MWMO Awards Funding to New Projects in Minneapolis and Columbia Heights

City of Columbia Heights and Seward Redesign Awarded Capital Project Grants

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) has awarded grant funding for two new projects designed to help protect and improve water quality in its watershed.

The MWMO Board of Commissioners voted September 14, 2021, to approve funding for two new capital project grants. Projects funded include a snowmelt system for the Columbia Heights City Hall and a stormwater reuse system for a rooftop community farm in South Minneapolis.

Details on each project can be found below.

Columbia Heights City Hall Snowmelt System

MWMO Funding: $131,800
Grantee: City of Columbia Heights

This grant will help fund a snowmelt system that will serve approximately 5,000 square feet of exterior sidewalk and parking garage driveway area at the new Columbia Heights City Hall at at 3989 Central Avenue NE. The system will circulate heated glycol through underground pipes to melt snow and ice in the winter (similar to a smaller system installed at the Columbia Heights Library). Such systems are designed to eliminate the need for chloride-based deicers (i.e., road salt) used to melt ice in the winter. In addition to saving the city money, the system will eliminate the need for an amount of salt that could contaminate an estimated 121,000 gallons per year of stormwater runoff that flows to the Mississippi River.

Focus Arts Rooftop Farm

MWMO Funding: $200,000
Grantee: Seward Redesign, Inc.

This grant will fund an innovative stormwater reuse system for a rooftop farm at the Focus Arts Building, located in the Seward Neighborhood of Minneapolis. The project’s goal is to capture and reuse stormwater runoff and waste heat to support a self-sustaining, year-round urban farm. Runoff from the building’s roof will be conveyed into cisterns, cleaned, and used to irrigate the crops, while waste heat from a glass arts studio in the building will be used to heat a rooftop greenhouse. The project is part of the 3.5-acre Seward Commons redevelopment, which has transformed a formerly polluted industrial property into mixed-use buildings featuring mixed-income, multifamily housing near the Franklin Avenue light rail station. The water reclamation plan, heat reclamation concept, and project design were developed using a $7,500 travel grant from the Bush Foundation, a $250,000 capital grant from the McKnight Foundation, and a $10,000 Stewardship Fund – Planning Grant from the MWMO.

Partners: AD Greenroof LLC, Flannery Construction, Foci MN Center for Glass Arts, Growing Lots Urban Farm, Locus Architecture, Precipitate, Reigstad Engineers


Media Contact

Nick Busse, Communications Principal
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
Direct: 612-746-4974

About the MWMO

The MWMO is a public organization that partners to protect and improve water and habitat in our urban watershed. We invest in people and infrastructure to support clean water, and provide knowledge, scientific data and expertise to help manage our vital water resources.

Deadlines Approaching for New Grant Applications

The MWMO is currently accepting applications for the following grant programs:

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, October 29, 2021


Action Grants

Action Grants help organizations implement water quality and habitat improvement projects significant in scope and cost. These projects must demonstrate that thorough planning for the proposed project has already taken place. The grant amount may not exceed $50,000. Matching funds are required.

Application Deadline: Friday, November 5, 2021


Community Grants

Community Grants are available for short-term or small-scale water quality projects. The grant amount may not exceed $5,000. No matching funds are required.

Application Deadline: Friday, December 3, 2021


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