LID opportunities on public land

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Parks

The bioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation. area installed at O’Connor Park in Mississauga is part of a stormwater management system that treats parking lot runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. prior to discharging to a local wetlandA vegetated area such as a bog, fen, marsh, or swamp, where the soil or root zone is saturated for part of the year.. (Source: CVCCredit Valley Conservation)
Urban parkettes may look small, but they have the potential to treat a large surface area of road. Typical ratios of imperviousA hard surface area (e.g., road, parking area or rooftop) that prevents or retards the infiltration of water into the soil. drainage areaThe total surface area upstream of a point on a stream that drains toward that point. Not to be confused with watershed. The drainage area may include one or more watersheds. to a bioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation. range from 5:1 to 15:1. (Source: CVCCredit Valley Conservation)
The road surface (left) contributes significantly more stormwater pollutants than the parkland area (right). To achieve maximum watershed benefit a designer could consider accepting runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. from this external area. (Source: CVCCredit Valley Conservation)
Source areas within a typical park

Parks range from simple parcels of municipal property to complex outdoor recreational facilities that include parking, sidewalks, trails, sports fields, field houses, operations facilities and washrooms. Each distinct area of your site can be a source for runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. (referred to as a ‘source areaThe land draining to a single reference point (usually a structural BMP); similar to a subwatershed, but on a smaller scale.’). Target these areas when introducing LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. in your park.

Targeting hard surfaces

Hard surfaces like parking lots and internal driveways are the most obvious targets for both stormwater quality and water balanceThe accounting of inflow and outflow of water in a system according to the components of the hydrologic cycle. improvements. These features produce more runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. than any other area on your site. RunoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. from parking lots and driveways is typically more polluted than other source areas. Common water quality concerns include sandMineral particles which are smaller than 2 mm, and which are free of appreciable quantities of clay and silt. Coarse sand usually designates sand grains with particle size between 0.2 and 0.02 mm. and salt from winter de-icing operations, hydrocarbons (gasoline) and heavy metals from vehicle breakdowns.

RunoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. from vegetated areas of parks will be relatively clean and more closely matches the natural water balanceThe accounting of inflow and outflow of water in a system according to the components of the hydrologic cycle.. On municipal park properties, hard surfaces are usually located adjacent to pervious areas such as lawns, gardens or naturalized areas. This makes parks an ideal location for a LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. retrofit. Where grading allows, you can construct bioswales and bioretention areas in these green areas to pre-treat water prior to infiltrationThe slow movement of water into or through a soil or drainage system.Penetration of water through the ground surface..

You can also design parking surfaces and internal roadways as infiltration systems using permeable pavementAn alternative practice to traditional impervious pavement, prevents the generation of runoff by allowing precipitation falling on the surface to infiltrate through the surface course into an underlying stone reservoir and, where suitable conditions exist, into the native soil.. This retrofit strategy can be combined with other LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices. Pathways paved with permeable paving are another LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. option for your park. They reduce runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. volumes and encourage on-site infiltrationThe slow movement of water into or through a soil or drainage system.Penetration of water through the ground surface.. Exfiltration trenches are a viable option on many parks sites as well, as they provide an alternative to conventional conveyance systems (such as storm sewers). They encourage infiltration from hard surfaces and can be used to convey water to other LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. features.

Accepting drainage from off-site areas

Does municipally owned land drain into your retrofit site? If so, this is an opportunity to provide stormwater controls for these areas. Roads are the most common source of runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. from external properties into parks. Treating municipal road runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface. in a park requires planning input from municipal roads department staff. For these projects, the team must understand how all road activities, including winter maintenance and potential roadwork, will affect the operation of LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices in the park.

