Sustainable Business Network

GSI Monitoring Grant Pilot Program

For performance monitoring of green stormwater infrastructure projects on private property

A variety of stakeholders, including our members, other engineering and design professionals, developers and property owners, and the Philadelphia Water Department, agree that there is a significant need for data on the performance of GSI projects, and for that data to be publicly available. More data on the performance of stormwater management practices (SMP’s), such as rain gardens, stormwater tree trenches, porous pavement, and green roofs, supports GSI Partners’ objectives for research and innovation that advances of the state-of-the-art of the GSI industry. With additional knowledge on the performance of GSI, industry professionals can continue to improve the design and performance of SMPs; developers and property owners can increase their knowledge-base on the value of investing in GSI; and regulatory agencies can expand the performance metrics used to approve GSI projects.

With these goals in mind, SBN, via the GSI Partners, has developed this monitoring grant pilot program to support data collection on the performance of private GSI projects and encourage its dissemination. Through a partnership with Stroud Water Research Center’s EnviroDIY program, GSI Monitoring Grant recipients will gain access to the necessary monitoring equipment as well as receive training on the installation, use, and maintenance of that equipment. Support from Stroud Water Research Center in these areas ensures that each project’s data are collected and stored as consistently as possible, which supports the validity and reliability of the findings this grant supports.

Three (3) grants will be awarded in the pilot year, with a maximum award of $15,000 each.

SBN, via the GSI Partners, will promote the GSI Monitoring Grant recipients, the projects being monitored, and the monitoring results. Grant recipients are encouraged to do the same. SBN, via the GSI Partners, will also advocate for the application of the collective results to advance the local GSI industry, including increasing investment in GSI and updating performance metrics that more fully reflect the full and dynamic performance of GSI.

We congratulate the following recipients of our Monitoring Grant pilot program, and thank the property owners for opening their sites to data collection.

1. PEER Environmental, LLC, with LandStudies, will be monitoring at La Salle University
2. Gilmore & Associates, Inc. will be monitoring at the Germantown Friends School.
3. Meliora Design, with Andropogon Associates, Ltd., will be monitoring at the Perelman Plaza at Drexel University.

*The GSI Monitoring Grant is generously funded by the William Penn Foundation. 

How do I apply for a GSI Monitoring Grant?

  1. Eligibility Requirements*
    1. The lead applicant1 is a member of SBN’s GSI Partners2.
    2. The GSI study site is located within in the City of Philadelphia.
    3. The GSI study site is located on private property3.
    4. The GSI study site is existing (already constructed at the time of this application).
    5. The GSI that will be monitored at the study site can be categorized in one or more of the following SMP types: bio-infiltration, bio-retention, green roofs, and/or porous pavement4.
  1. Schedule

    Applications due…December 9, 2016
    Committee review…December 2016
    Notifications sent…January 2, 2017
    Disbursement 1…upon receipt of signed agreement
    Stroud workshop…February 2017
    Mid-term report due…July 28, 2017
    Disbursement 2…upon receipt and approval of mid-term report
    Final report due…March 1, 2018

  1. Application
    1. Download the grant application. Submission instructions are provided in the application form.
      1. You will be asked to provide attachments to your application. Be sure to review the required documentation before you are ready to submit your application
      2. All questions are required. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  If any question does not apply to your organization or your project, please answer N/A or None
      3. When completing the application, be sure to note the word limits for certain questions; however it is not necessary to use the full word limit counts provided your response adequately answers the question or statement.
      4. If you have any questions about the application, please email [email protected] with the subject line: GSI Monitoring Grant_Application Questions.
    2. Download the property owner letter of understanding. Please restrict all editing to the fields indicated by [brackets].

*Note: This is a pilot grant program.  Expansion of the program will be considered if the pilot program is successful.

1 Lead applicant is defined as the party who is the main contact for the grant contract, and who is therefore responsible for managing the grant contract and ensuring all deliverables are met.

2 For information about GSI Partners membership criteria, visit:

3 Private property is defined as any property owned by a non-government entity.

4 GSI (green stormwater infrastructure) is defined as soil-water-plant systems that intercept stormwater, infiltrate a portion of it into the ground, evaporate a portion of it into the air, and/or in some cases release a portion of it slowly back into the sewer system. Tools that will be considered for funding are those of highest preference to the Philadelphia Water Department: bio-infiltration, bio-retention, green roofs, and porous pavement.  Source: Table 3.2-4: SMP Hierarchy in PWD’s Stormwater Management Guidance Manual V3.0


  1. Grantees will only use grant funding for the acquisition and maintenance of monitoring equipment and Monitoring Grant-related staff time. Staff time can include attending grant-required workshops and/or trainings, installing and maintaining monitoring equipment, conducting field inspections, taking and organizing site photographs, writing mid-term and final grant reports, and/or time which sub-contracted parties provide for the activities outlined in this grant. Expenses/funding needs beyond that which the grant covers are the responsibility of the grant recipient to provide or otherwise acquire. 
  2. Grant funding will be used in its entirety within the study period (one calendar year).
  3. Minimum data collection and reporting expectations include tracking data automatically collected via the equipment, recording field observations, and providing additional documentation re: standard inspections and operations and maintenance of the site.
  4. Grant recipients will purchase Mayfly Data Logger Starter Kit(s), ultrasonic level logger(s), and soil moisture probe(s) from Stroud Water Research Center through
    1. It is strongly recommended that grant recipients purchase one kit per SMP/per 15-20 meter radius.
    2. Grant recipients will use this equipment to collect data on outflow of the GSI system, as well as volumetric water content of soil within the SMP.
  5. The individuals who will be directly responsible for the installation and maintenance of monitoring equipment, data collection, and/or their supervisors, are expected to attend a 2-day workshop at Stroud Water Research Center to gain the training necessary to install and use Stroud’s Mayfly Data Logger.
  6. Grantees are responsible for:
    1. Following Stroud’s guidelines for best practices taught in their workshop, including equipment programming (i.e. setting up the Mayfly Data Logger to collect real-time data), installation, and maintenance, as well as data collection and storage.
    2. Uploading data to the online platform hosted by Stroud, where all recipients’ data will be publicly available.
    3. Downloading and interpreting monitoring data.
    4. Reporting the operations and maintenance (O+M) schedule of the study site, as well as providing documentation of the actual O+M activities and the cost of the O+M.
    5. Maintaining a visual inspection log, including but not limited to monthly photos of the study site from consistent location(s).
    6. Reporting grant spend-down actuals (in relation to the budget).
  7. Grantees will submit a mid-term and final report. Note: The second payment installation is contingent on the mid-term report.  See the Reporting section for the grant reporting template.
  8. The findings that result from this monitoring grant are public information.  Recipients of this GSI Monitoring Grant are encouraged to present their findings in presentations, articles, blogs, and other media.  Additionally, SBN holds the right to communicate grantees’ findings pursuant to the GSI Monitoring Grant via conferences, presentations, and similar forums, with mention of the corresponding grantee.  


  1. Grant reporting template for mid-term and final reports.