The Islamic Cultural Community Center (ICCC) partnered with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) and Metro Blooms to redesign and reconstruct their parking lot and existing gardens with a series of landscape features that will capture and treat polluted runoff. The project was part of the Northeast Business Corridor initiative funded by state and county grants. The MWMO provided an Action Grant to supplement state and county grant funding.
In 2017, the MWMO and Metro Blooms applied for and received a Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Clean Water Legacy Fund Community Partners Grant. The goal of this project/grant was to install stormwater management BMPs on highly impervious urban commercial properties. Ideally, these projects would be built in close proximity of each other, to make a greater impact on water quantity and quality.
Metro Blooms conducted outreach to gain interest from property owners near Central and Lowry Avenues in Northeast Minneapolis. The ICCC (also known as Masjid Al-Huda) proved to be an ideal site to participate in the grant, as it was a larger, standalone building with areas that could easily be transformed into infiltration basins. The project also had great outreach potential, being a cultural community space in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis. The ICCC also contributed their own funding for the parking lot reorientation.
With the support of an MWMO Action Grant, in 2019 the ICCC parking lot was transformed to infiltrate 1.1 inches of runoff from nearly all impervious surfaces onsite. Stormwater best management practices (BMPs) installed include four raingardens, a native planting area, permeable pavers in the main entryway, and a combination rock/vegetated swale.
In addition to managing stormwater runoff, the improvements will also make the building more accessible and welcoming. The ICCC and the MWMO held a public celebration for the project on October 11, 2019, featuring a gathering of project partners and local officials.