Green Infrastructure

The Stormwater & GIS Division within the City's Department of Public Works is working on new and innovative ways to include green infrastructure practices throughout the City.

What is Green Infrastructure?
Green infrastructure is a type of stormwater management that tries to protect, restore, or mimic the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure combines elements of the natural environment and traditional stormwater drainage systems to improve water quality and restore ecosystems. Green infrastructure can refer to behaviors, practices, devices, as well as being a way to design stormwater systems. Green infrastructure can be promoted through regulations, including guidelines for landscaping that take advantage of ecological benefits provided by natural processes.

The City of Durham includes green infrastructure practices throughout the City by incorporating them into larger city projects, through research projects and grants, partnerships with local organizations, and by working with other city departments.

Green Infrastructure Fact Sheet (PDF)

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Fact Sheet (PDF)

Learn more about Rain Gardens

Additional information about green infrastructure is available from the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
EPA Green Infrastructure

Letting it Grow!
Since 2007 the Department of Public Works, Division of Stormwater and GIS Services has been engaged in ongoing watershed management planning efforts to identify water quality issues across the city and to characterize the health of each watershed. Reports and detailed information about our watershed plans can be found on the sidebar of this page. As part of each watershed plan, Public Works works with other City departments to examine ways to improve stream-side areas on City-owned property. Through these collaborative relationships with other City departments, specific recommendations are developed that will help to improve the health of our City's streams and stream buffers (the area around a stream).

Letting it Grow in Parks (PDF) - In collaboration with the Department of Parks and Recreation

Let it Grow along utility corridors (PDF)  -
In collaboration with the Department of Water Management

Tree Care 101 Workshops
Public Works has been actively engaged in Trees Across Durham since it's inception in 2014. Trees Across Durham is a broad-based partnership dedicated to making Durham a healthier and greener community now and in the future through the planting and protection of trees, the education of tree care-takers and the general public about how to maintain healthy trees, and the measurement and communication of the benefits trees provide to our environment and community.​

In cooperation with Trees Across Durham, Department of General Services - Urban Forestry Division, and Keep Durham Beautiful, Public Works helps host an annual Tree Care 101 Workshop. Each workshop is held along the banks of a stream restoration project within one of our City parks. At these fun and engaging events, the public is invited to spend time learning about the critical benefits that native trees and plants provide for our streams, stream buffers, and water quality. Participants have the opportunity to learn hand's-on techniques about tree pruning, planting, and general tree care directly from Alex Johnson, the Urban Forestry Manager and certified arborist. Healthy streams = clean water!
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