Indianapolis Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative


With the goal of developing and promoting more sustainable solutions for stormwater infrastructure, the City of Indianapolis worked with a team of consultants, including Empower Results, to identify and overcome obstacles that were impacting the adoption of Low Impact Development (LID) projects and principals.  We coordinated the activities of the City’s LID Steering Committee, including meeting agendas, materials, presentations, and follow-up.  Subcommittee meetings were conducted with several City departments to identify needed ordinance changes and discuss incentive opportunities.  We also conducted national research on LID and green infrastructure programs and provided recommendations and program direction to the City.  Team members led discussions and facilitated efforts that connected other City initiatives to LID.  Primary outcomes included the development of a comprehensive Rain Garden program, specific ordinance language revisions, a complete web resource center, and the roll-out of a master presentation tool that is able to be tailored to a variety of audiences.


  • Focused and synthesized diverse input from the LID committee and several department heads
  • Developed cross-department LID preparedness checklist
  • Prioritized and recommended language changes to key ordinances
  • Identified and implemented incentive programs where practicable among existing design review processes
  • Developed detailed materials for a comprehensive rain garden program
  • Created city-wide, multi-departmental permit process for green infrastructure projects
  • Presented to governing boards, partner organizations, & the design community
  • Identified and expanded public education opportunities

Indy Urban Waters


Our team assisted the City of Indianapolis in obtaining an Urban Waters Grant from the US EPA to implement a new water currency program and several demonstration projects associated with the prevention of stormwater runoff into area streams.  We conducted targeted outreach efforts including customized mailers and e-newsletters, as well as residential workshops focused on water quality, rain gardens, & native planting practices.  Several hands-on training days helped implement these best practices along streams. Key audiences for involvement and education included Indianapolis Department of Public Works staff, Indy Parks staff, Community Development Corporations, residents, and members of the business community such as landscape architects and installers, and site designers. We also worked with the project team to create a new ‘water currency’ program aimed at developing social and economic capital surrounding water and behavior change in a low income neighborhood. Residents earn currency by engaging in various activities that help reduce stormwater pollution.   Currency was then traded in at local businesses for various goods, thus increasing both financial and social wealth in the community.


  • Successful grant writing to obtain highly competitive US EPA funding
  • Identified target residents who may be interested in water quality conservation initiatives and program goals
  • Planned and designed demonstration rain garden and no-mow buffers; deliver hands-on training days at sites
  • Developed technical resources, including planting plans for rain gardens and other native plant gardens
  • Coordinated and deliver educational workshops for various audiences
  • Promoted water currency through e-newsletters, workshop participation, and presence at community events

Indy Rezone


Indy Rezone was the largest overhaul of Indianapolis’ zoning ordinances and development standards since 1969 – an effort aimed at making a more livable, more sustainable city. Our team played a critical role in this initiative by leading the facilitation of dozens of controversial discussions across multiple stakeholder groups and managing the efforts and outcomes of the Steering Committee over a two and half year timeframe. We served a leadership role by engaging focus groups at round tables, technical task forces, and the multi-stakeholder, 30-person Steering Committee. Outreach efforts were aimed at insuring that any ordinance changes had been thoughtfully developed and publically vetted across many groups and neighborhood scenarios. We focused on increasing the public’s understand of topics such as transportation choices; equitable, affordable housing; economic competitiveness; green investment; natural resource protection; and neighborhood invigoration. This understand was then leveraged into meaningful contributions by developing and facilitating diverse public input mechanisms. Indy Rezone will shape Indy’s built environment into the kinds of places people want to work, live and play for the next several decades.


  • Overhauled the City’s zoning code to promote livability and sustainability
  • Created and implemented strategic communication plan
  • Facilitated multi-stakeholder Steering Committee and neighborhood focus groups
  • Consulted on technical ordinance content and incentive programs focused on water sustainability
  • Planned and executed large-scale public meetings
  • Developed public outreach materials and cultivated new and unique venues for input
  • Engaged public officials and professional organizations through policy round-tables
  • Synthesized public and professional feedback from agencies and organizations to provide critical content to City project staff
Working with Empower Results means actually getting results that are meaningful, creative, on time and within budget!Empower Results first understands you, your project, then delivers a tailored approach that works. Empower Results is all about getting the results that you need; they always find a way – even when it looks impossible. As the saying goes, “it’s easy to make a decision when you don’t have all the information.” Empower Results takes all the information and enables the decision to be found relatively pain-free.
Tammara Tracy
City of Indianapolis

Eagle Creek Watershed Alliance


The Eagle Creek Watershed Alliance has existed for over twelve years working to protect and improve water quality in Eagle Creek, its tributaries, and the downstream, Eagle Creek drinking water Reservoir. The watershed hosts diverse land uses, spanning intense agriculture operations, suburban fringe communities, and densely urban parts of the City of Indianapolis and the Town of Zionsville.  During the development and implementation of the Watershed Management Plan, our team worked to bring people from all of these areas under the Alliance’s influence through committee participation, project implementation on individual properties, and broad public education and awareness events.  We oversaw cost-share projects that included design, permitting, and monitoring work, as well as conducted numerous workshops, field days, and watershed tours. Projects and educational efforts span both urban and agricultural residents, in addition to other target audiences.  We were also responsible for all news media communications, land owner agreements, project success measures, and all aspects of federal grant reporting.


  • Authored EPA/IDEM compliant Watershed Management Plan and Plan updates
  • Conducted water quality and habitat assessments
  • Created web-based map resources and pre-packaged educational resources
  • Analyzed critical resources via GIS and field investigations
  • Implemented landowner cost-share program and technical assistance
  • Communicated with media and produced routine project communications such as newsletters and social media
  • Engaged and coordinated multiple topical committees and the Steering Committee
  • Coordinated with schools and parks departments on projects and educational initiatives

Trained Individual: Contractor Training and Certification Program


The Trained Individual Program is an annual event specifically targeted to those in the construction industry who regularly engage in earth work activities. The focus of the training is to help those in attendance: 1) understand the basic legal requirements for Rule 5 regulated construction sites.; 2) learn who is responsible for keeping the construction site in compliance with Rule 5 and the penalties for failing to do so; and 3) learn specific details on proper installation and maintaining the most common storm water best management practices (BMPs) used on construction sites. Our team is responsible for all aspects of workshop development and delivery, and often presents technical content as part of panel discussions or as formal session speakers. The agenda is strategically structured to ensure that topics progress similarly daily operations in the field and build upon themselves. Interactive program sessions insure that participants have opportunities for two-way communication and interactive learning from featured experts. The program is recognized and attended by professionals statewide. The certification elements including testing and maintenance of a Certified Trained Individual database that municipalities can consult when selecting contractors or engaging in enforcement actions. We have developed and maintained all program materials, and we administer the testing and certification on behalf of dozens of municipal clients.


  • Developed strategic program agenda to address the needs of those installing and maintaining stormwater best management practices
  • Collaborated and developed educational materials and certification course manual for regional training of contractors and land developers
  • Coordinated and delivered training/certification workshops, including agency, vendor and speaker coordination as well as recruitment, registration and participant evaluation
  • Oversaw program communications, database management, and future event planning


White River Alliance and Local MS4 Districts

Environmental Education and Outreach
Group Facilitation
Workshops and Training