Green Infrastructure in Parks

11 MOVING FORWARD 2. Build Relationships Once you have identified potential partners, these partners can be engaged by working with them to identify common mutually beneficial goals. Parks supervisors and other potential partners can also explore creative funding arrangements to secure adequate funding to implement park projects that meet the goals of the respective partners. Case Study: Partnering to Create Herron Park Philadelphia, Pennsylvania In 2009, the city of Philadelphia proposed a 20-year plan to improve stormwater management and water quality in local streams and rivers. This approach focused on using green infrastructure to change the city’s drainage and provide other benefits to the local community. The Philadelphia Recreation Department and the Philadelphia Water Department collaborated on the redevelopment of Herron Park in Philadelphia, a 1.12-acre park that was largely covered in concrete. The departments worked together to blend new recreational and aesthetic amenities with stormwater management elements. The park features: • A playground. • A porous surface basketball court. • A push-button activated “sprayground” that only runs when people are present. • More than 80 native and adapted trees, shrubs, grasses, and a rain garden with more than 3,000 water-tolerant native plants. • A vegetated swale. • An infiltration trench. Both the basketball court and playground meet multiple goals. The porous asphalt surface on the basketball court allows water to pass through to the soil below, including water from an adjacent street that is redirected to the court. The pervious safety surface of the playground is made from recycled tires to meet playground safety requirements and infiltrate water. Other green design elements include a vegetated swale that serves as a passive lawn area and slows stormwater before it enters the drainage system. A new infiltration trench with a perforated pipe laid in gravel replaced a traditional concrete drain, allowing stormwater to soak into the soil beneath the porous play surface while ensuring proper drainage. The green infrastructure elements help retain the first inch of rainfall from the site itself as well as runoff from 1.17 acres of adjacent, impervious land. The park reconstruction, which cost $1.1 million, helps the Philadelphia Water Department meet its legal obligation under a 2011 consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Delaware River by 85 percent. Figure 3. Top: east entrance of the park in 2011 after new green infrastructure elements were installed. Bottom: conditions in 2009, before renovation. (Source: Langan Engineering)