Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting materials - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting materials

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative, facilitated by the Metropolitan Planning Council, has been working toward systemic stormwater management solutions since April 2014. Monthly meetings have enabled the Collaborative to identify the challenges and opportunities related to managing the region's stormwater. Materials from each meeting can be found below. Unless otherwise noted, the meetings took place on the first Friday of the month, at MPC's offices in downtown Chicago. Presentations made at Collaborative meetings can be accessed via the hyperlinks within the monthly synopses.

Review the 3-Year Work Plan that the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative is currently implementing.

For more information, contact MPC Manager Sarah Cardona at scardona@metroplanning.org or 312 863 6009.

Meeting Materials

December 7, 2018

The next Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting is Friday, December 7 from 10 am - 12 noon at MPC.  It will include updates from the Work Groups on advancing next steps with Foundational Activities of the newly released 3-Year Work Plan, followed by a festive year-end celebration.  For more information about this meeting, please see the agenda below.

November 2, 2018

The November meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a panel of speakers from member agency engineering firms who discussed innovative approaches in stormwater management data and technology. This topic aligned with the CSC's Goal 4: Data-driven decision-making is more prevalent in stormwater management planning in the Calumet. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

October 5, 2018

The October meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation summarizing the ongoing flood mitigation and economic development efforts in the Village of Robbins. This topic aligned with the CSC's Goal 3: increase the municipal capacity and reduce the fragmentation across Calumet government actors. Discussion was tied to the CSC Activity: establishing a baseline of municipal capacity in stormwater management. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

September 7, 2018

The September meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by CMAP highlighting the draft ON TO 2050 comprehensive plan as well as an overview of the Regional Flood Susceptibility Index. This topic aligned with the CSC's Goal 1: significant reduction in non-overbank flooding. Discussion was tied to the CSC Activity: establishing a baseline of non-overbank flooding. The meeting also advanced CSC work planning, where Work Groups discussed activities and next steps. CSC member agencies can submit Member-led activities by 9/21 to be highlighted in the work plan. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

August 3, 2018

The August meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by DuPage County Stormwater Management on efforts to establish a stormwater basin and BMP inventory. This topic aligned with the CSC's Goal 1: significant reduction in non-overbank flooding. Discussion was tied to the CSC Activity: establishing a green infrastructure baseline inventory. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

July 13, 2018

In lieu of a regular meeting, the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative toured green infrastructure sites in the Pullman neighborhood: Schmid Elementary School Space to Grow site (9755 S. Greenwood) and Greenstone United Methodist Church (11211 S. St. Lawrence Ave). Thank you to those who joined! Check out photos from the day, and click here to view the full itinerary.

June 1, 2018

June's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District highlighting its Stormwater Management Programs, including Green Infrastructure programs and projects with local government partnerships. At the meeting, attendees also brainstormed ideas for Member Agency-led activities and Work Group activities for the new 3-Year Work Plan being drafted. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

May 4, 2018

May's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative was focused on advancing the work planning process to align potential activities with the group's stated objectives and goals. Members worked in small groups to analyze and draw connections between existing objectives and suggested activities, while also working to start prioritizing activities and develop Action Plans.  For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

April 6, 2018

April's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative was focused on continuing the work planning process to refine and reflect upon measurable goals. The first part of the meeting was dedicated to group discussion of suggested goals based off member feedback provided in March as well as ideas for tracking progress on said goals. Following the large group meeting, each of the four Work Groups met to advance their initiatives.  For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

March 2, 2018

March's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by MPC on pursuing IEPA Section 319 Grants in the Little Calumet and Cal-Sag Channel watersheds. Section 319 grant funding is one source to support green-infrastructure based stormwater solutions and these Calumet communities are now eligible to apply by August 1, 2018. The meeting also included a Work Planning group exercise to brainstorm measurable goals to help track the progress being made. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

February 2, 2018

February's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative was focused on starting the work planning process for the CSC as a reflective exercise to assess past achievements and determine next steps in the collective work to make a positive impact on stormwater management in the Calumet region. This included a grounding presentation by Sarah Cardona about the history, purpose, mission and vision of the CSC which began convening in 2014, followed by small group discussions around the fundamental challenges in stormwater management that the CSC agreed to make an impact on since its inception. The meeting also featured an Extended Member Update from UIUC and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant on the Soils-based Green Infrastructure Planning and Design research for the Calumet region being conducted and opportunities for municipalities to participate. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

January 5, 2018

January's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development about its work turning 23 city-owned vacant lots into resilient corridors with green infrastructure and other community co-benefits. The meeting also featured a presentation by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and its Geographical Information System Assistance offering GPS units for free to municipalities for sewer altas mapping. The January meeting also featured an update from the Data + Modeling work group sharing the latest version of the Data Mapping Viewer Tool, and the Education + Engagement work group requesting everyone to complete Member Spotlight entries for your agencies and organizations that participate in the CSC. For more information about the meeting, please see the links below.

