USCCB Green Infrastructure Strategy
USCCB-Wide Green Infrastructure Planning
GoodLands is partnered with Esri, the global leaders in geospatial technologies on a project that is researching Catholic properties' relation to green infrastructure for every property in the USCCB and connecting communities with these insights with action plans and our LandLink program.
Green infrastructure helps natural systems harmoniously function with the human-built environment. It preserves, mimics, or restores natural functions in the landscape. In urban areas, green infrastructure stormwater management prevents the drainage output of wastewater directly into delicate aquatic ecosystems, while restoring natural hydrological processes and remediating certain toxins in surface runoff. Green infrastructure can enhance ecosystems services, such as by preserving pollinator habitat, while supporting billions of dollars in contributed pollination services from our insect allies.
Green infrastructure can contribute to harmonious ecological functioning through larger landscape-scale land-use planning and planting practices. Certain planting patterns in the landscape can help support soil health by reducing wind and water erosion. Wildlife corridors enable the connection, dispersal, and migration of species populations. Vulnerable animal populations attempting to
obtain resources missing from their current habitat, to migrate, or to reach other populations of the same species in a fragmented landscape are more likely to meet a fatal end. It is critical that we protect green corridors to enable species migration to appropriate areas as climate change shifts habitat zones northwards.
GoodLands is collaborating with Esri to understand, down to the parcel-scale, how all Catholic-affiliate landholdings in the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops are contributing to nation-wide green infrastructure.
With a green infrastructure strategy, Catholic communities in the United States will be able to work to preserve and connect open spaces, watersheds, wildlife habitats, parks, and other critical landscapes throughout the entire country. They will be able to plan to use their land resources appropriately to preserve critical habitat areas and ensure that each property leaves a legacy of caring for creation through environmental best management practices.
We are looking at over 100 attributes, such as soil health and quality, core habitat contribution, critical habitat contribution, wetlands and landscape connectivity on these properties. This tool is in development as we add assessors information, however, it is usable / accessible on request by Catholic organizations that go through an application process.
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