Beyond the Basics Seminar 2014:  Day 1
Beyond the Basics Seminar 2014: Day 1

Pre- Seminar Field Trip


Join us on a tour of stormwater best management practices in the western suburbs. We will leave cars at The Morton Arboretum and take a bus to visit sites in Woodridge/Naperville, Aurora and West Chicago. In Aurora we will meet with city staff and tour several sites including some newly installed and established rain gardens and a filtration basin near the Metra lot. Staff will discuss the evolving process of working with residents to not only accept, but embrace these new practices. After lunch we will visit the Ball Horticultural Corporate Headquarters in West Chicago to see how they have created a new identity for their front entrance while solving serious flooding problems. We will return to The Morton Arboretum for a tour of their permeable parking lot and other green stormwater practices.  40 person maximum.


Pre-Seminar Workshops

8:30-12:00 – Watershed Based Plans

Watershed-Based Planning – Plan the Work then Work the Plan!
Patty Werner, Andrea Cline, Mike Prusila, Mike Novotney – Lake County Stormwater Commission

Watersheds in Illinois are definitely not a ‘one size fits all’.  Trying to apply the same solutions to all watersheds will not work.  Urban watersheds need different programs and practices than their suburban and rural counterparts.  The same can be said for lake and stream watersheds.  

The success of watershed planning is demonstrated by effective implementation of the watershed plan.  To be successful, planners need to understand the process, components, and implementation of a watershed-based plan.

This workshop will be conducted by the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (Commission).  The Commission has 17 years of watershed planning history in a county rich in water resources with more than 190 inland lakes, 29 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, 1,892 miles of streams and rivers and 61,495 acres of wetlands.  Lake County has more than 700,000 people in 52 municipalities or in the unincorporated areas (34% of the County).  The residents value their water resources and have high expectations to live in healthy, sustainable communities that include; clean water, safety from flood damage, high quality natural resources and first-rate outdoor recreational opportunities.

Lake County is divided into 26 watersheds for water resource analysis and watershed-based planning purposes.  Each of the watersheds has multiple municipalities, county, state and federal jurisdictions requiring a high degree of inter-jurisdictional collaboration in watershed-based planning and follow-up plan implementation.  The Commission has a well-established program of watershed plan implementation and through a collaborative process has funded or has secured funding for more than 300 watershed projects in Lake County.  

This workshop is for those who are considering the development of a watershed-based plan AND for those that need to update a watershed plan to meet US EPA’s minimum elements.  This workshop will include details on the planning process, components of a watershed-based plan; and plan implementation.    Tips, techniques, and ‘tricks’ will be shared.  The Commission will explain their approach to comprehensive assessments of the condition of a watershed based on analyses of: land use; demographics; stream and lake characteristics; pollution loads; flood damage; and green infrastructure.  Also covered will be the identification of critical areas and recommendations for both programmatic and site specific projects to address watershed and water resource threats.

This workshop will be interactive and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers, which will allow you to converse with the presenters regarding their ‘lessons learned’ over the last 17 years!  With 26 watersheds to choose from, the Commission will have information that you can use to develop a successful watershed-based plan!

12:00-1:00 – Box-less Lunch

1:00-3:30Better Ordinances for Sustainable Stormwater Management, Natural Resources Protection, and More Vital Communities
Dennis Dreher – Geosyntec Consultants

Evolving standards in countywide stormwater ordinances in northeastern Illinois have raised the bar in recent years. Beyond an historical focus on flood prevention and controlling runoff rates, these ordinances now emphasize runoff volumes and water quality. Evolving federal (NPDES) and state standards increasingly call for “green infrastructure” practices to achieve the goal of holistic stormwater management. 

Despite advances in stormwater policies and technical standards, much new development and redevelopment continues to follow the less-enlightened approach of past decades. A large part of the explanation for this occurrence is the lack of evolution of municipal and county subdivision, zoning, landscaping, and related development ordinances. 

This workshop will share the basic elements of a comprehensive ordinance approach that ensures more watershed-friendly development. These elements include:

- Comprehensive stormwater management, including drainage and detention, erosion and sediment control, floodplain management, and stream and wetland protection

- Natural area protection through conservation design

- Natural landscaping

- Impervious area reduction: street and parking requirements

Workshop participants will receive a comprehensive ordinance checklist that was developed initially by Geosyntec Consultants for several watershed planning projects. More recently, in cooperation with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the checklist has been expanded with an extensive list of regional and national references. 

The workshop will be presented by a team with expertise in engineering, planning, community development, and municipal law. It will address common ordinance implementation issues and opportunities, such as:

- Eliminating barriers in existing subdivision and zoning codes

- Providing incentives, such as detention credits, for green infrastructure innovation

- Emphasizing cost-effectiveness of new approaches

- Long-term maintenance considerations

- Being proactive in anticipating new state/federal regulations

- Encouraging green infrastructure to also enhance community character and quality of life


3:45-5:00 Tour of The Morton Arboretum’s Stormwater Management Practices