Northwest Conservation District – Building Municipal Resilience Using Low Impact Development Design

Project Summary

Flooding, erosion, and sedimentation are increasing concerns for Northwest Connecticut towns.  The Northwest Conservation District (NWCD) has worked for over ten years to educate and provide technical guidance on new and improved stormwater management practices in land use development using Low Impact Development (LID) techniques.

NWCD received a CIRCA Matching Grant to work with the Northwest Hills Council of Government (NHCOG) to promote the creation of a model Low Impact Development design manual to address stormwater management. The manual was developed for the Town of Morris, a small rural town containing Bantam Lake, Connecticut’s largest natural lake and substantial drinking supply watershed lands.  In partnership with CIRCA and funding from the Connecticut Community Foundation, the project was extended to support the creations of customized LID manuals to three additional northwestern CT towns: Washington, Warren and Woodbury.

The LID Design Manual provides a technical framework to implement strategies to protect local water resources from adverse impacts associated with climate change and development. NWCD continues to work with numerous regional stakeholders including members of the ‘design/build’ community, land use commission members of neighboring towns, and environmental conservation groups to continue to increase their familiarity with LID techniques and the manual’s contents.

This manual helps streamline the land use process in towns by providing a clear guidebook to reference and follow and increases local adaptive capacity by directly educating the decision makers and immediately reducing the impacts of development on the landscape. This project also advances CIRCA’s mission by creating a model that can be implemented in smaller Connecticut towns and bring adaption tools directly to decision-makers.



Primary Funding Source

Connecticut Community Foundation

Project Team Lead

Karen Griswold Nelson, Northwest Conservation District

Joanna Wozniak-Brown, Northwest Hills Council of Governments


Topic Areas

This project is a part of the following topical areas:

Policy & Planning