Envision Logo


The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) just announced the third project to receive an EnvisionTM award for innovative sustainable design.  The South Los Angeles Wetlands Park in Los Angeles, CA earned a Platinum Award from ISI for the integrated engineering solution that captured and improved local urban runoff and created a new neighborhood park that will help to revitalize the area.  The project is located in a historically underserved area of the city and is the result of Proposition O, a program supported by a series of general obligation bonds.  The projects are being implemented to protect public health by removing pollution from the City’s waterways, beaches and the ocean in order to meet its Clean Water Act requirements. 


The features of the project that helped the project score highly for sustainability within the Envision framework included remediation of the former Brownfield site, creation of new urban green space, and the design of the park to use urban runoff as a treatment-wetland sustaining resource. The South L.A. Wetlands project ranked very highly in many Envision credit areas including:


Quality of Life: The project enhanced public space and restored site accessibility.  Being surrounded by homes and schools, the site made an ideal locale for an urban park with restored natural features and green space.  The site was previously inaccessible to the public and surrounded by an eight foot high chain link fence. The project team developed informative way-finding signage located near the entrance of the park, and addressed safety and accessibility in and around the park by providing multiple access and egress points, as well as installing security cameras at the site.


Leadership:   The project improved infrastructure integration of the regional storm drain network using water from the storm drain network to sustain the wetland, using a series of stormwater best management practices to enhance the quality of runoff, treating urban runoff from a 525-acre contributing watershed, and adding beneficial park space in the community.

Resource Allocation: The project reduced energy use by installing solar lighting, which reduced energy consumption by 77%.  An extensive initial commissioning of the pump stations was conducted to ensure the SCADA system controlling the wetland's low flow and high flow pump systems operated efficiently.


Natural World: The project transformed the previous Brownfield facility into an urban park with amenities including trails, boardwalks, observation decks, picnic areas, and a natural rock garden seating area. A wetland with riparian and emergent marsh habitat was created at the center of a densely-populated urban community, and the land use designation of the site was changed from Light Industrial to Open Space in order to ensure the continued use of the site as a wetlands park.  The project incorporates native California plant species, requiring no pesticides or fertilizer. These open water, emergent marsh, riparian and upland plants contribute to wetland habitat restoration and help restore species biodiversity.


Climate and Risk: The project was designed to be resilient and adaptive to the consequences of long-term climate change scenarios, such as extreme flood or drought. Flexible operation features were built in so that the wetlands may be operated differently. Substantial efforts were made to address the effects of potential long-term climate change by constructing a wetlands environment with riparian habitat at the center of a densely populated urban community.


Loveland, Co RecycleBank Truck


The City of Loveland partnered with Recyclebank in July to not only increase residential recycling in Loveland, but also to give our customers more of an incentive to recycle, by offering them both local and national rewards, and also increase foot traffic through our local rewards partners.  The City not only took the "traditional" Recyclebank approach, by adding local partners, but we worked with local rewards partners and created the "Premier Partners" campaign to give our customers an even bigger bang for their Recyclebank buck, by offering free advertising to our local partners if they increased the overall reward that a recycling customer could earn.


Although the City of Loveland boasts a very respectable 61% diversion rate for all waste materials collected, that number has been static for a few years now and the City was ready to begin looking at how to get to the next level (62% and beyond).  One of the main issues the city has had in years past is the lack of education we are able to provide our citizenry.  The city does not employ any sustainability personnel and all outreach provided on sustainability/recycling/diversion is done through the Solid Waste Division.  Recyclebank was a perfect fit, by not only offering a robust rewards catalog, but by also offering their marketing expertise in place of a full-time staff member.


Although Recyclebank has been around for some time and is in over 300 communities nationwide, there is no other program quite like that in which the City of Loveland has partnered with Recyclebank to create.  Recyclebank’s program is well known and well run, but the City of Loveland wanted to involve their local, “homegrown” businesses more, and when the program began, they simply didn’t feel that there was enough local representation, but instead, saw a larger contingency of large, well known national brands and franchises.


With that, the City of Loveland, with the help of Recyclebank, came up with the “Recyclebank Premier Partners” program.  What this program is, is exactly what the name implies – premier.  Generally, Recyclebank Local Rewards partners offering a “reward” through the standard program, offer rewards that range from 5 to 15% off a meal, item, or service of some sort.  The Premier Partners program offers rewards that usually range from 25% off on a service (i.e. automotive repair), and can go as high as 50+% off for food and beverage items at participating local establishments.  Those who participate at a higher level of “reward” get greater advertising, all provided by the City of Loveland, GRATIS!  The advertising package includes large (4’x6’) banners on the sides of our waste collection trucks, rack cards with information regarding the company and the Recyclebank program, postings on the City’s Facebook page and homepage, information in our Library, and more.  Not only does this help with our recycling efforts, but it also gives our local retail and restaurant owners greater visibility with the increased advertising and the increased foot traffic into their establishments.


So far, the program has been a hit.  We have a very good participation rate from our citizenry, redeeming rewards at many local establishments, and the businesses are seeing more and more people utilizing their rewards.  Although the program has only been going for a few months, the businesses are reporting positive results.  Some of the “rewards” have been too good; we have had requests to change the reward offering.


[Post provided by guest blogger Tyler Bandemer, Loveland, CO Public Works]

Loveland, CP RecycleBank Truck