Green-Wood Stormwater Project

Reducing Our Environmental Impact

With the looming climate crisis, we’re witnessing massive impacts on our city. The increase in  frequency and severity of rainstorms in particular has put a huge strain on New York City’s aging infrastructure, especially the combined sewer system. As a result, billions of gallons of overflow wastewater are being discharged into waterways every year, exacerbating flood risks and polluting waterways. 

At Green-Wood, we’re harnessing our 478-acre landscape to lessen these impacts of climate change through a massive stormwater management initiative. In November 2023, we broke ground on a new system that will reduce the volume of runoff entering the Owl’s Head sewer system during overflow events each year by approximately 51 million gallons. 

Funded by an award of $1.7 million from New York State’s Green Innovation Grant Program, the stormwater management system integrates practices that capture, store, and reuse stormwater to manage runoff. 

  • At our largest waterbody, Sylvan Water, a smart sensor will be installed at the outlet valve that discharges to the combined sewer. It will drain the water level down 24-hours ahead of a storm event to increase the amount of water it can hold.
  • Permeable pavers will replace asphalt in areas of the Cemetery allowing stormwater to seep through and absorb naturally into the ground.
  • A new water harvesting system at Sylvan Water will enable us to use pond water to irrigate our landscape irrigation, reducing use of NYC’s potable water.

This project is one of the first to benefit from New York City DEP’s $53 million Resilient NYC Partners program that engages private property owners across the five boroughs to green their properties and manage stormwater onsite. This program provided Green-Wood with an additional $675,000 to install subsurface storage in our service yard, which will reduce localized flooding and pollution discharge.

The project is well underway and set to be completed in summer 2024.