrinking parks budgets are getting much-needed upgrades. In the past decade, many cities have recommitted to improving parks with the realization that parks provide irreplaceable benefits to the environment, the economy, and quality of life. Even as gleaming new signature parks have been built and other parks have been refurbished, park systems remain chronically underfunded. Capital Region Water and Seattle Public Utilities are targeting parks as places where they can make much-needed upgrades in the name of stormwater management. These projects are allowing the utilities to keep stormwater out of their sewers while activating underused spaces and improving quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods. Explore the stormwater-planning processes used to identify potential park sites for stormwater improvements, the results of those processes, and ongoing implementation. After a brief background presentation on each green-infrastructure plan, the course shifts to a facilitated question-and-answer session that highlights similarities and differences between the efforts, including differences in outreach and engagement strategies, partnerships, and funding sources.