Green Infrastructure Management
Green infrastructure is an approach to watermanagement that protects, restores, or mimics the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure is effective, economical, and enhances community safety and quality of life.
Green Stewards Program
The Green Stewards program is a local workforce development program designed to support the City of Kansas City, Missouri in day-to-day maintenance and monitoring of 230 constructed green infrastructure installations in the areas of the city served by the combined sewer system. Bridging the Gap, the organization contracted to manage the program, works with area non-profits to develop a pool of skilled maintenance workers to hire from at-risk communities in Kansas City.
In addition to providing problem-free maintenance for designated green stormwater infrastructure sites, the program focuses on the development of the Stewards’ skills in green infrastructure and landscape maintenance to develop qualifications for long-term employment in those fields. The Stewards are provided a supportive and collegial working atmosphere with diverse training opportunities.
The Smart Sewer program’s plans to promote, maintain and evaluate the utilization of green infrastructure solutions includes provisions for workforce development and job training to support a green collar jobs-related program to maintain green infrastructure solutions. These provisions paved the way for the Green Stewards program.
A Smarter, Greener Future
Kansas City’s green infrastructure installations are designed to reduce stormwater runoff as a part of the KC Smart Sewer program. In 2010, the City of Kansas City, Missouri entered into a Consent Decree with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the volume and frequency of overflows from the City’s sewer system. Kansas City’s Smart Sewer program is a 25-year plan to address this challenge. This program was the first federally approved Consent Decree in the nation to include green infrastructure as a means to capture stormwater before it enters the sewer collection system.