Report advocating for the formation of the Green Infrastructure Regional Maintenance Alliance (GIRMA) in Minnesota to provide long-term sustainable funding for green infrastructure maintenance.
(2011) By Colleen O’Dell, Department of Landscape Architecture University of Minnesota, for Metro Blooms, Minnesota. Funding for installation of green infrastructure has become more available in recent years, but funding for ongoing necessary maintenance of these BMPs has not kept pace. Green infrastructure BMPs require regular, professionally trained maintenance to insure they function at full capacity. Unfortunately, the lack of funding, staff resources, and/or expertise for maintenance has led some cities to turn down installing additional BMPs. Vegetated BMPs that are not maintained can look weedy and unpleasant and can fail to function because of sediment loading or other issues, thereby discrediting their public and scientific value as a stormwater management tool. Therefore, regular maintenance is an essential part of any green infrastructure BMP program.
The report profiles maintenance programs for eight municipalities and makes recommendations for forming a regional green infrastructure alliance focussed on maintenance. The primary task of the Green Infrastructure Regional Maintenance Alliance (GIRMA) program is to devise sustainable long-term solutions for financing green infrastructure maintenance.
In order to use raingardens and other BMPs for stormwater management, it is important to provide empirical evidence of their effectiveness, not only to impact public opinion, but also to verify their value and to meet data requirements for national, state, and local legislation and policy.