December 1, 2017

December's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative was a blend of work and celebration. The first part of the meeting was dedicated to each of the four work groups to meet and advance their respective initiatives. Afterwards, the Collaborative hosted a holiday celebration in thanks for all the great collaboration and hard work this year. The December meeting also featured an interactive activity to brainstorm a social media hashtag for the CSC, which will be finalized and available for use in 2018. For more information about the meeting, please see the links below.

November 3, 2017

November's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation highlighting various green infrastructure installations in the Calumet region, including rain gardens and permeable pavement in the City of Blue Island and the Space to Grow site at James Wadsworth STEM Elementary School. The meeting also featured a presentation from The Nature Conservancy and the Metropolitan Planning Council on their results of a feasibility study exploring stormwater credit trading in Cook County. The November meeting also featured an update from the Education + Engagement Work Group, and a call to action for completing the Member Spotlight form online by 12/1. For more information about the meeting, please see the links below.

October 6, 2017

October's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by Danielle Gallet and Bob Newport from MPC and Dave Buckley from Christopher B. Burke Engineering on their work developing supplemental materials for the Little Calumet and Cal-Sag Channel watersheds in order to open up EPA Section 319 grant opportunities for the communities in those areas. The meeting also featured a presentation from Bluestem Communications on their values-based communications approach in stormwater education and outreach. The October meeting also featured updates from 1) the Data + Modeling Work Group on the Data Mapping Viewer Tool found here and 2) the Education + Engagement Work Group on the Member Spotlight initiative to compile information on CSC member agencies. For more information about the meeting, please see the links below.

September 8, 2017

September's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by CMAP on the draft Stormwater and Flooding Strategy Paper which will inform ON TO 2050, and a component of the work, a Regional Flooding Susceptibility Index. The meeting also featured a presentation from the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund on its green stormwater infrastructure funding priorities. The September meeting also featured updates from 1) the Center for Neighborhood Technology on a legislative overview of the current and pending stormwater bills and 2) the Planning + Policy Work Group on the Stormwater Repository initiative to develop a curated database of useful resources. For more information about the meeting, please see the links below.

August 4, 2017

August's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation by Faith in Place about the successful collaborative effort of multiple CSC member agencies who applied and secured funding from the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund for rain garden and rain barrel installations in 2017. The August meeting also featured updates from 1) MPC on its new initiative to capture stories telling the impact of the CSC, and 2) the Education + Engagement Work Group on two promotional materials available for CSC members - a handout and a PowerPoint template. For more information about the meeting, please see the links below.

July 7, 2017

July's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured an overview of the Center for Neighborhood Technology's new My RainReady tool for local homeowners, which guides users through a virtual self-assessment of a particular parcel's flood risk. The tool is available online at: http://myrainready.cnt.org/. The July meeting also featured Openlands presenting its findings from a recent study examining the economic value as well as impact on water resources of restoration efforts. For more information about the meeting and to read about the significant results in Openlands' reports, please see the links below.

June 2, 2017

June's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured an overview of the recently-completed Green Infrastructure Needs Assessment report produced by the CSC's Training + Maintenance work group, and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the Illinois Coastal Zone Program. The report includes:

  • Local case studies of green infrastructure in the Calumet region
  • Catalogs existing green infrastructure training and workforce opportunities
  • Documents best practices used by other cities in connecting green infrastructure to economic development that are potentially transferrable to the Calumet region
  • Offers recommendations to develop capacity to meet green infrastructure service-related needs

The report is being finalized and will be publically released soon.

May 5, 2017

May's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation and discussion on feasibility study The Nature Conservancy, MPC and MWRD are partnering on to explore the possibility of establishing a stormwater detention credit trading system in Cook County, called “StormStore”. The CSC members engaged in a robust discussion about how they currently observe stormwater requirements affecting real estate development decisions as well as their perception of how a marketplace could foster development while addressing urban flooding concerns. The meeting also featured the release of the 2017-2018 CSC work plan! Work group leads announced the specific initiatives each of the work groups will be working on. The work plan is provided in the meeting materials below for reference.

