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Projects will help creat green jobs in Chicago

Posted on May 4, 2014

A round of projects funded by the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategy will create many new green jobs in Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Water Management (DWM) have announced the first round of green stormwater management projects.

DWM will provide funding to the Space to Grow program, an initiative by Openlands and Healthy Schools Campaign to convert public school asphalt schoolyards into green playgrounds. Donald Morrill Math & Science Elementary School, Virgil Grissom Elementary School, George Leland Elementary School and Theophilus Schmid Elementary School are currently in the design phase, with construction anticipated to begin this summer.

These projects will contain several green infrastructure components, including rain gardens, bioswales and permeable pavement to help absorb rainfall.

DWM has worked with City agencies to identify opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure into existing and ongoing capital projects.

For 2014, DWM has identified 39 such projects, which include four schoolyard projects, five complete streets projects and 30 traffic calming projects.

In sum, these 39 projects will receive $6.1 million in funding from DWM and will leverage nearly $18 million in additional funding from Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) and other partners.

CDOT and DWM are also collaborating to include green infrastructure for approximately 30 traffic calming bumpouts at various locations throughout the City. DWM and CDOT will also incorporate green infrastructure into five complete streets projects this year, which will include infiltration planters, tree pits, permeable pavement and bioswale. These projects will be at the following locations:

• Argyle between Broadway and Sheridan
• Cottage Grove between 77th and 83rd
• Leland between Clark and the Lakefront
• State Street between 35th and 55th
• Oak Park Avenue between Irving Park Road and Forest Preserve Drive