City of Pierre, SD to receive U.S. EPA assistance to redesign historic Main Street
Green infrastructure will address stormwater runoff and improve Pierre’s resiliency to extreme climate conditions.
Pierre, SD - Sept. 23, 2014 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it will provide technical assistance to help the city of Pierre redesign its historic Main Street using green infrastructure. Addressing stormwater runoff issues with green infrastructure will contribute to a greener, more vibrant community city center and will increase resiliency to future flooding. Pierre is one of five capital cities across the country that was selected for the Greening America’s Capitals program. The national competition winners in addition to Pierre include Austin, Texas; Carson City, Nev.; Columbus, Ohio; and Richmond, Va.
Mayor Laurie R. Gill says the Environmental Protection Agency technical assistance program will provide both state and City governments the green infrastructure strategies to assist future development projects, “This award from the EPA will most certainly provide us with benefits in the planning and development stage of the rebuild of our historic Main Street. I am honored Pierre was selected and we look forward to working with the technical assistance team. The results of our work can serve as a template for other South Dakota communities to consider.” said Gill.
The focus of the assistance is the area that connects the state capitol complex to Main Street and the Riverfront – an area ripe for redevelopment. This area has several mixed land uses including the state capitol, a middle school, the county courthouse and historic buildings that have been recently purchased for renovation. The City will be replacing all underground utilities in the historic main street business sector and updating storm water drainage. It’s a perfect time to incorporate new strategies like green infrastructure which provides multiple community benefits and supports disaster resiliency. Green infrastructure refers to the use of vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater.
Planning for disaster resilience is fresh on the minds of the residents and the local officials in Pierre after having experienced the 2011 flooding of the Missouri River just steps away from Main Street. Establishing green infrastructure throughout the area will enable the community to respond and recover quickly when extreme conditions such as flooding occur.
Background on EPA program
The Greening America’s Capitals program aims to help communities consider ways to incorporate sustainable design strategies that yield multiple environmental, economic, and social benefits into their planning and development. EPA implements this program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a program that helps communities create more housing and transportation choices that result in better environmental outcomes for communities.
More information on Greening America’s Capitals:
More information on green infrastructure: