Raleigh is located in the Upper Neuse Watershed in the Southeastern part of the United States, with the Neuse River winding around and through the city, stretching from the mountains in the east to the Atlantic Ocean. Raleigh has historically been known as the “City of Oaks” and prides itself on its green image. Trees and forests are integral to Raleigh’s identity and contribute to quality of life and environmental health. Raleigh residents cherish the natural beauty of the city and region, but don’t often connect water quality with the trees and surrounding forests that protect it.
Trees and forests are a key component of Raleigh’s stormwater management practices. Raleigh’s Green Stormwater Initiative benefits land development projects by encouraging the use of natural infrastructure to capture, absorb, and store rainwater. These features remove pollution and reduce impacts from the volume of stormwater that otherwise would go directly into storm drains and local waterways.
Raleigh looks forward to working with Cities4Forests to provide safe, sustainable water services for residents while protecting public health and contributing to the economic, environmental and social vitality of the community.
The City of Raleigh recently updated the Unified Development Ordinance to make it easier for the development community to include green infrastructure and low impact development, also known as green stormwater infrastructure, practices into land development to help reduce environmental impacts to streams and lakes. Adding these green stormwater infrastructure practices not only conserves natural resources but it can also make more efficient use of development sites, lower construction costs, and increase property values.
The City of Raleigh leads the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative, a land trust partnership created to protect the areas most critical to the long-term health of the drinking water supplies for all communities in the Upper Neuse River Basin. Protection efforts include acquiring parcels of land through conservation agreements, purchases, or donations. Funds from the program are also expected to be available to help purchase easements around the city.