Green Infrastructure in Parks

12 3. Leverage Funding Opportunities Partnerships with sister departments, nongovernmental organizations, and other state or local entities can lead to funds that can be used to improve the park or create and operate new parks that incorporate multifunctional green infrastructure components. For example: • Water providers can fund infiltration-based green infrastructure projects such as rain gardens and bioswales that recharge groundwater supplies. • Stormwater utilities can use a portion of their dedicated fee to build green infrastructure that treats runoff from impervious surfaces in high-priority areas. • Watershed and environmental groups can apply for grants to implement green infrastructure projects that benefit downstream waters, create wildlife habitat, reduce urban heat, and expand the tree canopy. Case Study: Collaborative Funding at Cromwell Park Shoreline, Washington Cromwell Park in Shoreline, Washington, is a 9-acre park designed to combine stormwater detention and treatment with recreation. One goal in the original design of the park was to capitalize on the existing wetland and subterranean bog as a way to improve stormwater management in this area of town, rather than adding gray infrastructure. The park, which was constructed for $1.65 million with joint funding from the 2006 Parks and Open Space Bond Levy and the Surface Water Utility, includes a number of green infrastructure practices: • A 1.33-acre constructed bioretention facility (constructed wetland) and enhanced natural wetlands. • Bioswales to guide, capture, and filter stormwater. • Curb cuts to facilitate stormwater inflow to infiltration areas. • Porous pavers to further promote soil infiltration, rather than piping flows to nearby streams. Figure 4. Cromwell Park from above. (Source: Gaynor, Inc.) These improvements enhance stormwater management, control flooding that had been problematic in the past, and improve overall water quality. Stormwater flows into the constructed wetland areas, which filter the water and serve as a holding basin, allowing for infiltration. The wetland increases the capacity of the stormwater system by retaining one acre-foot of water without expanding any of the gray infrastructure. In addition to these benefits, the local community can enjoy the many recreational improvements, such as an irrigated sports field, walking paths/trails, play equipment, landscaping, picnic facilities, benches, and drinking fountains. Restoration of the natural wetland, native plantings, and paths that complement the natural features of the park support an enhanced natural habitat. Cromwell Park is jointly maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department and the Surface Water Utility.