At the end of September the Green Infrastructure Collaborative (GIC) sponsored a trip to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Stormwater Research Center. GIC affiliates, engineers, landscape designers, researchers, and state agency employees from Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York were among those who attended. The UNH Stormwater Center is nationally recognized for their research on Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI). Their extensive monitoring of a variety of GSI practices both on and off campus provide valuable data on best practices for design, implementation, and maintenance relevant to our region.
UNH Stormwater Center Director Thomas P. Ballestero, PhD. P.E. and Program Manager James Houle, MA, CPSWQ led groups through installations and monitoring sites. On campus, runoff from a large parking lot is directed into parallel tracks – making side-by-side analysis of different technologies possible. Newer installations on the other side of campus include a vegetated area that collects water from a large section of parking lot. Off-campus installations on the tour include an undersized gravel wetland draining runoff from a residential neighborhood, and an infiltration trench in a busy commercial parking lot.
Designers, installers, and state agencies are already putting lessons learned at UNH to use in Vermont. A complete report of technical information learned on the GIC tour can be found here. The GIC will continue to link practitioners with the newest research on GSI in an effort to improve Vermont’s application of this cutting edge technology for the benefit of our water bodies.