Greenways preserve wooded open spaces along creeks and streams that absorb flood waters and filter pollutants from storm water. In some cases buildings and other land uses have encroached into flood-prone areas. By designating floodplains as greenways, encroachments can be managed, and sometimes replaced with linear open space, an amenity to residents and businesses occupying adjacent property.
As a flood-control measure, Valparaiso pathway and greenway corridors serve as primary storage zones during periods of heavy rainfall. The protected floodplain can also be used during non-flood periods for recreation and alternative transportation. In conjunction with existing storm water management policies and programs in the region, greenway lands can be set aside as development occurs.
Improved Water Quality Greenway corridors also serve to improve the surface water quality of local rivers and creeks. The floodplain forests and wetlands contained within greenway corridors filter pollutants from stormwater. These pollutants are not removed if storm water is collected in pipes and discharged directly into local streams and rivers. Improving surface water quality in streams benefits both local residents and numerous forms of wildlife that depend on streams for their habitat.
As a water supply protection measure, Valparaiso pathway and greenway corridors can buffer streams and lakes with vegetation to absorb pollution from runoff.