Green infrastructure: Tools and guidelines for planning a project

Below, find guides, tools, how-to videos and other useful resources to help you get started on your own stormwater management projects. 

General tools and guides 

Manual of Best Management Practices for Stormwater Quality
Developed by the Kansas City Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and the Kansas City Metro Chapter of the American Public Works Associaion (APWA) as a guide for applying stormwater best management practices (BMPs) to land development.  
Banking On Green: A Look at How Green Infrastructure Can Save Municipalities Money and Provide Economic Benefits Community-Wide [PDF]
Published in April 2012 by American Rivers, the Water Environment Federation, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and ECONorthwest.
The Value of Green Infrastructure [PDF]
A Guide to Recognizing its Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits" created by the Center for Neighbor Technology (CNT) 


EPA's National Stormwater Calculator
This desktop application estimates annual rainwater amount and frequency of runoff from a specific site in the U.S. Estimates are based on soil conditions, land cover, rainfall records, and now includes climate models. Watch a brief video introduction.
Green Values® National Stormwater Management Calculator
Developed by the Center for Neighbor Technology (CNT), this calculator quickly compares the performace, cost and benefits of green infrastructure to conventional stormwater practices.
The Importance of Operation and Maintenance for the Long-Term Success of Green Infrastructure
Provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this report examines O&M practices of 22 green infrastructure projects.
Center for Watershed Protection
This program offers a number of resources and services. Visit their website to learn more. 
National Tree Benefit Calculator
Calculates the benefits of planting a tree in terms of stormwater run-off reduction, property value, energy, air quality, and CO2.
The Green Edge [PDF]
A report (published by the National Resources Defence Council) on how commercial property investment in green infrastructure creates value. 

Installation and planning 

Sample native vegetation installation checklist [PDF] Bioretention installation inspection checklist [PDF]
Missouri Pond Handbook [PDF]
Missouri Department of Conservation


Sample monthly inspection checklists of green infrastructure BMPs [Microsoft Word]
Provided by the City of Lenexa, KS 
Practically Easy Landscape Maintenance
A Care Manual for Natural Drainage Systems
Created by Seattle Public Utilities
Stormwater Wet Pond and Wetland Management Guidebook
Published by EPA, February 2009 
Aquatic Plants and Their Control
Developed by Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Stateion and Cooperative Extension Services, August 2005



Buffalograss Lawns
Developed by Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Stateion and Cooperative Extension Services, Sept. 2001
Maintaining Stormwater Systems
Developed by Northern Virginia Regional Commission, January 2007
Operation and Maintenance of Green Infrastructure [PDF]
Developed by The Rain Garden Initiative. Includes: Policies & procedures, design & construction, maintenance implementation, typical needs, cost. 

Rain gardens

Helpful guides: 

Rain garden brochure with planting guide (provided by MARC in Kansas City) Step-by-step instructions on how to make your own rain garden
Guide to rain gardens 
Includes instructional videos with a cost calculator excel file and instructional videos
Rain Gardens (
Instructional advice and resources for installing a rain garden

How-to videos: 

Brief and simple explanation
(video made b
Friends of the Cedar River Water)
  Longer, more in-depth explanation
(this video is an archived PPI webinar)

Bioretention cells

Helpful guides: 

Bioretention Areas Fact Sheet
Developed by the Massachusetts Metropolitan Area Planning Council, this fact sheet is part of the low impact strategy toolkit and covers the benefits and limitations of bioretention cells.  
Bioretention Cells/Rain Gardens, a Stormwater BMP
Written by A. R. Jarrett, a professor in Agricultural an dBiological Engineering at Penn State, this BMP covers Bioretention Cells/Rain Gardens and the design process.



Helpful guides:  Bioretention Design Specifications and Criteria [from Prince George's County, Maryland]

How-to video:


Green roofs

Helpful guides:

Selecting Plants for Extensive Green Roofs in the United States [PDF] - Michigan State University Extension    

How-to videos: 

Short explanation   Longer, more in-depth explanation
(this video is an archived PPI webinar)

Rain barrels

How-to videos: 

How to build a single rain-barrel system   How to build a multiple rain-barrel system

Permeable pavement and pervious pavers

Smaller applications and homeowners

Helpful guides:

Green Patios, Walkways & Driveways of Porous Pavement and Pervious Concrete    

Businesses and larger applications

How-to videos: 

Brief overview of types of pervious pavement and pavers   Longer, more in-depth explanation
(this video is an archived PPI webinar)


K-State Pollution Prevention Institute
(800) 578-8898 |
2323 Anderson Ave., Suite 300, Manhattan, KS 66506