April 7, 2017

April's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured a presentation of the Mapping Viewer Tool the CSC Data + Modeling work group created, which is a free, ArcGIS-based viewing tool. The Mapping Viewer Tool is an online mapping tool with several layers that are helpful for stormwater planning. It aggregates 25 different datasets at a single location and makes it readily available for anyone to access for free: http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=a46bb8d241e4419cbc72577fe9d5e70f. The CSC would like to especially thank CH2M and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association for it great work in bringing this tool to fruition! 

March 3, 2017

March's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative featured an extended member update by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) on its current focus and various initiatives that relate to the work of the CSC and its many members focused on stormwater management. The meeting also featured a presentation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which provided an extensive understanding of the many different programs and planning opportunities communities have for partnering with USACE on various stormwater-related issues. For more information about the meeting and to find out more about IEPA's focus and the USACE programs available, please see the links below.

February 3, 2017

February's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative was focused on work planning for the next CSC work plan year. This included a grounding presentation by Danielle Gallet about the history, purpose and accomplishments of the CSC to-date, followed-by individual work group engagement exercises designed to identify improved strategies for work group functioning and a brainstorming session on what initiatives the work group will be continuing, revamping or creating for the next work plan, which will run from April 2017-2018. For more information about this meeting, please see the links below.

January 6, 2017

January's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative included three presentations. First, Janet Smith from the Voorhees Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago presented on an exciting new initiative they are working on to promote green economic development in Cook County with a particular focus on the Calumet Corridor. Please also view the EDA handout attached below for more information on this economic development initiative. Next, the Metropolitan Planning Council presented on two initiatives it will be working on related to stormwater in 2017: its 319 grant from the Illinois EPA to create supplemental materials for existing watershed plans in Cook County, and a feasibility study, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, on exploring a stormwater credit trading program in the region. For more information about these presentations, please use the links below.

December 2, 2016

December's meeting was a unique blend of the programming originally scheduled for the November Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting along with work group initiative updates and a holiday celebration. Formal presentations included Dan Feltes from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) providing an update on the Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO), and Nora Beck from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) giving an overview on the Stormwater and Flooding Strategy Paper CMAP intends to work on leading up to the agency's next regional plan: ON TO 2050. For more information on these presentations and a general meeting summary, please see the links below.

November 4, 2016

MPC congratulates the Chicago Cubs on their World Series win—their first in our 82-year history as an organization! Due to the millions of fans from across the region and world that flocked to our fair city for the parade and celebration, the November meeting was cancelled.

October 7, 2016

October's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative was a work group-focused meeting. The Training and Maintenance work group as well as the Education and Engagement work group gave updates on their respective initiatives and progress-to-date. Following these updates, the Data and Modeling work group unveiled a draft of its Mapping Viewer tool and the Planning and Policy work group facilitated a short engagement exercise to obtain the Collaborative’s feedback on the Stormwater Repository they are curating currently. Upon the final wrap-up of the meeting, 40 minutes was allotted to the work groups to hold private, working sessions.

September 9, 2016

September's meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative included two presentations. First, Momcilo Markus from the Illinois State Water Survey gave an overview of its recently published report where they used an ensemble of climate models to project future 24-hour rainfall totals in Cook County and determined the increases in 24-hour rainfall magnitudes for the 2050 and 2100 time horizons under different scenarios. Following that, Samuel Riviera from the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provided an overview of their research in utilizing social media to crowd source flooding photos in order to geocode flooding occurrences and details within a particular area.

August 5, 2016

August’s meeting was the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative’s second work group-focused meeting. The Planning and Policy work group as well as the Data and Modeling work group gave updates on their respective initiatives and progress-to-date. Following these updates, the Training and Maintenance work group as well as the Education and Engagement work group facilitated short engagement exercises to obtain the Collaborative’s feedback on the work that is currently being produced. Upon the final wrap-up of the meeting, 45 minutes was allotted to the work groups to hold private, working sessions.

