Programs & Initiatives
There are a number of programs and initiatives the stormwater section of the Engineering Division focuses on that residents can learn more about and potentially get involved with.
City Engineering is always looking for residents to adopt a median in the City. Get creative and involved in your community in this program to beautify the nearest median in your neighborhood!
- Engineering Prairie Plantings
Engineering approaches mowing in a strategic way to enhance our greenways in the City to support native plants. Learn more about how Engineering is approaching prairie-vegetated stormwater land.
- Leaf Collection Program Study
The amount of leaves we leave in our streets each fall have a huge impact on our lakes. City Engineering leads the area in innovative leaf studies with the USGS to reduce phosphorus from going into the area lakes. Learn about "leaf tea," ways to mulch and how you can help reduce phosphorus by 80 percent.
- Operation Fresh Start
City Engineering is a proud partner to Operation Fresh Start, a program that helps provide a path forward for disconnected youth in Dane County. From removing invasive plants, building raised garden beds to the massive heaps of brush removed, learn about what the OFS crews do for our community.
- Permeable Pavement
It's just one of many examples of "green infrastructure," but it's an innovative way the City is ahead of the curve on seeing how it can be used to help absorb stormwater as soon as it falls from the sky. Learn where City Engineering hosts one of the only test sites in the nation focusing on different types of permeable pavement and why its experimenting in neighborhoods with this unique approach to stormwater management.
- Prescribed Burns
Smoky air and bright yellow suits may be coming to a greenway near you, but don't worry, it's only to help with native plant growth. Learn how City Engineering certified staff approach prescribed burns and the communication process they go through before burning in the City.
- Restoration Internship
Love the outdoors and bettering our community, while learning all things about our City's greenways? City Engineering is always looking for its next Greenway Restoration Interns. The program is during the summer, and interns get hands-on experience working with the Engineering Division Greenway Vegetation Coordinator.
- Roger Bannerman Rain Garden Program
Named after one of Madison's most dedicated stormwater stewards, the Rodger Bannerman Rain Garden Program has everything you need to get started on your own rain garden at home: DIY guides, plant lists and ways to cut cost.
- Salt Certification
The City is actively working to reduce its salt use, and it wants you to join the charge! Learn about Wisconsin Salt Wise, ways to cut back on salt use and which winter contractors are salt certified if you decide to hire someone for winter maintenance.
- Storm Drain Murals
Learn about how storm drain murals are transformed into colorful art and how you or a volunteer group can get involved in the next round of transformation!
- Storm Permit/MAMSWAP
The City of Madison is part of a group called MAMSWAP, also known as the Madison Area Stormwater Partnership. It's a group of municipalities working to educate the public about different stormwater practices and how to reduce adverse impacts to water quality in our lakes and streams from urban sources of stormwater runoff.
Everyday Engineering Podcast: Stormwater Episodes
Listen to 20-minute audio episodes about stormwater-related topics.
- Maximize Your Soil Soak: An Easy DIY Project
- Innovative 'Green' Way of Thinking about Infrastructure
- Rain, Rain Go in my Garden
- What's Going on with the Watershed?
- PFAS Explained Clearly
- Finish your Fall To-Do List: Leaves, Gutters and more
- A 'Mulch' Better Option For Your Leaves
- Salt: Great for French fries, not so great for fish fry