Southwest High Point Green Infrastructure Plan
Clean water and adequate access to green spaces are essential elements of a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable community. However, in most dense, urban environments, where impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots, and sidewalks dominate the landscape, water resources are often impacted and natural areas are few and far between. This is particularly true in low-income or marginalized communities, as neighborhoods of higher socioeconomic status tend to enjoy greater access to nearby green space.
The Southwest High Point Green Infrastructure Plan seeks to address these concerns by identifying opportunities for green stormwater solutions throughout High Point’s Southwest neighborhood, particularly those that coincide with the proposed Southwest Greenway corridor. Green infrastructure is an innovative stormwater management approach that utilizes soils and vegetation to naturally capture, slow down, and filter runoff. This project was completed in partnership with the Southwest Renewal Foundation and City of High Point and funded by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and builds upon the Southwest High Point Greenway Feasibility Plan, which develops a vision for a connected greenway trail in the Southwest and identifies opportunities, constraints, and recommendations for trail alignment.
- Identify green infrastructure opportunities (such as rain gardens, planted medians, constructed wetlands, etc.)
- Identify invasive plant species and develop recommendations for their removal
- Educate youth about the role that green infrastructure can play in their community
Green Infrastructure Opportunities
The project team utilized a combination of fieldwork, GIS mapping, and input from local stakeholders in order to inventory existing conditions within the Southwest High Point neighborhood and identify where there are opportunities for green infrastructure projects. Green infrastructure projects were selected based on their level of feasibility, ease of implementation, and cost effectiveness. Factors that were considered included environmental characteristics, land use, property ownership, and proximity to streams, roads, buildings, other utilities, and the proposed greenway. The SW Green Infrastructure Plan provides conceptual designs and cost estimates for 39 initial projects that the Southwest Renewal Foundation, City of High Point, and other community members can use to begin making green infrastructure improvements throughout the neighborhood.
A plant survey of invasive species and their location was conducted along the proposed greenway in Southwest High Point. These plants were photographed with a GPS camera and added to an interactive online map. Southwest Renewal Foundation, City of High Point, and Piedmont Triad Regional Council staff were accompanied by a botanist to identify and map species.There were several invasive species commonly found throughout the study area, including kudzu, honeysuckle, chinese privet, english ivy, mimosa, multiflora rose, tree of heaven, and winter creeper.
Outreach and Education
The SWHP Green Infrastructure Plan worked with local Boys and Girls clubs and Guilford County Schools to train teachers on water quality topics, incorporate STEM curriculum, and raise awareness about green infrastructure techniques. Over the course of this project, the SW Renewal Foundation and PTRC also held four community events to promote the proposed greenway, green infrastructure plan, and inform residents about ways they can help protect water resources. These included:
- A stream cleanup along Richland Creek
- A Woodland Teaching Garden, which was planted along a one-acre, defunct, public right-of-way between Grimes & Taylor Ave
- A tree give-away to celebrate Earth & Arbor Day, and an NC American Planning Association tour along the proposed greenway.
Project Web Map
All field work data, including invasive species and green infrastructure projects that were identified over the course of this plan can be easily viewed using our online Project Web Map! Layers can be turned on or off using the legend on the right side of the screen.