Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Friday, 17 June 2016

Green Infrastructure for a Healthy Future

By Bill Trenouth, Jennifer Dougherty and Kyle Vander Linden, Credit Valley Conservation

It is exciting to know that green infrastructure will be the focus of the 2016 Latornell Symposium.  For three days this November – plus an additional fourth day in the immediate run up to the conference – professionals from across Ontario will convene, share ideas and explore opportunities, challenges and lessons learned with the goal of , advancing the state of knowledge and practice, and to encourage the use of solutions which build healthy, resilient communities that connect, support and sustain us. Specialists working on low impact development (LID) will be sharing ideas and promoting tools that can take this multi-functional technology beyond the pilot stage to full-scale adoption.

But what is “green infrastructure”? Innumerable policies, documents and plans make reference to this phrase, but there is no clear consensus as to what falls inside – or outside – of this terminology. This year’s Latornell Conference organizers have done a fantastic job of encapsulating the key aspects associated with this term. Chiefly, that green infrastructure includes living systems that are either “built or naturally occurring”, and that these systems “support the environment, the economy and our quality of life”.

Credit Valley Conservation and many other CA’s have long embraced these ideas and have worked tirelessly to encourage the protection and responsible use of green infrastructure, and collectively we have worked to build a valuation of the services we receive from these features as part of a full-cost accounting. From ‘Natural Credit’ to our latest LID Monitoring ‘How To’ guide, CVC and its partners have been at the fore of a range of green infrastructure initiatives.  But there is still much work to be done.

Experiences and expertise need to be shared, and the 2016 Latornell Symposium serves as the perfect space where this can be accomplished. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Latornell Symposium, and quite possibly at our pre-Latornell LID Construction, Operation, Maintenance and Monitoring Training as well!

Bill Trenouth, Jennifer Dougherty and Kyle Vander Linden work in the Water and Climate Change Science and Integrated Water Management groups at CVC. Their teams specialize in the planning, design, implementation, and performance monitoring of low impact development (LID) stormwater management features. Having worked with their municipal partners to implement more than 60 LID projects throughout the Credit River Watershed, their teams now offer comprehensive training courses related to the design, construction, operation, maintenance and compliance monitoring of these technologies in conjunction with both the Toronto and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authorities.