Inter-municipal transfer of funds

Integrating LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices into the municipal stormwater management framework may require a change in how municipal funds are managed. Traditional stormwater management maintenance resources and funds may have to be transferred to a more landscape-based stormwater management maintenance program. Instead of infrequent but expensive stormwater management pondA body of water smaller than a lake, often artificially formed. sedimentSoil, sand and minerals washed from land into water, usually after rain. They pile up in reservoirs, rivers and harbors, destroying fish-nesting areas and holes of water animals and cloud the water so that needed sunlight might not reach aquatic plans. Careless farming, mining and building activities will expose sediment materials, allowing them to be washed off the land after rainfalls. removal operations, time and resources would be spent on more frequent but inexpensive maintenance projects, including pruning and weeding bioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation. practices or sweeping permeable pavementAn alternative practice to traditional impervious pavement, prevents the generation of runoff by allowing precipitation falling on the surface to infiltrate through the surface course into an underlying stone reservoir and, where suitable conditions exist, into the native soil.. Municipalities generally have the required staff and infrastructure within departments (e.g. arborists and horticulturalists in parks departments) to manage the maintenance of LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. measures. However, funding this maintenance may require a transfer of funding and additional training. The federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) is another funding option for funding LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. retrofits. This federal transfer provides long-term funding for municipalities to build and revitalize public infrastructure. Up to 30% of a municipality's yearly GTF allotment can be used for stormwater management.

Source Areas

The best LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. option for your site will depend what types of source areas are present. Source areas may include:

  • Active use areas
  • Passive use areas
  • Pedestrian walkways
  • Internal driveways
  • Parking lots

On park sites, pollution prevention is often associated with changes to operations and maintenance practices and has not been included in the table below. Options and implementation strategies for a few of these source areas will give you some ideas for your park site.

LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. opportunities in parks
(** = Common, * = Possible, o = Unusual)
Source areaThe land draining to a single reference point (usually a structural BMP); similar to a subwatershed, but on a smaller scale. Permeable paving Bioretention Enhanced grass swales Bioswales Infiltration trenches and chambers Exfiltration trenches Landscape alternatives Prefabricated modules
Active use area ** o * * ** * o o
Passive use area o ** ** ** ** ** ** **
Pedestrian walkway ** ** ** ** ** * * o
Internal driveway ** ** ** ** ** ** o *
Parking lot ** ** ** ** ** ** o **

Making it happen: Approaches to getting LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. into parks

The scale of your LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. project will largely determine how to proceed. While you can usually complete small-scale LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. projects with in-house expertise and resources, large-scale projects require external support from consultants and contractors.

Small-scale projects

A no-mow zone is a landscape alternative that does not require construction activities. (Source: Aquafor Beech)

Starting with small-scale projects is a good strategy to increase public interest in LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices, gauge municipal support and gain experience. Small-scale projects include retrofitting your park with landscape alternatives, rain barrels, or by using pollution prevention strategies and practices.

Small-scale projects require fewer resources and a smaller project budget:

  • They do not require integration into capital works projects
  • Engineering consultants are not required
  • Contractors may not be not required
  • External approvals are not required
  • Consultation with the public is limited

Due to less financial commitment, it can be easier to build colleague support and to gain supervisor approval for small-scale projects. However, small-scale projects like landscape alternatives and pollution prevention may not be easily identified as LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices by the public. Your project team should consider establishing educational signage to inform the public.

Large-scale projects

When installing new parks equipment, consider whether the LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices can be integrated into the design. Here a bioswaleLinear bioretention cell designed to convey, treat and attenuate stormwater runoff. The engineered filter media soil mixture and vegetation slows the runoff water to allow sedimentation, filtration through the root zone, evapotranspiration, and infiltration into the underlying native soil. has been built into the landscape between a playground and sidewalk. (Source: CVCCredit Valley Conservation)

Large-scale projects require significantly more effort, budget, and staff than small-scale projects. Large-scale LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices include:

  • BioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation.
  • Enhanced grass swalesA shallow constructed channel, often grass-lined, which is used as an alternative to curb and channel, or as a pretreatment to other measures. Swales are generally characterized by a broad top width to depth ratio and gentle grades.Vegetated, open channels designed to convey, treat and attenuate runoff. Design variations range from simple grass channels, which are designed primarily for conveyance to more complex treatment and volume reduction designs like enhanced grass swales, and dry swales or bioswales.
  • BioswalesLinear bioretention cell designed to convey, treat and attenuate stormwater runoff. The engineered filter media soil mixture and vegetation slows the runoff water to allow sedimentation, filtration through the root zone, evapotranspiration, and infiltration into the underlying native soil.
  • Perforated pipe systems
  • Permeable pavementAn alternative practice to traditional impervious pavement, prevents the generation of runoff by allowing precipitation falling on the surface to infiltrate through the surface course into an underlying stone reservoir and, where suitable conditions exist, into the native soil.
  • Soakaways
  • Infiltration chambers
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Prefabricated modules

Consider a large-scale project if your municipality or department would like to be a leader in sustainability. Large scale projects are often highly visible and attract more public attention. Large-scale projects may also be the only solution to site-specific challenges. For example, if the parking lot on your site does not have existing stormwater controls, small-scale projects are not likely to fully achieve compliance with water quality and quantity objectives. Consider using an infiltration chamber or bioswaleLinear bioretention cell designed to convey, treat and attenuate stormwater runoff. The engineered filter media soil mixture and vegetation slows the runoff water to allow sedimentation, filtration through the root zone, evapotranspiration, and infiltration into the underlying native soil. project to meet those objectives.

Before starting a large-scale retrofit project, consider the following distinctions that set these retrofits apart from small-scale projects.

Integration with capital works programs

Most large-scale LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. retrofits must function with existing site infrastructure, such as storm sewers, catch basinsGround depression acting as a flow control and water treatment structure, that is normally dry. and pavement systems. Constructing large-scale LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices often requires these systems to be removed, exposed or replaced. Planned infrastructure replacement or rehabilitation projects provide opportunities for implementing LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. practices. For example, if a planned project requires removing existing pavement, infiltration chambers, permeable pavementAn alternative practice to traditional impervious pavement, prevents the generation of runoff by allowing precipitation falling on the surface to infiltrate through the surface course into an underlying stone reservoir and, where suitable conditions exist, into the native soil. or bioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation. can be incorporated. Budget and resources already set aside for infrastructure projects can be set aside for a retrofit project including replacement existing infrastructure.

Involvement of consultants and contractors

Consultants are required for large-scale retrofit projects, specifically for the final screening of options, pre-design, detailed design, tender and contract documents, construction supervision and administration, and assumption and verification. Site contractors are also required for large-scale LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. retrofits.

Ideally, contractors should be pre-qualified based on previous experience with similar LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. projects.

More intensive public consultation

Stakeholders must be closely involved in the retrofit process for large-scale LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. projects. These projects have longer construction windows, may have significant impacts on long term public use patterns of the park, and will have significantly higher costs. Gaining public insight in advance of LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. implementation can help address public concerns and information gaps, as well as identify public supporters and champions. Public consultation can help designers tailor the project to address community concerns and values.

External approvals

Large-scale park retrofits may require a variety of approvals at the municipal, watershedThe drainage area of a river.An area of land that drains into a river or a lake. The boundary of a watershed is based on the elevation (natural contours) of a landscape., provincial and/or federal level. Since LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. is still relatively new, you may encounter policies or bylaws that present barriers to LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. retrofit projects. Alternatively, the municipality may have to enforce some policies and bylaws to facilitate the implementation of LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. projects within parks.

Municipal facilities

LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. opportunities in municipal buildings
(** = Common, * = Possible, o = Unusual)
Source areaThe land draining to a single reference point (usually a structural BMP); similar to a subwatershed, but on a smaller scale. Permeable pavement Bioretention Enhanced grass swales / bioswales Green roofs Soakaways and infiltration trenches Perforated pipe systems Rainwater harvesting Landscape alternatives Prefabricated modules Pollution prevention
Active use area ** ** ** o ** * o * o **
Passive use area o ** * o ** ** o ** ** **
Pedestrian walkway ** ** ** o ** * o * * **
Internal driveway ** ** ** o ** ** o o ** **
Parking lot ** ** ** o ** ** o o ** **
Building * * * ** ** * ** o o **

Schools

Places of worship