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By the U of A System Division of AgricultureNov. 08, 2019
(420 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Green infrastructure — an approach to community development and
water management that protects, restores, or mimics the natural water cycle — is coming
to southeast Arkansas.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Division (formerly Arkansas
Natural Resources Commission) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently
awarded a $100,926 nonpoint source pollution program grant to the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture to support the expansion of green infrastructure into
southeastern counties within the state.
John Pennington, water quality educator for the Division of Agriculture, said that
green infrastructure includes the incorporation of both the natural environment and
engineered systems to provide clean water, maintain ecosystem functions, and provide
a wide array of benefits to communities, people and wildlife. Green infrastructure
is designed to be effective and economical, with the ultimate goal of enhancing community
safety and quality of life.
Green infrastructure solutions can be applied on different scales, from homebuilding
to landscaping, Pennington said. At the local level, green infrastructure practices
include rain gardens, bioswales, permeable pavers, green roofs, green walls and rainwater
harvesting systems. At the largest scale, the preservation and restoration of natural
landscapes, such as forests, floodplains and wetlands, are critical components of
Pennington said the grant funding represents a profound opportunity to bolster natural
ecosystems in southeastern Arkansas.
“Southeast Arkansas has an amazing amount of naturally occurring green infrastructure,
but there is both a need and an opportunity to maintain it,” Pennington said, “while
simultaneously increasing the incorporation of green infrastructure into the ‘build
environment’ since it can provide so many benefits to the people and communities in
The grant will support installation of 10 green infrastructure practices in portions
of the Bayou Bartholomew watershed. The Bayou Bartholomew watershed is known as the
longest bayou in the world, and the second most ecologically diverse waterway in North
America, Pennington said. However, the bayou faces water quality issues associated
with sediment, nutrients, and heavy metals.
The project seeks to reduce nonpoint source pollution and excessive stormwater runoff
through the installation of green infrastructure practices, and encouraging additional
green infrastructure practices by providing a series of educational workshops over
the next two years.
To learn more about the project or ways to help protect water quality, contact John
Pennington at 501-671-2195 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the U of A System Division of Agriculture online at www.uaex.uada.edu.Follow the Cooperative Extension Service on Twitter at @UAEX_edu and on Instagram at @UAEX_edu. Follow the Agricultural Experiment Station on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch and Instagram at ArkAgResearch.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Ryan McGeeneyU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com