Green Infrastructure

Municipal Service workers planting a rain garden Green infrastructure
Infrastructure is the physical framework of a community. In Lenexa, we divide infrastructure by function: either green or gray. Gray, or traditional infrastructure, includes buildings, roads, utilities and parking lots. Green infrastructure encompasses the interconnected network of open spaces and natural systems that manages stormwater, reduces the risk of floods and captures pollution.

In cities, that interconnected network utilizes structures such as rain gardens, green roofs, tree planting, permeable pavement and other landscape-based drainage features. These features restore, protect and mimic natural water flow within a man-made environment.

Take a virtual tour of Lenexa’s green infrastructure.

Benefits of green infrastructure

Green infrastructure works to reduce and treat runoff before it reaches stormdrains. Local research on green infrastructure in Johnson County shows it can capture or retain 90 percent or more of the rain from typical storms delivering an inch or less. This is crucial since the majority of pollutants are carried in the first half-inch of rain.

Utilizing green infrastructure reduces runoff entering stormdrains, which reduces wear and tear on them, saving money in maintenance and replacement costs. It also provides wildlife habitat and areas for recreation and green space.

Lenexa’s stormwater maintenance crews care for green infrastructure owned by the city, including rain gardens, bioretention cells, swales, green roofs and other structures. A large-scale effort is made to promote native plants that can capture and infiltrate runoff with their deep root systems. Photograph of invasive species in a residential neighborhood


For more information about Lenexa’s green infrastructure, contact Ted Semadeni, stormwater superintendent.

These green infrastructure devices can sometimes be referred to as  Stormwater "Best Management Practices" or BMPs by builders and developers.

Best Management Practices

Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) are an effective, flexible and environmentally sound way to control the volume and quality of stormwater that leaves a developed site.

BMPs help protect downstream water bodies by using landscaping techniques and native plantings while improving aesthetics and adding amenity to a wide variety of developed projects.

The following is a list of common BMPs used in the City of Lenexa. To learn more about each one, click on the links provided.

BMP Requirements, Review and Approval

Lenexa actively participates in the MidAmerica Regional Council (MARC) and the American Public Works Association (APWA). In conjunction with these agencies, a stormwater BMP manual was developed to provide guidance for using BMPs in the Kansas City Metro area.

Lenexa requires the use of BMPs through its public and private development plans and permit review process. Developments must meet a level of service calculation. This calculation is a numerical value that addresses runoff quantity and quality from proposed development through using site-appropriate BMPs.

Using the provided documents below, tools and links provided, you can:

  • Learn how to incorporate BMPs into development projects, construction sites and everyday business.
  • Arm yourself with strategies for successful BMP implementation.
  • Grab effective tools for teaching others about the benefits of stormwater BMPs.
  • Explore additional resources to broaden your knowledge and learn more about stormwater management and related topics.

View these Land Development and Construction site tips for more information:


BMP inspection and maintenance

Lenexa’s Stormwater Specialist provides technical assistance to contractors, homeowners, developers, maintenance personnel and city staff to facilitate the successful installation and long-term performance of BMPs.

Lenexa’s public and privately owned BMPs are regularly inspected by the city during construction and periodically after completion to verify performance. The city works with owners and maintenance contractors to ensure that once BMPs are installed, they are kept in working order to provide the intended water protection and flood control benefits.

The Stormwater Specialist is involved in plan review, pre-construction meetings and on-site construction inspections through the installation, establishment and maintenance of BMPs. As part of the inspection process, a BMP's plantings and structural components must be fully functional before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued.

For more information regarding native planting and landscape design contact our Community Development group at 477-7500.

For additional information regarding during-construction and post-construction BMP concerns, please contact Justin Stuedemann, Stormwater Specialist.