Federal regulators have given us a mere 3-4 years to prove that green infrastructure solutions can address the combined sewer overflow issues that pollute our rivers and waterways with raw sewage. But, if we are going to prove that green infrastructure reduces flooding, provides community benefits, and helps us achieve cleaner water, we have to start now.

The Four Mile Run project in Schenley Park is a perfect place to start. The project is close to being shovel-ready, and the neighborhood is in desperate need of flood control and stormwater management. For a $30 million investment, the Four Mile Run could deliver as much as $300 million in stormwater reduction benefits alone. In addition to providing community beautification and increased flood control, the investment could also significantly reduce the amount of sewage dumped into our rivers after each rainfall. This project is a perfect opportunity to prove in a concrete way that green infrastructure works and can positively impact our communities.

In early July, PIIN, the Clean Rivers Campaign, and Sierra Club hosted a Four Mile Run Community Meeting at Sixth Presbyterian Church to discuss the project and make a call to action in our communities. We need ALCOSAN, PWSA, the City, and institutions like CMU, Pitt, and UPMC to provide the necessary investments that would make this project a reality. We know that green infrastructure can’t wait. We call upon Mayor Bill Peduto to invest in Four Mile Run and provide the critical funding necessary to kick this project off the ground.