Evaluate your Community's Green Infrastructure - PBL/Project based Learning

Green Infrastructure Definition -
"Green infrastructure is strategically planned and managed networks of natural lands, working landscapes and other open spaces that conserve ecosystem values and functions and provide associated benefits to human populations." Green Infrastructure

“To effectively address green infrastructure issues, local communities must view themselves as part of a larger regional or watershed context. Water and air flow in and out of communities, as do traffic, people, and wildlife. Urban and nearby residents need to learn how their land-use decisions affect one another and how they might work
together to achieve common goals.” —Kansas City Region. “Green Infrastructure: Designing with Nature”

1. Is there a local or county plan regarding the management of "green spaces or natural resourses"?

a. If there is such a plan - evaluate it and the progress in implementing it.

b. You may or may not agree with elements of the plan. Example - It could call for your family forfiting part of your property to a walking trail that will negatively impact the sense of privacy you enjoy in your backyard. Evaluate the plan from your perspective.

c. What are the impediments to the aspects of the plan that you support?

If there is no plan -

2. Inventory - Collect data on your community's natural spaces.

a. Look over another community's plan to get some ideas - Green Infrastructure Case Study Series

b. Document the natural places in your community

Kinds of information

What kinds of information will you document?

How will you ensure consistency in the information collected about each location?

What equipment will you need?

Organization is critical

How will you organize the project? If this is a group effort, how will you distribute the work?

Consider safety issues BEFORE you begin. If you are moving down the street taking photos of the streets, parks and waterways - how might this be perceived by others? Create a plan to head off problems.

How will you deal with people who insist their property not be included in your project?

Identify free resources in the community that will be useful in doing this project.

Put your community's green infrastructure on a map - This could be a huge project or a simple one. The choice is yours. Mapping advice and resources

Penn State University is trying to save its historic old elm trees. They mapped them as a primary assessment. Click on the map to see a large view.

Solicit cooperation from groups in the community.

Which groups would directly benefit from the project?

Which would indirectly benefit from it?

How will you communicate with them?

Since many of them may not be as well informed as your group about green infrasturcture, how will you show them the advantages of the project?

Connections on the web

If there is a latitude and longitude integer degree intersection in or near you community, add it to the Degree Confluence Project

NatureMapping | Mapping out a new world order CNN

Announce your project's completion

Heads up to Pennsylvania High School students - This is a possible culminating, high school graduation project.

Food for thought:

"Knowing where things are, and why, is essential to rational decision making"
Jack Dangermond, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

The Genographic Project | National Register of Historic Places | National Register of Historic Places

Journey onward:

e2 icon Watch bogotá: building a sustainable city - on PBS

Use your map to make some assessments and plans for your community or region

Locate your school and your home address. What might have influenced the placement or growth of your community? What places in the community are attractive to people? How will they impact the future growth/or decline of your region? What would you add to your community to improve the quality of life? Where would you locate it? How would it improve the community? What are the negatives and positives of your choice?

Map tree inventory

Gap Analysis is a scientific means for assessing habitats & if native animal & plant species are being protected.

Critter Quest PA explore natural diversity using gis mapping

Green Maps Around the World

Community Projects:

Transportation, Your Community and You

| Natural Reource Wars | Community's History through its names | Local Birds Project

Water Studies Precipitation and Population | Sheets Island Archipelago | The birds on Wade Islands | Trees Map and Inventory Project

Community Garden Plan | Water and Air Pollution Activity | Examine a community development project | Wetland map and Inventory

Jobs related - The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for Surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and surveying technicians grew by 21% in 2006 Much faster than average growth. Increasing demand for fast, accurate, and complete geographic information is expected to lead to new jobs for these workers.

Geoscientists jobs grew by 22% in 2006. Much faster than average growth. The need for energy, environmental protection, and land and water management is expected to spur growth. Those with a master’s degree should have excellent opportunities, especially in the management, scientific, and technical consulting industry. Budget constraints are expected to limit opportunities in governments.

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developed by Cynthia J. O'Hora

In honor of Rachel Carson, released to public domain and Posted 6/2010