City’s ‘Southside Green Zone’ Focus of New Stormwater Projects
MINNEAPOLIS — The MWMO is pleased to announce it has awarded grants for three new stormwater and habitat projects in Minneapolis.
A pair of grants to the City of Minneapolis and one to nonprofit Southside Community Health Services will fund green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) features that will capture and treat polluted runoff, add public green space and habitat, and help reduce the urban heat island effect.
The projects are located mainly within the Southside Green Zone — one of two designated areas of Minneapolis with high levels of environmental pollution and a history of racial, political, and economic marginalization.
“These three distinct projects all support the common goal of integrating water management and green space that will help this part of our watershed that has both the burden of environmental impacts and lower historical investments in mitigating amenities,” said MWMO Executive Director Kevin Reich. “We’re very motivated to work with our partners to ensure that all communities have access to clean water and healthy ecosystems.”
Earlier this year, the City studied options for incorporating cost-effective stormwater treatment into a pair of planned street reconstruction projects in the Central and Midtown Phillips Neighborhoods. Two MWMO grants will support the resulting projects, described below.
A third project, also described below, will incorporate similar GSI features at a future health care clinic campus on East Lake Street, also in the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood. The MWMO Board of Commissioners voted to approve all three grant awards Nov. 14, 2023.
You can learn more about green zones on the City of Minneapolis website.
‘Green Central’ Safe Routes to School GSI
Grantee: City of Minneapolis
MWMO Funding: $202,205
This project will install three stormwater basins and a sustainable landscaping area in the boulevards at three intersections in the Central and Midtown Phillips Neighborhoods. The affected intersections include East 34th Street and Portland Avenue, East 28th Street and South 10th Avenue, and East 34th Street and Clinton Avenue South.
The GSI features will treat runoff from a total of approximately 0.56 acres of streets, sidewalks and adjacent properties. The project is part of the City’s Safe Routes to School program, which facilitates pedestrian and bike improvements to provide better safety for students and children.
Phillips Traffic Safety Improvements GSI
Grantee: City of Minneapolis
MWMO Funding: $315,350
This project will incorporate green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) into a traffic calming and pedestrian safety improvement project within the Phillips Neighborhood. A total of nine GSI basins and two areas of sustainable landscaping will be installed at two intersections: East 24th Street and Elliot Avenue, and East 24th Street and 10th Avenue South.
This project will convert a total of 3,451 square feet of impervious surface to infiltration basins and permeable green space, which will treat runoff from a total of approximately 0.68 acres of public right-of-way and surrounding properties. The basins will be planted with native vegetation, providing pollinator and wildlife habitat.
One Southside GSI
Grantee: Southside Community Health Services
MWMO Funding: $275,000
This project will incorporate a number of stormwater management features into One Southside, a planned health care clinic campus on East Lake Street. Water from impervious surfaces on the site will be directed first to the multi-tiered (terraced) water feature, which mimics natural wetland functions. Then, the treated water will be either recirculated, infiltrated, or directed into a water reuse chamber for irrigation.
The terraced water feature will provide native vegetation and habitat for pollinators and wildlife, as well as incorporate flowing water and small falls for aesthetic enjoyment for patients, staff and the community.
Nick Busse, Communications Principal
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
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. mwmo.org