As we've been on the road, promoting the use of green infrastructure for all of its virtues, including its ability to naturally clean stormwater, we've heard plenty of stories. This one comes from Jean & Doug Cheever, of the League of Women Voters of Dubuque, IA. They shared,
Our street is a major arterial that is salted and plowed frequently in winter. The strip between the sidewalk and street faces southwest. This "hell strip" gets hot during summer afternoons and, in winter, is regularly exposed to salt and repeated freezing and thawing. The sod installed after construction quickly became weedy and patchy and required more work than the rest of our lawn. We finally gave up and replaced grass with suggested salt-, drought-, and ice-resistant plants.
It turned out that the City only allowed grass in parkway plantings. After some research, the Cheevers found a St. Paul, Minnesota ordinance that encouraged other street plantings as long as they were less than 3 feet tall and did not include noxious weeds or marijuana.
Armed with their case and the ordinance, they appealed to their government officials. Success! The City changed the policy! Thanks, Cheevers, for helping to beautify America and working towards cleaner water!