Green Infrastructure

Municipal Service workers planting a rain gardenGreen 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.