With help from an MWMO Action Grant, Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) built a “skate-able” art plaza with three connected raingardens that capture and treat stormwater runoff at its North Minneapolis headquarters. In addition to create a unique green space, the project will directly engage youth apprentices in the design and construction stormwater best management practices (BMPs).
The project took shape with the help of JXTA youth apprentices, instructors, City of Skate and many community partners. The plaza combines skateboarding, flexible open space, and art installations to create a unique space along Broadway Avenue.
MWMO funding supported the construction of three raingardens, covering approximately 15 percent of the site. Connected by a trench drain, the raingardens will infiltrate stormwater runoff from JXTA’s building as well as adjacent buildings to the north and west. Native plants such as prairie dropseed, red osier dogwood, and sedum “Autumn Joy” enhance the site’s aesthetic appeal and provide wildlife habitat.
In JXTALabs Environmental Design Lab, youth develop technical skills that support careers in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture, and are engaged in long-term projects that impact the built environment. The apprentices observed the construction of the plaza, planted the raingardens, and will participate in their long-term maintenance.
In partnership with West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, JXTA will create site-specific programming to engage residents, youth and artists. This content will include information about the need for and impact of stormwater management strategies. The apprentices will also design descriptive, educational public art elements to be integrated into the plaza.