Located at the former site of the Holland Elementary School, the Grace Center building occupied almost an entire city block with significant amounts of impervious surfaces — approximately 83 percent of the site. Portions of the existing parking lot and asphalt playground were removed to create 60,000 square feet of new bioretention areas planted with native plants.
This new green space serves to absorb and filter stormwater as well as creating critical habitat in the urban wild. The stormwater master plan included detailed calculations for water quality and rate improvements to meet MWMO standards. As a result of the project, an estimated annual average of 90 percent of total suspended solids have been removed from the stormwater that falls on this site.
The grantee had originally proposed the project as a candidate for a Stewardship Fund Grant. Due to its potential to significantly impact water quality, the MWMO took on the project through its member grant program.