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Foundation funds water management trail at Lawrence Tech

Release Date: May 31, 2011

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The Erb Family Foundation of Birmingham has awarded a $57,000 grant to Associate Professor Donald Carpenter of Lawrence Technological University to build a stormwater management educational trail on the university’s Southfield campus.

Carpenter is the founder and director of the Great Lakes Stormwater Management Institute at Lawrence Tech, and he is one of Michigan’s leading proponents of low-impact development (LID), which is a process for sustainable development and redevelopment that conserves and protects natural resources.

Lawrence Tech is home to numerous examples of LID best management practices, including a green roof, a bioswale, porous pavers, naturalized areas, cisterns and rain gardens. These features will be detailed  at stops along the stormwater management educational trail. Lawrence Tech’s campus master plan calls for additional features to reduce stormwater runoff, which will be added to the educational trail as they are implemented.

The grant calls for the publication of a LID booklet that will also serve as a guide for the trail. An interactive website will provide a “virtual” trail and design and performance information for best management practices, as well as a video describing the trail’s features.

It is anticipated that the trail will be of interest to researchers, community groups, youth organizations, students and others interested in the preservation of natural resources.

Finally, Lawrence Tech will also host a workshop on green infrastructure LID design techniques this fall that will highlight the trail.

The mission of the Erb Family Foundation, which was founded by Fred and Barbara Erb, is to nurture environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metropolitan Detroit and support initiatives to restore the Great Lakes Basin. For information, go to

Lawrence Technological University,, offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in the Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey, Traverse City and Toronto. Lawrence Tech also partners with universities in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.