Pioneering Plants, Participation and Partnerships: Stormwater Management for a Greener Future

Mobile Workshop

Implemented in 2011 to meet state and federal Clean Water Act regulations, Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters stormwater management plan improves water quality by installing green stormwater infrastructure in addition to traditional approaches throughout the city. Last year, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) reached its year-10 milestone goal of more than 2,150 greened acres. This was done by installing more than 2,800 green tools at nearly 800 sites distributed throughout the city, keeping more than 2 billion gallons of polluted water out of rivers annually.

In this mobile workshop, participants will learn from PWD experts in planning, design, and public engagement how to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure lessons from this pioneering program into their own cities’ parks. The workshop will use two parks as case studies. First, we will explore how PWD’s partnerships with the Parks and Recreation Department, City Council, and non-profits at Wissinoming Park led to the construction of a multi-phase project at an existing wooded park, which incorporates rain gardens, a wetland, and public art. You will learn how an extensive cooperative design process resulted in the updated park meeting user and City goals. Staff will deep dive into how soil exposure, canopy coverage, and erosion control challenges were addressed during construction. Staff will explain different seeding approaches for major portions of the landscape installation.

The workshop continues to Carmella Playground, which features five rain gardens framing the park edges. Staff will share the structure and process behind PWD’s 10+ year partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department to install stormwater systems and beautify parkland.


  • Gain an improved understanding of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters stormwater management plan and recognize how regulatory compliance can be coordinated to complement other City priorities
  • Incorporate comprehensive approaches to community engagement during planning, design and construction in your capital projects
  • Understand the breadth of landscape practices and adaptive design decisions with tree protection, species selection, and erosion and sediment controls

Tour Leaders

Amy Liu

City Planner, Philadelphia Water Department

Danielle Stollak

Outreach Specialist, Philadelphia Water Department

Lindsay Reul

Landscape Architect, Philadelphia Water Department