Green Infrastructure Plan Pivotal to Economic Development Strategy

Green infrastructure plan preserves lake for tourism, recreation 

Working with the City of Storm Lake, IA, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and local project partner Bolton & Menk, CDF recently completed the Storm Lake Green Infrastructure Plan for Water. The project entailed developing a comprehensive plan integrating green infrastructure for stormwater, potable water and wastewater.


In contrast to the conventional handling of rainwater as a waste product, CDF works from a framework of best practices that regard rainwater as a valuable resource contributing to the overall health of water systems while capitalizing on community assets and potential. The outlined approach for Storm Lake included initial planning, community engagement, developing goals and standards, creating an implementation plan, as well as other key components for successfully integrating green infrastructure into the nearly 150-year old community. The plan created by CDF and the project team will serve as a template to be used statewide.


Located in northwestern Iowa, the City of Storm Lake is situated on the shores of Iowa’s fourth largest glacial lake. The lake is an important resource to the City, drawing tourists and providing recreational opportunities by virtue of its natural beauty and significance in the landscape. The IEDA selected the City of Storm Lake for the pilot program to help protect and restore the Lake – preserving it as an economic and environmental asset to the region.


 Storm Lake Green Infrastructure Plan for Water


After conducting a community outreach program, thorough site analysis, and performing stormwater modeling, CDF developed a “tool box” of green infrastructure practices applicable to a wide range of conditions. The plan provides templates of typical land uses demonstrating how the schedule of practices can be applied to the sets of conditions specific to those land uses. Finally, an analysis was conducted to evaluate the expected pollutant load and stormwater volume reduction that should result from implementing the measures city-wide.


The plan outlines strategies such as bioretention, permeable paving, green roofs, constructed wetlands, tile drainage bio-reactors and other agricultural best-management practices. The plan provides a list of  specific projects and programmatic changes, such as ordinances and stormwater utility updates. Over time, these interventions will help the City of Storm Lake realize their long-term vision to improve the health, sustainability, and economic vitality of the region.


To browse the 178-page report by chapters visit our Resources section:  /Reports



Tags: waterways, green infrastructure, complete streets, stormwater BMP's,

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