Happy birthday, Brownfields!

It’s the 20th anniversary of the Brownfields program, and I was fortunate to be a part of the Brownfields 2015 Conference in Chicago this week. I got a warm welcome from everyone including my in-room tablet.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel shared his vision for a green Chicago and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy talked about how Brownfields revitalization and urban greening can help build community.


EPA Administrator McCarthy addresses attendees

An added bonus was the opportunity to spend time in Millenium Park, a stunning urban Park at day or night.


Residents get a break from the heat in an interactive water feature in Millenium Park

I was presenting to help tell the Urban Waters story. Urban Waters is a great initiative led by EPA nationally and by a variety of federal agencies locally. I help the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station implement the Baltimore Urban Waters Partnership. Many Brownfields abut waterways, so looking at ways to help the two efforts find common interest was great. Our presentation was: Waterways to Revitalization: America’s Federal Urban Waters Partnerships.

You can find out more about the Baltimore Urban Waters Partnership here. If you are interested in forming an Urban Waters Partnership, EPA’s Urban Waters Partnership handbook is now available online.

The Brownfields program has done a lot to revitalize communities over the last 20 years. Thanks to EPA for helping revitalize cities with Brownfields and Urban Waters Partnerships.