George Washington Regional Commission to hold green infrastructure charette – Fredericksburg Free Press


The George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC) is holding a green infrastructure charette at Howell Library Branch in Stafford County on April 26 at 12 p.m. Through this event, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about green infrastructure and provide feedback about where in the community green infrastructure may be needed to address issues of urban heat, flooding, erosion, and stormwater management. Green infrastructure is a practice that captures and absorbs rainwater where it falls. Since water cannot be absorbed by impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs, and parking lots, urban areas experience increased rates of runoff that lead to erosion and flooding. Green infrastructure practices are meant to take advantage of nature-based solutions by using plants and engineered soils to let water soak through to groundwater. Some of these practices have the co-benefit of reducing urban heat by shading the surrounding area. Shaded surfaces, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), may be 20–45°F cooler than unshaded areas during peak temperatures.

“This region is ripe for a conversation about green infrastructure,” said Chip Boyles, executive director of GWRC. “As issues like stormwater management and urban heat become more prevalent, it’s time to talk about real solutions that contribute not only to environmental health—but human health as well.”

The charette will run from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., with lunch provided; residents are welcome to drop in at any time during that period. Attendees can expect a variety of activities aimed to educate and gather input, including project case studies from the region, landscape maps to nominate locations for future projects, and opportunities to collaboratively envision what green infrastructure means here.

The case study projects are Cosner Park in Spotsylvania County, Cedell Brooks Jr. Park in King George, and North Stafford High School. Residents impacted by potential green infrastructure projects at these sites are encouraged to provide feedback during this time.

All members of the public are welcome to attend, and RSVPs are encouraged to ensure that the occupancy of the room is not exceeded.

The Green Infrastructure Charette is funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the US Environmental Protection Agency through their Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs (G3) grant which has allowed GWRC to work with Green Fin Studio to plan this event.

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