MWMO Fall 2019 Newsletter – Project Updates, News, Events and More

In this issue:

Featured Story

Community Gathers to Celebrate Islamic Center’s Eco-Friendly Improvements

Project partners posing in front of the Islamic Cultural Community Center.
From left: Metro Blooms Landscape Design Director Rich Harrison, ICCC Board Chair Abdulwahab Asamarai, Minneapolis Ward 1 City Council Member and MWMO Board Chair Kevin Reich, and MWMO Executive Director Doug Snyder.

Residents and community leaders gathered Oct. 11 to celebrate the green transformation of the Islamic Cultural Community Center (ICCC) in Northeast Minneapolis. Also known as Masjid Al-Huda, the ICCC partnered with the MWMO and Metro Blooms to redesign their parking lot and landscaping with a series of stormwater best management practices (BMPs).

Kevin Reich, Ward 1 City Council Member and Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) Board Chair, led a ceremonial “watering of the raingardens” to mark the successful completion of the project, which installed four raingardens, a native planting area, permeable pavers, and a combination rock/vegetated swale.

Funding for the project came from an MWMO Stewardship Fund Action Grant, Hennepin County, the Minnesota Clean Water Fund (via the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources), and the ICCC.

Read the full press release and see more photos of the event.

Project Roundup

Groundbreaking ceremony for the Water Works park in Minneapolis.
Groundbreaking ceremony for the new “Water Works” park in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Begins Construction of ‘Water Works,’ New City Park with Stormwater Reuse Features

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and its partners have broken ground on “Water Works,” an expansion of Mill Ruins Park that includes some cutting-edge sustainability features. The MWMO participated in the August 28 groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which will open up new public park space along the Mississippi Riverfront in downtown Minneapolis.

The MWMO is funding a stormwater reuse system for the park that will capture and treat stormwater runoff from adjacent buildings and use it for flushing toilets in the new pavilion as well as for irrigating the grounds. The Water Works site will also include a variety of stormwater features such as raingardens (not funded by the MWMO).

Read the full press release from MPRB and see photos from the ceremony.

Edison High School Green Campus Goes Even Greener with New Stormwater Bumpouts, Infiltration Tank

Workers installing an underground infiltration tank at Edison High School.
Workers installing an underground infiltration tank at Edison High School.

Three years after Thomas Edison High School completed its eco-friendly Green Campus, a new round of stormwater improvements are making it even greener. In partnership with the MWMO, the school and the City of Minneapolis used a street improvement project as an opportunity to implement new stormwater best management practices (BMPs). These included adding bioinfiltration features (i.e., raingardens) to newly installed curb bumpouts along Monroe Street NE as well as installing an underground infiltration tank on the east side of the road.

Stormwater runoff from Monroe Street will be directed into the stormwater bumpouts; overflow from the bumpouts will be directed into the underground storage and infiltration tank. The project is designed to treat the first 1.25 inches of runoff from a 1.2-acre drainage area that includes portions of the school, the street and several residential properties to the north.

Watch a video of the tank installation on YouTube.

New boulevard plantings at Fourth Street SE near the University of Minnesota.
New boulevard plantings at Fourth Street SE near the University of Minnesota.

Fourth Street SE Greening Project Completed, Connects to Towerside

A stormwater- and pollinator-friendly green corridor has opened up between TCF Bank Stadium and the Towerside Innovation District, thanks to a recently completed landscape improvement project. The MWMO partnered with the City of Minneapolis and Towerside to renovate the boulevards of the newly reconstructed Fourth Street SE, planting new vegetation designed to provide better habitat and stormwater management.

Contractors excavated the existing boulevards and amended the soil before planting a variety of native plants and trees. They also used landscaping rock to establish walkways between the street and the sidewalk, in order to help residents avoid having to walk over the plants. Towerside has agreed to take on the responsibility of caring for and maintaining the landscaping, utilizing water from the Towerside District Stormwater System.

See more photos of the project.

Metro Blooms staff and volunteers planting a new raingarden at Fair State Brewing Cooperative.
Metro Blooms staff and volunteers planting a new raingarden at Fair State Brewing Cooperative.

Fair State Brewing, Recovery Bike Shop Join Northeast Businesses in Sustainable Stormwater Efforts

On September 6, Metro Blooms led a group of volunteers in planting a new raingarden at Fair State Brewing Cooperative. The project is the latest in a series of green infrastructure projects targeting Northeast Minneapolis businesses.

