GI ProjectGI Permeable Pavement

Permeable pavement projects and bioretention areas are part of the green infrastructure elements the MWRD will pursue in 2020 with local partners to mitigate flooding while improving water quality.


A diverse range of green infrastructure projects were selected for funding and support from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to collect more water and combat flooding in a natural setting.

The MWRD has selected 20 green infrastructure projects across Cook County to provide funding and other assistance after a call for projects was held last summer. After a thorough evaluation, the MWRD chose projects that work to improve quality of life and mitigate flooding. These projects include permeable parking lots and alleys, bike trails, and bioswale installations.

“We are excited to support and promote a continued push for 20 new green infrastructure installations throughout the county,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “It is gratifying to hear from so many municipalities, townships, and other governmental agencies seeking out ways to retain more stormwater and join us in our mission to protect our communities from flooding, improve our water quality and build a resilient region.”

Local government agencies submitted more than 40 different projects for consideration. The MWRD ranked the eligible projects on a variety of factors, such as the total retention gallons and cost per gallon, number of benefiting structures and cost per structure, project visibility and outreach, flooding prevalence, and median income of the community. Applicants whose projects were not chosen are still eligible for future consideration under the MWRD’s green infrastructure or local stormwater partnership programs as applicable.

Green infrastructure is designed to capture water and allow it to infiltrate into the ground before it enters the traditional conveyance system. This helps to reduce the amount of runoff that causes flooding when drainage systems are overwhelmed by increasingly intense rain events.

Green infrastructure’s impact is not limited to flooding concerns. It can reduce wet-weather flows to combined sewer systems, reducing combined sewer overflows to local waterways and protecting water quality in these vital waterways. In separate sewer service areas, these projects also reduce runoff volumes and improve water quality. In addition, green infrastructure provides social benefits that enhance the livability of communities.

The MWRD Board of Commissioners in October authorized the MWRD to negotiate Intergovernmental Agreements, which will outline the terms and conditions of the project, including funding assistance of the MWRD and requirements of the local partner agencies.

The selected projects include the following:

Organization Name Project Description
Village of Bartlett Devon/West Bartlett Bioswale and Bike Path Replacement Project
Berwyn Park District Liberty Green Annex
City of Blue Island 119th Place Bioswale and Permeable Alley
Village of Broadview Green Alley Improvements
Village of Burnham Cottage Park Stormwater Improvements
City of Chicago Calumet River Gateway Garden
Village of Chicago Ridge Metra Station Permeable Paver Parking Lot
Town of Cicero Green Alley Paving  
City of Evanston Green Infrastructure Parking Lot Improvements Project
Forest Preserves of Cook County Schuth's Grove Parking Lot GI Retrofit & Canoe Launch
Village of Harwood Heights Harwood Heights Green Alleys Project
Village of Lyons Green Alleys Water Management Program
Village of Maywood Green Alleys Program
Northfield Park District Clarkson Park Green Infrastructure Improvements
City of Northlake Northlake City Centre Permeable Parking Lot Project
Poplar Creek Public Library District Concrete Walkway Replacement with Permeable Paving System
Village of River Grove Green Alley Program
Village of Skokie Green Alley Program  
Union Ridge School District 86 Union Ridge Elementary School - Green Infrastructure Parking Lot Improvements
Village of Wilmette Wilmette Village Hall Green Infrastructure Parking Lot Retrofit