Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 1 of the Green Infrastructure Conference

Well the day has finally come, going to my first college conference! I worked long and hard last semester to be able to find this conference, figure out the rates, and get the trip and registration covered through my school! SUCCESS! 

So if you don't know already, green infrastructure has to do with how our urban areas deals with water flow and quality. One of the major topics is storm water management. Storms can be a huge source of pollution. This is because as soon as it begins to rain, water flows towards the storm sewers. And that is what we want to happen or else there would be large scale flooding. But not just water is flowing into the sewer system, oil and gas from the roads, garbage, pesticides and more is also being discharged into the sewer systems. Though, when our storm drains get overwhelmed, which in really heavy downpours, large amounts of rain in one day, or hurricane Sandy means a lot of flooding. When this flooding happens water quality of different rivers, lakes, and estruaries can get very polluted with the things mentioned above. So green infrastructure is thinking of innovative ways to mitigate and manage urban storm water runoff. Examples of these ideas are rain barrels, cisterns, rain gardens, reducing impervious surfaces, and others. By using these different techniques the hope is that there is a reduction in the amount of polluted runoff.

Anywho, after 10 pages of written notes, I feel a like I learned a lot more about green infrastructure then I ever had before. I now know what we have accomplished thus far, where we can learn from our mistakes and do better, and what the future could possibly hold. Today was the presentations on Science & Technology topics, which in some cases information presented went over way my head (I feel as though I was the only undergrad there, I could be wrong) 

Overall, my top three presentations were A Programmic Approach to Green Infrastructure Investment, Human Health and Well-Being Co-Benefits: Creating Multi-Tasking Green Infrastrucutre Landscapes, and Alternative Greenspace Designs Affect Arthropods and Their Fucntions Within an Urban Landscspe. The first two presentations I mentioned had a lot to do with understanding that there needs to be a multidimensional approach when it comes to focusing on this paricular topic. We cannot just rely on the engineers, forest ecologists, or the government. Instead, we need to reach out to all of these people and begin to work together. The second presentation went more into how greenspaces affect us as humans. In general, how humans could benefit overall from these green infrastructure projects though active living, productivity, and wellness. The third presentation I brought up started off this way and then digressed to the research of the presenter which was quite interesting. She used spiders to determine whether or not vacant plots of land in Cleveland, OH were contaminated based on lead levels. There was still a lot of work and research to be done, but the hypothesis was quite fascinating.

So this is just a brief synopsis of my day (I wanted to get it all down before I forgot, and I may be procrastinating from my homework but don't tell my family ;) ) I hope you learned something from this too! 

Much Love,

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