First Universalist Church
An eco-conscious church congregation turned their parking lot into a stormwater management showcase.
Type: Action Grant
MWMO Funding: $50,000
Partners: EnergyScapes, Inc.; First Universalist Church
Projects and Outreach Director
Email Nancy Stowe
This South Minneapolis church’s new parking lot is ringed with a series of landscape features that capture and treat stormwater runoff. The pavement is sloped in various directions toward a center bioswale and five distinct raingardens designed to absorb rainwater and snow-melt, filtering out pollutants that would otherwise drain to the Mississippi River.
Beneath a group of newly planted shade trees, a series of silva cells serve as underground raingardens, absorbing water, reducing soil compaction and providing ample room for the tree roots to grow.
The landscaping is designed to treat up to 85 percent of the property’s stormwater runoff — including from the building’s roof. An underground drain pipe conveys runoff from the rooftop to one of the raingardens. Meanwhile, the trees in the bioswale area will help intercept and absorb rainwater, as well as provide shade for vehicles in the parking lot and increase the lifespan of the asphalt.