New bike map offers a peek at Burlington’s green infrastructure

A self-guided bike tour map of Burlington’s green stormwater infrastructure was published this month by the Green Infrastructure Collaborative and the organization, working in collaboration with several educational institutions in the area, invites cyclists and those interested in stormwater efforts, to take the 7-mile loop through the city.

Green stormwater infrastructure is a complementary and sometimes alternative system to traditional or “gray infrastructure” to manage runoff from developed lands. GSI is better for water quality than traditional systems and it beautifies our urban spaces, the collaborative said in a release.

The cycling loop winds through the city, starting at Local Motion on the waterfront bike path and highlights green infrastructure installations throughout the downtown area. Cyclists can take in such working innovations as rain gardens, permeable paving surfaces, green roofs and gravel wetlands. With input from the Urban and Community Forestry Program, notable trees along the tour are highlighted for their stormwater management services.

For those who wish to do a guided tour, the city and connected organizations will be hosting a 90-minute bike ride on the route, on Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m.

University of Vermont (UVM) and Champlain College campuses serve as demonstration sites for several important green stormwater infrastructure practices, the group said in the release. By hosting green roofs, permeable pavers, a gravel wetland and even a student-designed and installed rain garden, they show new ways of preparing long-term for stormwater management.

Additionally, UVM noted that the bioretention laboratory on its campus is accessible to the public and provides ongoing data on the function and performance of bioretention cells in our changing northern climate.

Educational signage throughout the tour is noted on the map for those who want to learn even more about green infrastructure.

For visitors to Burlington, the bike tour offers a perfect way to get to know the city, but for locals this may offer a greener view of a familiar landscape and ideas for their own stormwater improvements.

Free printed copies of the bike map are available at these locations:

Local Motion (where the tour starts)

Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource room (2nd floor of the ECHO

Lake Aquarium and Science Center)

Burlington Parks and Recreation office (Pine Street and Lakeside Ave.)

Burlington Chamber of Commerce, at 60 Main St.

You can also download a PDF of the map by visiting

Local Motion and Burlington Parks and Recreation host the 90-minute bike ride on the 7-mile tour on Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m. Participants should meet at Local Motion on the Burlington Island Line Trail, where they will get a paper map and will begin the guided tour of some highlights on the route. Please RSVP at