July 8, 2016

July’s meeting was the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative’s second large group convening under the new 2016-2017 structure and work plan. At the start of the session, collaborative members had the opportunity to hear Aaron Koch, Chicago’s chief resilience officer, give an extended update on the City’s plans to become a more resilient city under Rockefeller Foundation’s 100-resilient cities campaign. Koch’s update was followed by two presentations. Curtis Witek from the Center for Neighborhood Technology gave a presentation on the RainReady Community planning process and the status of their stormwater planning efforts within the Calumet Corridor. Caroline Oswald from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Elizabeth Cisar from the Joyce Foundation gave an overview of the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund application in an effort to highlight ways to make applications more competitive within this year’s application cycle.

June 3, 2016

June’s meeting was the first work group-focused meeting of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative. This new structure of meetings will happen every other month per the 2016-2017 work plan. In this session, each of the four work groups had the opportunity to share their progress, and get valuable feedback from the larger collaborative on their planned, respective initiatives. Following the work group presentations and engagement exercises, each work group was able to have a private, working session where they moved forward with their particular initiatives.

May 6, 2016

May’s meeting started with a summary of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative 2016-17 work plan. This included a reminder of the new meeting structure and an overview on what each work groups’ initiatives are for the coming year. John Legge from the Nature Conservancy gave a presentation on its recent release of a Green Infrastructure Language Study. This study focuses on how to communicate successfully to a general audience about green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. The final activity of May’s meeting featured a presentation by Richard Fisher from Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, who provided an update on their Stormwater Master Plan in the Little Calumet River/Cal-Sag Channel Drainage Area. All presentations from the meeting are available to view using the links below.

April 1, 2016

April’s meeting started with a brief recount of Calumet Stormwater Collaborative’s activities, achievements and working structure over the last year. This served as background to introduce the new meeting structure for the remainder of 2016. Starting in the month of May, the large group meetings that everyone is accustomed to will take place every other month. Off-month meetings will be focused on and led by the four work groups. These new work-group-focused meetings will feature presentations, group exercises and brainstorming designed to assist the work groups with initiatives, issues and/or ideas they would like to soundboard with the larger collaborative. Time will also be given during these meetings for the four individual work groups to meet and do work together during these meetings. Following demonstrates how the Calumet Stormwater Collabortive meetings going forward will be divided.  

Each work group leader gave a quick update about the group’s activities and initiatives, and a handout was given out to attendees in order to provide them with an overview of each group’s purpose and current and future initiatives. The collaborative then took the time to have a networking and socializing party to celebrate all the hard work of the group during the work planning process. The collaborative’s new work plan will be officially released later this month.

The final activity of April’s meeting featured a presentation by Anthony Cefali from Friends of the Chicago River about its Overflow Action Days initiative. This presentation is available to view in the link below.

Since the April 1 meeting, the collaborative has organized a group clean-up activity as part of Chicago River Day 2016, which will take place on Saturday, May 14. To get more information about the event and to register, please click here!

March 4, 2016

The theme of the March meeting was about proposed changes to the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative structure going forward, in order to find an improved balance between the value and the impact of this collaborative. This included a discussion about the frequency of the full group meetings, and how to drive more support and resources to the newly established, or re-established, four working groups,  which are as follows:

Stormwater collaborative members had the opportunity to learn more about the purpose and intentions for each of the working groups through presentations, a summary handout and the chance to visit and talk directly with work group leads. Focus was placed on members finding a role for themselves within a working group that aligned with their desire to be a part of the collaborative. 

The final part of the meeting consisted of a formal presentation by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), providing an overview on its developing stormwater Local Technical Assistance Program. This presentation is available to view in the link below.

February 5, 2016 

February’s meeting began by highlighting and celebrating the accomplishments of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative (CSC) in 2015. These accomplishments included the following:

  • Creation of the first CSC work plan, and WEFTEC session and tour
  • Development and release of design templates for green infrastructure
  • Completion of a RainReady Plan for the Village of Midlothian
  • Improved data sharing and usability efforts
  • Logic model to complete a needs assessment for green infrastructure installation, maintenance and training programs
  • Grant application submitted to EPA for watershed plan improvements for 319 funding

The second half of the meeting was organized around an interactive exercise in small groups to brainstorm and identify priority goals and actions the CSC intends to accomplish within its 2016-2017 work plan. Categorized impacts with identified impact statements were reflected back to the CSC based on January’s meeting feedback. These categories were: Education and Engagement; Planning and Policy Change; Training and Maintenance; Data and Monitoring. Members broke up into four groups to define priority actions, potential barriers and key stakeholders to approach related to each impact. Afterwards, they regrouped to share their thoughts with the rest of the attendees.

