City of Rome, NY Awarded DEC Environmental Excellence Award
450 new trees were added to the tree canopy in Rome, New York, and impervious sidewalks have been replaced with a specialized permeable pavement made from recycled tires, to help manage and clean stormwater runoff.
The City of Rome's Canopy Restoration Project in Oneida County was honored with a 2012 DEC Environmental Excellence Award (EEA) because it inspired a new, city-wide approach to stormwater management that is spurring adaptive reuse of vacant buildings, an increase in property value, pollution reduction and a reinvestment in Rome's urban core.
The project, which was the first green infrastructure project to receive an EEA since the inception of the award program 9 years ago, was also one of the first green infrastructure projects to use a combination of a porous pavement and a specially engineered sub-soil. As the scientific and environmental benefits of a comprehensive green infrastructure strategy became clear, city leaders embarked on a municipal tree inventory in order to quantify the benefits of their existing tree canopy. Under this project, the city planted 450 new trees in targeted low-to-moderate income neighborhoods with high housing and population densities. The green infrastructure elements were constructed using a locally-developed sub-surface material and an American-made porous pavement product made out of recycled tires. This combination proved to be crack resistant and rich enough in nutrients that tree roots have flourished underneath the hardscape.
The project has significantly decreased stormwater run-off which, in turn, has decreased the amount of pollution entering Wood Creek, the Mohawk River and the NYS Barge Canal. When fully mature, the new trees will capture approximately 695,000 gallons of rainwater and will remove 26,500 tons of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of air pollutants. This successful project serves as an urban revitalization and green infrastructure model for New York municipalities.
For more information on the DEC Environmental Excellence Awards, click here.