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The Alabama Low Impact Development Handbook

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) has released The Alabama Low Impact Development Handbook.  The Alabama LID Handbook is a web-based resource that provides recommendations for professionals seeking to plan, design, construct, plant, and maintain stormwater control measures.  

Low impact development (LID) minimizes stormwater runoff through the use of natural systems in site design, minimizing the site footprint of disturbance, and infiltrating stormwater as close as possible to its source. LID supports a more natural hydrologic cycle, decreases polluted stormwater runoff, improves local stream health, and promotes sustainable communities that integrate ecology, economy, and societal benefits.

“I’m excited to be a part of this groundbreaking publication,” said Charlene LeBleu, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, and a co-author. “This handbook will help Alabama communities understand that LID has many benefits when compared with conventional stormwater systems.  Not only can it save developers and local governments money, but LID also contributes to improving the local environment and livability.”

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture graduate students who assisted with the graphic portion of the handbook include:  Domini Cunningham, Landscape Architecture, Taylor French, Landscape Architecture, and Oliver Preus, Community Planning.

The handbook covers topics such as bioretention, constructed rain gardens, permeable pavement, swales, level spreaders, filter strips, green roofs, riparian buffers, rain gardens and disconnected downspouts. 

 An example of LID implementation is Railroad Park in Birmingham, AL. LID design features include downspout removal, porous pavers, curb cuts, native grasses and wildflowers, constructed wetland and filtration areas.  Another example is the bioretention swales in the Auburn University Research Park, Auburn, AL.

For more information on The Alabama Low Impact Development Handbook: www.aces.edu/lid

Picture: Lea Ann Macknally, Macknally Land Design, LLC, discusses LID features with AU landscape architecture students at Railroad Park, Birmingham AL.

Picture: Bioretention Swale at the Auburn Business Incubator on Devall Drive, Auburn University Research Park, Auburn, AL.