January 8, 2016

The first meeting of the 2016 New Year started off with members sharing how the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative has been of value to them, their organization and the region as a whole. For many agencies, the act of bringing everyone into the same room to address stormwater issues and build consensus has been one of the greatest values the collaborative has provided since it’s fruition in 2014. After discussing values, members had a group discussion on the big events of 2015 that impacted the collaborative’s work and focus including the state budget impasse, the National Disaster and Resilience Competition opportunity and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Thornton Reservoir coming online. The second half of the meeting was organized around an interactive exercise in small groups brainstorming and identifying future impacts members would like the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative to have on the region by the end of 2016. Impacts that were frequently brought up in the groups were related to funding, project implementation and increasing the participation of and engagement with local Calumet communities.

December 4, 2015

As a wrap-up to the 2015 year, the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative used December's meeting to starting thinking about how they might increase their impact in 2016. Brian Eber, Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, gave an overview of the Illinois Urban Flood Awareness Act Report that was published this July; and Lyndon Valicenti, Foresight Design Initiative, presented on a systems analysis research project that looked to better understand local complex sustainable challenges and identify opportunities or interventions that could have a positive impact on the region. Following these insightful presentations, collaborative members looked back on this year’s lessons learned and accomplishments, and brainstormed projects and priorities for the 2016-2017 work plan.  

November 6, 2015

Generating dedicated funding streams for stormwater infrastructure needs was the theme of November's meeting. Nora Beck, CMAP, presented on a report from 2013 called The Value of Stormwater Utilities for Local Government in the Chicago Region. She described best practices as well as the major steps municipalities should take to successfully adopt stormwater utility fees. Larry McIntyre and Mike Ramsey, Village of Westmmont, presented on a different financing aproach—a stormwater sales tax—that was passed through local referendum in July 2015. After hearing presentations on two different approaches and some of the benefits associated wtih each, collaborative members broke out into small groups to discuss how communities within Illinois can embrace and better roll out these types of practices.

October 9, 2015

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative met in October to see all four Illinois applicants from the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) give a presentation on their respective Phase II application. Laura Kammin, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Collage Program, presented on the State of Illinois’ application, which outlines site-specific projects as well as broad programmatic and policy reforms. Jane Hornstein, Cook County Dept. of Planning and Development, gave a presentation on Cook County’s application which is focused on making “complete communities” through a series of green and grey infrastructure projects and educational-based program interventions. On the behalf of DuPage County, Mary Mitros presented on their application, which calls for redeveloping the City of Lisle. Karen Weigert presented the City of Chicago’s application proposing a grand and comprehensive green infrastructure program on Chicago’s West Side. While many of these projects may seem disparate, they are all taking a regional approach that calls for replicating and scaling up from the demonstration projects and lessons learned to build more resilient communities. All applications entered the 15-day public comment period on Friday, Oct. 9, and will be accepting feedback through Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. Anyone who is interested can be directed to all of the applications here.

September 11, 2015

After Louise Young, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, gave an update on their next comprehensive regional plan, the Collaborative spent the majority of September’s meeting evaluating the draft regional approach framework that is being used to inform the region’s Phase II applications to the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). Members broke up into four groups to vet a compiled set of potential activities provided to by the Foresight Design Initiative. For the purposes of the discussion, there was an exclusive focus on the Calumet area of southern Chicago and Cook County, and the group vetted these possible actions with the State of Illinois and DuPage County in mind as well. A summary of recommended actions and policy priorities aimed at strengthening the regional approach with specific, achievable goals and outcomes can be found in the Collaborative’s memo to NDRC applicants.

August 7, 2015

August’s Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting concentrated on tools that can be used to better engage, educate and inform the public about green infrastructure planning and design. Professor Moira Zellner, Ph.D., UIC, presented on a community engagement tool that looks at how to accommodate and rapidly assess different green infrastructure interventions at the neighborhood scale. Nate Wolf, MWRD, outlined the District’s Volume Control Design Details that landowners and developers can use to quicken the permitting process and help meet stormwater requirements under the Watershed Management Ordinance. Eve Pytel, Delta Institute, presented on Delta’s new toolkitGreen Infrastructure Designs: Scalable Solutions to Local Challenges—that aims to help municipal managers and decision-makers begin the process of implementing green infrastructure in their community. 

July 10, 2015 (Hazel Crest, Ill.)

