Chicago River Summit 2020

Speakers left to right: Mollie Dowling, Kevin Shafer, Palencia Mobley, and Mary Pat McGuire.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Wrigley Building

Tickets are available here. Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be provided.

Cities across the nation are creating policy initiatives to spur the implementation and prioritization of green infrastructure (GI) in their cities. Initiatives such as Philadelphia’s Green Cities, Clean Waters, and Milwaukee’s Green Infrastructure Plan are initiatives demonstrating ways to create more resilient cities. 

Plan to attend Friends' 2020 Chicago River Summit to learn from experts from across the country about how they have developed and employed successful nature-based approaches for coordinated stormwater management and reduced impacts on their cities and natural resources.

Gray infrastructure cannot manage the effects of increased and more severe rainstorms brought on by the climate crisis. GI is a nature-based solution that can supplement gray infrastructure and offers numerous additional benefits. In dense, urban centers, GI will help us withstand and combat the climate crisis and reduce the urban heat island effect. It also increases infiltration and filters runoff, which reduces the flow of pollutants into the river system. Access to the natural environment also improves quality of life, mental well-being, and physical health for residents. Native habitat zones, even small ones, support native flora and fauna and substantially improve the migration opportunities for wildlife. According to The Blue/Green Corridor: Establishing the Intersection Between Economic Growth and Environmental Design, a 2019 study prepared by Friends and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, every $1 invested in river corridor stormwater management provides a $1.77 in economic return.

Rainstorms will only become more intense and frequent; a resilient city cannot ignore this. Many agencies – in addition to all Chicagoans – have a stake in proper stormwater management, but little has been done to bring these stakeholders together and lead the creation and implementation of a regional GI plan. Until now: Join us as local and national experts explore the process of regional GI planning.

Speakers include:

Additional speakers will be added as they are confirmed.

Please contact Chelsey Grassfield, policy specialist, at (312) 939-0490, ext. 21, or for more information.

Tickets are available here. Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be provided.