Lower Lake Michigan

Green Infrastructure Service Sharing

The Lower Lake Michigan team comprises three community foundations that work with a variety of partners in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. This team will create and sustain a green infrastructure maintenance model that prioritizes low- to moderate-income communities who struggle with consistent maintenance while helping to connect job seekers with employers, specifically focusing on low-income-area residents. Municipalities can experience cost-savings through shared service agreements; geographic proximity; and high-quality, consistent maintenance.

We are very happy with this year’s service. We don’t have a budget for maintenance; it makes sense to move to a single contract and consolidate

Municipal Partner


Restored nine green stormwater infrastructure sites in the region where maintenance has been an ongoing challenge, including rain gardens, native gardens, and bioswales

Trained 13 workers seeking additional knowledge in caring for green infrastructure, with 25 participants registered for an upcoming training

Demonstrated the value of high quality, consistent maintenance in three municipalities that will continue participation in the pilot in 2021

Analyzed maintenance costs to reveal the real cost of green infrastructure maintenance and found that savings can be achieved when sites are geographically clustered to allow for more work in one day

Established multiyear working relationship with providers to ensure a service plan is in place and they are familiar with the sites, plants, and conditions


Kara Riggio