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative met at the offices of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association in Hazel Crest. The Collaborative used July’s meeting to provide Working Group updates and identify and coordinate upcoming grant opportunities. Three grants that were of a particular focus included the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s 319(h) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Financial Assistance Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Coastal Resilience Grant and the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund. Various Collaborative members shared their proposal ideasincluding Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, who gave a presentation on the status of their Regional Coastal Resilience Grant proposal. After members were briefed on upcoming grants and proposals, they broke into smaller groups to have a more in-depth discussion on the 319 Program, Regional Coastal Resilience Grant or the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund.

June 5, 2015

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative met in June to learn about landscape architecture resources, as well as engage in discussions about the ‘Call for Projects’ for 2016 and upcoming grant opportunities. Mary Pat Mattson, University of Illinois, presented on the Landscape Architecture Foundation's Landscape Performance Series, which includes a benefits toolkit and an archive of case-by-case landscape performance research. Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning staff gave an overview of their Local Technical Assistance Program, the Regional Transportation Authority’s Community Planning Program, as well as Healthy HotSpot’s Active Transportation Planning Assistance—all of which are seeking to fund eligible planning projects in 2016. Josh Ellis, Metropolitan Planning Council, called out additional upcoming grant opportunities, and then facilitated a discussion on how the Collaborative might work together to support or apply for grants to move the Collaborative’s 2015-2016 Work Plan forward.

May 1, 2015

This month is significant in that it has been officially one year since that Calumet Stormwater Collaborative began meeting in April of 2014. May’s meeting consisted of presentations on government and non-government projects focused on enhancing our region’s green and grey resources to improve stormwater management. Geosyntec, a firm contracted by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, updated the Collaborative on the second phase of a flooding study they are conducting in a southeastern portion of the Calumet region. Morton Arboretum presented on the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, and informed the group of their efforts in developing a comprehensive urban tree canopy inventory across northeastern Illinois. Following these presentations, Beth Hall, Midwest Regional Climate Center, informed the Collaborative that they would need to be more specific about their climate-related data mapping and analysis needs before the Climate Center moves forward with their offer of free mapping and analysis services. Toward the end of the meeting, the Collaborative broke into groups of five to brainstorm on the ways new and improved soil mapping data could benefit different users. 

April 3, 2015 (City of Blue Island, Ill.)

The Collaborative met in the City of Blue Island—a community that has been spearheading the use of green infrastructure for alleviating and managing stormwater. Jason Berry, deputy director of Community Development, outlined both successes and failures that have led Blue Island to where they are today, and briefly updated the Collaborative on where their current Ill. Environmental Protection Agency funding stands. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and their contracted partners gave updates on three projects that are currently underway in Blue Island. After this series of presentations, the Collaborative brainstormed climate-related data and tools that the Midwest Regional Climate Center could provide the group to help move their agenda forward. Additionally, Mollie Dowling, Opportunity Advancement Innovation, Inc., and Julia Plumb, High Bridge, gave a presentation on High Bridge, a new social enterprise organization focused on green infrastructure installation and local job creation. The Center for Neighborhood Technology closed the meeting with an update on the status of the RainReady Community Working Group. 

March 6, 2015

March’s Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting looked at how tools can leverage opportunities, partnerships, and make more informed decisions—particularly when it comes to siting of green infrastructure. The tool that prompted the meeting’s discussion was a land use decision-making tool created by Openlands and Friends of the Chicago River, in partnership with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. After understanding the tool’s capabilities, many Collaborative members saw it as a useful mechanism to increase community engagement. Jane Hornstein and Dominic Tocci, Cook County Department of Planning & Development, also presented on Cook County’s proposal for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development National Disaster Resilience Competition. The application will be up for public comment until March 26, 2015.

Feb. 6, 2015 

February’s Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting focused on climate change and precipitation trends, and how they relate to hydrological modelling. Doug Sisterson, from Argonne National Laboratory, gave a presentation on climate change and future climate scenarios, emphasizing that climate change is significantly impacting the earth’s complex systems. Beth Hall, from Midwest Regional Climate Center, presented a suite of regional, place-based climate products and services to the Collaborative that may help them achieve their goals. A third presentation was given by Momcilo Markus from the Illinois State Water Survey on future climate modelling and a precipitation trend. In particular, the precipitation data used in northeastern Illinois for sizing infrastructure and setting policy is increasingly inaccurate. At the end of the meeting, the Collaborative discussed their application to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition. The submission will include stormwater models that inform a “regional resilience framework.”

