March 14, 2001  

"Daylighting: New Life For Buried Streams":

Snowmass, CO-Rocky Mountain Institute has published "Daylighting: New Life For Buried Streams" by water resource management expert Richard Pinkham.  The report shows how communities across the U.S. and abroad are discovering the benefits that result from bringing streams out from culverts and other underground channels to enhance public spaces, improve water quality, and expand stream channel capacity.


The report documents 18 projects that have "daylighted" over 14,000 feet of waterways in the U.S. and lists another 23 projects in various stages of consideration.  The case studies include the background, actions, results, economics and challenges and lessons from each project, which range in length from a residential backyard project in Rowley, Massachusetts to a 4,000 foot restoration in an Urbana, Illinois park.


The report has two purposes. One, to show that daylighting projects are exciting and doable, and two, to show that they require an appropriate site, excellent design, and extensive community involvement.  In addition to avoiding new infrastructure costs, daylighting often improves the downstream water quality and improves the carrying capacity of streams. Daylighted streams also can dramatically improve parks and other public places, and also can increase the value of neighboring properties.


There is a huge potential for the daylighting of long-buried and long-forgotten streams in the U.S.  "People are attracted to a place where they can hear moving water," said Pinkham. "It has a restorative affect on people, which they really appreciate, especially in an urban environment."


"Daylighting: New Life for Buried Streams" is available on-line in PDF format at no charge on RMI's website, . or by contacting RMI's publications department at 1-800-333-5903.





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