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          : GIC Brochure [PDF]
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          : What is the Green Infrastructure Center?
          : What is Green Infrastructure?
What is Green Infrastructure Planning?
         : Staff & Board Directory
          : GIC's Strategic Plan

What is the Green Infrastructure Center?

The Green Infrastructure Center, Inc. (GIC) was formed in 2006 to help local governments, communities, and regional planning organizations, land trusts and developers evaluate their green infrastructure assets and make plans to conserve them. The Green Infrastructure Center provides the suite of tools – economic analysis, mapping, and land use planning and asset assessment – needed by communities to protect and restore their natural assets. The staff work as a team to help localities inventory their assets and create strategies for their conservation or restoration.  We work at the regional and local scale in rural, suburban and urban environments.

Read our new Services Brochure to learn how we can help you.

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green infrastructure is made up of the interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats, and other natural areas; greenways, parks, and other conservation lands; working farms, ranches and forests; and wilderness and other open spaces that support native species, maintain natural ecological processes, sustain air and water resources and contribute to health and quality of life (McDonald, Benedict, and O’Conner, 2005). Green infrastructure assets contribute to health and quality of life, such as forests that clean the air and filter and absorb stormwater. Just as we plan for "grey infrastructure" we also need to plan for and conserve our green infrastructure.

What is Green Infrastructure Planning?

We call our natural resources “green infrastructure” because they provide vital community functions. Green infrastructure (GI) includes our forests, agricultural soils, parks and open spaces, rivers, wetlands and bays, and other habitats. It provides clean water, food, air quality, wildlife habitat and recreation. It also supports cultural resources by providing scenic views and settings that enhance our enjoyment of the landscape. But we need to know where it is and how to conserve or restore it!

In short, green infrastructure planning entails:

  • Inventorying green assets and connections,
  • Identifying opportunities for their protection and/or restoration, and
  • Developing a coordinated strategy to channel development and re-development to the most appropriate locations.

For examples of projects implemented by the Green Infrastructure Center go to the projects page. The resources page provides additional information about ongoing green infrastructure planning projects across the country and around the world.

Order our new 130 page Planning Guide to learn how to create a green infrastructure plan for your community!

GIC's Strategic Plan

The Green Infrastructure Center's Strategic Plan focuses on the Center, its organizational mission, objectives, goals, and projects, and its anticipated funding needs. The Strategic Plan for 2013-2016 is now available for download.

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Fast Facts

  • Almost 2 million acres of farmland and half a million acres of private forest are lost to development each year.

  • Lands threatened by imminent development produce 79% of the nation’s fruit, 69% of vegetables, 52% of dairy products, 28% of meat, and 27% of grain.

  • Over a recent 12 year period the U.S. population grew 17% but used 47% more land.

  • Up to 95% of species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act are threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation, or other alterations to the landscape. 

  • In the U.S., parks, protected rivers, scenic lands, wildlife habitat, and recreational open space support $502-billion in tourism. 

  • Greenways can increase property values by 10% to 30%, raising local tax revenues.

- Benedict and McMahon (2006) See resources