Green Infrastructure

The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits — Center for Neighborhood Technology 2010 (76 pages)

The New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual is a publication of the NYS DEC. See section 9.5.1 (page 11) for information on rain gardens.

Green Roofs Tree of Knowledge
A database of information on materials and plants, economic benefits, policy, and social and bio-physical benefits as they pertain to green roofs from Healthy Cities, a non-profit organization devoted to supporting and promoting the industry.
The International Greenroof and Greenwall Projects Database.

Green Infrastructure: Smart Conservation for the 21st Century — a publication of the Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse

Healthy Landscapes – Sustainable Landscaping
An overview of rain barrels from the Healthy Landscapes program of the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension, including a link on how to make your own rain barrel.

Tree Ordinances
Information on how to write a tree ordinance from the NYS DEC.

Urban and Community Forestry
A short overview of urban and community forestry, as well as links to closely related topics, compiled by the NYS DEC.

The I-Tree Suite is free urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment software developed by the USDA FS.

Arbor Day Foundation – Tree City
Tree City USA is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation and the USDA FS that “provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs.”

Stormwater Control Operation & Maintenance
Sample stormwater ordinances and agreements compiled by the US EPA.

Asset Management

Environmental Finance Center Network
The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) is a university-based organization creating innovative solutions to the difficult how-to-pay issues of environmental protection and improvement. The EFCN works with the public and private sectors to promote sustainable environmental solutions while bolstering efforts to manage costs.

New York Rural Water Association – Technical Assistance
No cost, on-site technical assistance is a key ingredient in New York Rural Water Association’s (NYRWA’s) effort to improve the quality of utility services in rural New York. NYRWA’s technical representatives assist local governments and systems in their operations, and in their efforts to protect the public’s health and comply with complex regulations.

AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of drinking water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world. AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the drinking water community.

The Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) is a portal for sensitive security information and alerts to help America’s drinking water and wastewater community protect consumers and the environment.

Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies Security Resources page.

US EPA—Water security resources

New York Rural Water Association’s (NYRWA) technical representatives assist local governments and systems in their operations, and in their efforts to protect the public’s health and comply with complex regulations.

Water Quality

EPA – Model Ordinances Language
Surface water and groundwater model ordinances compiled by the US EPA.

Stormwater Management Guidance Manual for Local Officials
A guidance manual from the NYS DEC & NYS DOS to help municipalities implement stormwater runoff controls, including local laws and regulations required by federal and state law. (78 pages)

EPA – Drinking Water Contaminants
Drinking Water Standards for Regulated Contaminants -Through the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Congress requires EPA to regulate contaminants which may be health risks and which may be present in public drinking water supplies. Passed in 1974, and revised in 1986 and 1996, SDWA extends public health protection to America’s drinking water consumers.

EPA – Trash Free Waters
EPA is working to reduce the amount of trash and litter that enters streams and rivers, lakes and bays, beaches and coastlines, and ultimately the world’s oceans. This Agency work includes outreach and education, research, and new program partnerships.


The Building Materials Reuse Association is a non-profit organization focusing on education and research whose mission to facilitate deconstruction and the reuse/recycling of recovered building materials.

Buffalo ReUse is a non-profit, fully licensed, bonded and insured Green Demolition & Salvage Company. They offer volunteer opportunities and operate a retail store called the ReSource where they sell reusable and salvaged items.

Finger Lakes ReUse is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to helping the Finger Lakes region benefit from reuse with their ReUse Center, deconstruction services, and computer reuse program.

The ReStore supports Syracuse Habitat for Humanity through the sales of new, used and surplus donated materials.

EPA – Wastes
EPA resource page on solid waste.

EPA – Conserving Resources, Preventing Waste
Wastewise is a US EPA program designed to help its partners reduce and recycle their waste.

EPA – Composting for Facilities
The basics of composting outlined by the US EPA.

Cornell Waste Management Institute – Resources
Hundreds of composting resources compiled by the Cornell Waste Management Institute.

EPA – Household Hazardous Waste

EPA – eCycling
Basic E-waste information about recycling topics from the US EPA.

Paint Reuse
A comprehensive guidance manual for paint reuse programs from the Paint Product Stewardship Institute, Inc.

“Starting a Materials Reuse Program” is a brief guide, including program types and examples, from the Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension.


Natural Resource Checklist
A natural resource inventory checklist from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “This kind of inventory is useful to the local unit (e.g. city or country government) in developing policies, informing land use decisions, and identifying areas for natural resource conservation and management.”

Historical Aerial Photographs of New York
Historical Aerial photographs of Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tompkins county from the Cornell University Institute for Resource Information Services (IRIS). IRIS’ main goal “is to support mapping efforts through consulting services and to review, distribute and archive maps to all participating units of local government and responsible state agencies.”

Municipal Natural Resource Inventory Maps for Westchester County.

Woodstown-Pilesgrove Environmental Resource Inventory (ERI)
A sample natural resource inventory from the joint efforts of Woodstone and Pilesgrove Environmental Commissions.

Drafting Local Ordinances for Natural Resource Protection
A guide to drafting local ordinances for natural resource protection from the Land Use Clinic at the University of Georgia. (16 pages)


USDA’s Rural Development Program has financial programs to support water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. They promote economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools. They provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs

The “Brownfield Redevelopment Toolbox: A Guide to Assist Communities in Redeveloping New York State’s Brownfields” is a manual from the NYS DEC covering the topics of site identification, contamination, cleanup, redevelopment, and NYS brownfield programs. (45 pages)

Smart Strategies for a Sustainable Future
“Smart strategies for sustainable communities“- a planning framework from the US EPA.

Land Use Planning and Regulation / Local Governance and Procedure Training
Planning resources from the New York Department of State, including a Land Use Training Network calendar, publications and technical assistance, information on annual training requirements, and local government training courses.

Environmental Law & Policy Development

EPA – Open Space Development

This resource from the US EPA offers model ordinances from several northeast communities, as well as model ordinance language that “fosters development that is substantially consistent with many local zoning standards yet allows for modifications from the original standards to ensure appropriate, fair, and consistent decision making.”

ANJEC – Open Space Preservation
A variety of resources, including guides about open space plans, natural resource inventories, and ordinances from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. *Note: Some of this information may be specific to New Jersey.

Smart Growth

“This is Smart Growth” is a publication of the Smart Growth Network, provides an overview of smart decision making for a healthy economy, environment, and community. (32 pages)

Complete Streets Resource List– American Planning Association

Smart Growth America – Schedule a Workshop
A guide to hosting a complete streets workshop in your community.

The National Complete Streets Coalition advocates for complete streets on a local and federal level.

Case Study- Better Streets San Francisco.

“Local Open Space Planning Guide” is a multi-agency collaborative effort detailing all aspects of open space preservation, from site identification to land acquisition to legal matters. (71 pages) – NYS DOS & NYS DEC
“Economic benefits of Open Space Planning”—Office of the State Comptroller

NYS Open Space Preservation Plan
The official NYS Open Space Preservation Plan from the NYS DEC and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.