The MWMO is working with Metro Blooms, the Board of Water and Soil Resources and Hennepin County to install stormwater best management practices (BMPs) at a series of commercial properties, mostly on or near Central Avenue. So far, the partners have successfully installed projects at TE Studio, PhyGen Coatings, the Islamic Cultural Community Center, and Fair State Brewing. Similar projects at Recovery Bike Shop and Water Bar and Public Studio will be completed in the next few months.

Learn more about the Northeast Business Corridor project and see more photos of the event at Fair State.

Before-and-After Photos Show How Eco-Friendly Landscapes Improve with Time

A newly planted raingarden or restored prairie often doesn’t look like very much — a sheet of mulch dotted with tiny, baby plants and trees. In order to really see the transformation, you have to return year after year and observe how those landscapes grow, evolve and thrive.

In our latest blog post, we return to six projects sites to see how their landscapes were holding up. We found that these eco-friendly landscape designs have only grown more attractive and functional over time. The evidence is in the photos. See for yourself in our latest blog post.

News and Updates

MWMO Board Chair Kevin Reich leads a tour of the Edison High School Green Campus.
MWMO Board Chair Kevin Reich leads a tour of the Edison High School Green Campus.

Elected Officials Tour MWMO Projects

A group of state and local officials toured several MWMO project sites Thursday, October 10. Led by MWMO staff, the group visited Fridley’s stormwater bumpouts, the Edison High School Green Campus, Sentyrz Market and Hall’s Island to learn more about how they were built and how they impact water quality and habitat.

The MWMO has been hosting a series of “Watershed Workshops” designed to convene elected officials at all levels of government to learn more about how land-use decisions impact our water quality. Each workshop includes a presentation, learning activity and social time to network.

JXTA Longboard Exhibit Comes to MWMO

A collection of longboards adorned with Mississippi River-inspired art, designed and built by Minneapolis youth, is the newest exhibit at the MWMO Stormwater Park and Learning Center. Youth apprentices from Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) created the longboards as part of a project inspired by JXTA’s recently completed Skate-Able Art Plaza.

The MWMO partnered with Urban Boatbuilders to bring the longboard-building experience to the apprentices, who are also responsible for the maintenance of the installed raingardens in the JXTA skate/art plaza. Learn more about the exhibit.

Take Our Survey! Tell Us Your Priorities

Did you know the MWMO is updating its comprehensive Watershed Management Plan? This document, which is updated every 10 years, guides all of our work at the MWMO and also informs local water management planning for communities within our watershed.

Make your voice heard! Tell us your priorities for the watershed. Let us know what resources you value, what kinds of green spaces you’d like to see, and how we can help improve water quality and habitat in your community. Take our survey by clicking here.

Apply for an Action Grant by Friday, November 8

The MWMO is now accepting applications for its next round of Action Grant projects!

Action Grants are a type of Stewardship Fund Grant designed to support projects that are significant in scope and cost. Applications should demonstrate that thorough planning for the proposed project has already taken place. They must include a realistic budget, secured permissions from landowners for project implementation, construction drawings, and plant lists (if applicable). Learn more on our website.

MWMO Annual Magazine Now Available

The MWMO’s 2019 Magazine is now available online and in print. The magazine serves as a snapshot of MWMO programs and projects in the last 12 months. It is designed to serve as an overview of our organization and a supplement to our Annual Activity and Financial Report.

You can download the magazine and read it in PDF form on our website. A limited number of printed copies are also available. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Upcoming Events

The Future of Water: A Panel Discussion

Thursday, October 17, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | MWMO Stormwater Park and Learning Center

Join a panel discussion about what environmental stewardship can mean for our lives today and in the future. Twin Cities community members will discuss their work caring for Minnesota’s rivers, lakes, and lands and share resources and knowledge on ways to sustain a healthy and vibrant community. Details…

Preventing Water Pollution (w/ Somali Interpreter)

Saturday, October 19, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center

Learn how our actions at home and in our community can affect water used in the home. This class will show you ways to conserve water using fun demonstrations and a short presentation. A Somali interpreter will be available during the class. ALL are welcome to attend! Details…

Visit the MWMO (Minneapolis Community Education)

Monday, October 21, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | MWMO Stormwater Park and Learning Center

Join others for a short walk to the river and see features the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) has built in Northeast Minneapolis at its Stormwater Park and Learning Center. Register here…

Winter Maintenance for Parking Lots and Sidewalks

Wednesday, October 23, 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | MWMO Stormwater Park and Learning Center

This training offers information about best practices for managing winter maintenance (plowing, de-icing and anti-icing application, storage, and more). Details…

‘Riding the River’ Longboard Art Community Event

Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | MWMO Stormwater Park and Learning Center

Join us for a special evening with Juxtaposition Arts youth apprentices, who will present their process for building and designing their Mississippi River-inspired longboards. Details…

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