The Green Infrastructure Collaborative just released a self-guided bike tour map of Burlington’s green infrastructure (GI). The 7 mile loop winds through the city, starting at Local Motion on the waterfront bike path, and highlights notable GI installations throughout the downtown area. Old North End neighborhoods, where sandy soils make the perfect substrate for infiltration practices, feature curb bump out gardens, bioretention, and permeable pavers. Areas with higher ground water tables, like the waterfront, utilize filtration and discharge clean water. The gravel wetlands adjacent to the new concrete skate park along the bike path just north of Waterfront Park are striking examples of GI treatment methods that are viable even in areas where infiltration is limited, as seen in clay soils and where the ground water table is high.
With input from the Urban and Community Forestry Program, notable trees are highlighted through the tour. Did you know that the oldest trees on the University of Vermont (UVM) campus are eastern white pines (Pinus strobus)? Planted in the 1830’s on the University Green, these trees now have trunks 25 inches in diameter! These impressive plants are beautiful to look at and also serve an important stormwater role as they intercept rain fall and suck up water from the soil for their biological processes.
UVM and Champlain College campuses serve as demonstration sites for several important green stormwater infrastructure practices. These include green roofs, permeable pavers, a gravel wetland, and even a student-designed and installed rain garden. In addition, the bioretention laboratory on UVM campus is accessible to the public and provides ongoing data on the function and performance of bioretention cells in our changing northern climate. Educational signage throughout the tour is noted on the map for those who want to learn even more about green infrastructure.
For those visiting Burlington, the bike tour offers a perfect way to get to know the City. For locals, this may offer a greener view of a familiar landscape.
You can pick up FREE printed copies of the bike map at these locations:
- Local Motion (where the tour starts)
- Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource room on the second floor of the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
- Burlington Parks and Recreation office on Pine Street
- Burlington Chamber of Commerce on Main Street.
You can also download a PDF of the map or go on a digital tour with our Google map version (all the same sites are featured so you won’t miss anything) by visiting our website.