City Parks Help Ensure Clean Water

Biking along the river


Parks play a significant role in providing clean water for communities across the country from small towns to large cities. In City Parks, Clean Water The Trust for Public Land shines a light on water-smart parks that use green infrastructure to make our cities more desirable, more livable, and more successful.



The Trust for Public Land identifies a number of ways public parks can help ensure clean, safe water for people and nature. Some include:

Reducing stream pollution by holding and slowing water

  • Green infrastructure including bioswales, rain gardens and buffer strips in parks help detain stormwater so sediment and pollution don’t end up in our rivers and streams.

Preventing localized flooding

  • Areas that are prone to periodic flooding may benefit from adding in natural green spaces or parks that can help to reduce the impact of water in communities.

Recharging groundwater

  • Green space in cities takes the rain away from the concrete where it washes away and instead allows rain to percolate into the soil to help improve the levels of local groundwater.

Providing visible and tangible benefits 

  • Green infrastructure including park spaces are less expensive than traditional gray infrastructure and provide multiple benefits including recreational and quality of life.

Learn more about the different benefits parks have for communities and clean water by reading City Parks, Clean Water.


Photo Credit: Creative Commons 

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