Jan. 9, 2015 (Midlothian, Ill.)

The first Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting of 2015 was held at the Village Hall in Midlothian, Ill. The meeting was primarily comprised of presentations given by Collaborative members, detailing the status projects that are currently taking place in Midlothian. The Center for Neighborhood Technology talked about their Rain Ready Homes program and the upcoming Rain Ready Communities pilot program, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District presented on their Natalie Creek Inundation Study. Natalie Creek is one of Midlothian’s local waterbodies that continually experiences overbank flooding.

Dec. 5, 2014

The final Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting of 2014 took place back in the offices of the Metropolitan Planning Council. The Collaborative reviewed its 2015 Work Plan, the final proposal to Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and 2015 meeting logistics. The meeting concluded with a discussion on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, and its application and/or connections to the Collaborative. 

Nov. 7, 2014 (Chicago, Ill.)

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago hosted November’s meeting at the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant. The Collaborative examined the District’s activities and priorities that intersect with those of the Collaborative. Following this exchange of information, the Collaborative broke out into small groups to work toward the development of a stormwater management-focused property assessment and an acquisition strategy for the Cook County Land Bank Authority. Members were asked to specifically identify land and land users in terms of neighborhood flooding, regional flooding and existing habitats.

Oct. 3, 2014 (East Hazel Crest, Ill.)

October’s meeting was hosted by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, East Hazel Crest. The meeting primarily served as a session to exchange information on current approaches used by members of the Collaborative to manage stormwater within the Millennium Reserve/Calumet region. Aaron Koch, from the City of Chicago’s Department of Water Management, illustrated how the City uses decision-support tools for prioritizing stormwater management actions, and Dennis Lotto, from the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, demonstrated how its GIS Consortium is supporting stormwater management decision-making. Following the information exchange, Zhanna Yermakov, from the Chicago Park District, described park lands in the Calumet region that could provide stormwater management, and advocated for collaboration between the Collaborative and the Chicago Park District.

Sept. 5, 2014

Each work group formed in August reported on the development and status of the assigned intervention(s). For each intervention the Collaborative collectively discussed foundational actions, capacity building and planning actions, as well as opportunities for near-term Collaborative impact. Additional dialog covered how actions could be aligned toward common goals, as well as what is needed to help the Collaborative prioritize solutions.

Aug. 1, 2014 (Blue Island, Ill.)

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative hosted its first meeting in the Calumet region at Blue Island’s City Hall. The meeting began with a review of the fundamental challenges within the Calumet and how these challenges could manifest into specific on-the-ground actions. The Collaborative then broke out into intervention work groups to identify strategies and the next steps for pursuing actions. Work groups sustained conversation during the rest of the month, planning for their assigned intervention(s). The Collaborative also released its 1st Quarter Report, which provided a summary of the group’s status, key findings and accomplishments.

June 27, 2014

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting for July was held in the last week of June in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday. Members who participated in July’s meeting identified the top fundamental challenges in the Millennium Reserve/Calumet that are considered to have the greatest priority, and articulated the key issues and players associated with each of the challenges identified. Members also provided feedback on draft ‘mission’ and ‘vision’ statements.

June 6, 2014

Three primary objectives of the third Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting were: 1) Outline the motivations for participating in the Collaborative, 2) Discuss the overview the Collaborative process and timeline through August 2014, and 3) Collectively work toward a better understanding of the Calumet region as a system. Members participated in systems diagramming where they discussed and mapped out the major actors, components and emergent behavior that comprise the Calumet region. The Collaborative's ground rules and principles were also finalized by the third meeting.

May 2, 2014

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative had its first working session in May 2014. They discussed Collaborative ground rules and principles, brainstormed what a collaborative vision for improving stormwater management in the Calumet area would entail and deliberated on the geographic scope of the Collaborative’s work.

April 8, 2014

The primary purpose of the first Calumet Stormwater Collaborative meeting was for the initial members to introduce themselves and talk about what they bring to the table (i.e. land, infrastructure, funds or regulatory powers). As a precursor to the meeting, the Metropolitan Planning Council also held a lunchtime roundtable event, Water Proof: Collaborative Stormwater Solutions, sponsored by CH2M Hill. The panel discussion brought together a large audience, including members of the Collaborative, to talk about how to manage and solve problems in complex, multi-actor stormwater systems.

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