Green Infrastructure for Chicago's Parks

With the cold weather looming, spending long days playing in Chicago's parks may not be at the forefront of our minds. However, the Chicago Park District (CPD), and architecture and engineering consultants like EDI, are busy year-round with improvement and maintenance projects to support CPD's mission to "Provide safe, inviting and beautifully maintained parks and facilities."

Working with landscape architects, EDI has been providing civil engineering services to support CPD as they replace existing athletic fields with modern artificial turf areas.

These new turf fields are considered impervious areas by the City of Chicago Stormwater Management Ordinance and require storm water management. EDI Civil Engineers provide storm water management design, grading site design, and permitting and construction administration assistance.

"The approach lessens the burden on Chicago's overloaded storm sewers," said Graig Neville, PE, EDI's Vice President of Civil Engineering. "This work showcases EDI's flexibility to provide a variety of specialty civil engineering services that promote green infrastructure and improve public safety."

The stormwater management systems allow water to penetrate the artificial turf field, percolate through a gravel storage layer with some water infiltrating into the natural ground while excess water is restricted, reducing the burden on the City's sewers.

Artificial turf fields reduce maintenance cost by eliminating the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides. They do not require mowing and conserve water, as a typical grass soccer or football field can use between 2.5 and 3.5 million gallons of water annually. In addition, artificial turf lowers the risk of injuries to athletes using the field, as turf is engineered to be stable, firm, non-abrasive and uniform in traction.



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