MWMO Awards Funding for Green Infrastructure Projects in Minneapolis

Street Reconstruction Project in Seward Neighborhood will Feature Pollinator Plantings and Stormwater Improvements; Additional Funds Awarded for Previously Approved 3030 Nicollet Project

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A car drives through a puddle, spraying water in an intersection in Minneapolis.
One of two intersections targeted for reconstruction in the Southside Green Zone in Minneapolis. (Image credit: City of Minneapolis)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) announced today that it has awarded a $210,000 grant for green infrastructure as part of a street reconstruction project in the Seward Neighborhood of Minneapolis.

The MWMO Capital Project Grant to the City of Minneapolis will fund green stormwater infrastructure and pollinator habitat at a pair of intersections: Franklin Avenue and Minnehaha Avenue, and 21st Avenue South and Minnehaha Avenue.

As part of their Concrete Streets Rehabilitation Program, the city will replace the deteriorated pavement at these locations and install bioretention basins and sustainable landscaping areas to provide both stormwater and habitat improvements. The project will be supported by MWMO Greening Program funds, which are designated for projects in the public right-of-way supporting green stormwater infrastructure (GSI).

The traditional scope of the Concrete Streets Rehabilitation Program is limited to the restoration of existing pavement, so this is an exciting opportunity to add GSI to a transportation project. The city plans to convert 8,500 square feet of pavement into green space and treat stormwater runoff from approximately 2.9 acres of public right-of-way, adjacent roadways, and surrounding properties.

The project will also create a unique opportunity for training and green jobs by using the vegetation installation and maintenance as a learning lab for local youth and nonprofit programs that invest in local, green jobs for the first three to five years of plant maintenance.

This site is located within the Minneapolis Southside Green Zone. A Green Zone is a group of neighborhoods that faces the combined impacts of environmental pollution and racial, political, and economic marginalization. Adding vegetation in a highly impervious area and providing green jobs training on a highly visible project supports the Green Zones initiative’s goal of improving air quality, livability, and pollinator habitat as well as providing career opportunities.

The MWMO Board of Commissioners voted to approve the grant award at their May 10 meeting. City crews are expected to commence construction in late summer or fall of 2022.

Additional Funds Approved for 3030 Nicollet Avenue Project

In a separate action, the MWMO Board of Commissioners also voted May 10 to approve an additional $197,900 in capital project grant funding to Project for Pride in Living (PPL) for a rainwater harvesting system and other green infrastructure at its planned multi-family housing development at 3030 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis.

The additional funds were requested and approved in order to meet increased costs due to a combination of design changes, supply challenges, and inflation. In January, the board voted to approve up to $289,000 for the project (See our January 2022 news release.) The additional grant award brings the total MWMO project funding to a maximum of $486,900. PPL selected Weis Builders as the general contractor for the project, and construction is now anticipated to begin in March 2023 and conclude in summer 2024.

Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Capital Project Grants

Capital Project Grants are designed to support final engineering and construction of large-scale, innovative projects that protect or improve water quality and habitat within the MWMO watershed. The MWMO provides both technical and financial assistance to eligible projects.

Application Deadline: Friday, August 26, 2022

Details: https://www.mwmo.org/get-involved/capital-project-grants/

Action Grants

Action Grants are available for water quality and habitat improvement projects significant in scope and cost. The grant amount may not exceed $50,000. Matching funds are required.

Next Application Deadline: Friday, November 4

Details: https://www.mwmo.org/get-involved/stewardship-fund-grants/action-grants/

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Media Contact

Nick Busse, Communications Principal
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
Direct: 612-746-4974
nbusse@mwmo.org

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