The Village of Skokie's Green Alley Program will receive an award as the American Public Works Association - Metro Chicago 2023 Suburban Project of the Year - Environmental. In late January, representatives from the Village's Public Works Department will receive the award that recognizes the Village's commitment to green alley installation as part of its ongoing sustainability initiatives.
In 2022, the Village Board approved a contract for construction of three more permeable paver, or ‘green’ alleys, in the community, which brought to 10 the number of permeable paved alleys in Skokie. The alleys were constructed above a deep stone base to provide storage for stormwater as it infiltrates into the adjacent soil. In total, the stone base of all three green alleys installed in 2022 provide nearly 70,000 gallons of stormwater storage during rain events. In addition to the sustainability benefit of the increased stormwater detention, the green alleys do not require surface gravel, nor ongoing regrading. This provides further environmental benefits as the gravel would have to be produced and transported to Skokie, and regrading requires the use of heavy machinery.
The cost of green alley construction is up to 200 percent higher than asphalt or concrete construction, and approximately one-quarter of the 2022 project cost was funded by a grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Additional green alleys will be constructed as funding allows in areas of the community determined to experience heightened stormwater drainage issues.