Type: Planning Grant, Action Grant
MWMO Funding: $10,000 Planning; $50,000 Action
A redesigned landscape helped transform Masjid An-Nur into an “Eco-Mosque” focused on sustainability and environmental justice. A pair of MWMO Stewardship Fund Grants funded design and construction of raingardens that will help solve persistent drainage problems at the North Minneapolis mosque and open up new opportunities for engaging the community around environmental issues.
As heavy rains become more common in Minneapolis, many properties have new challenges managing stormwater runoff. Such was the case for Masjid An-Nur, a North Minneapolis-based mosque. The mosque building is situated on a low point on the property, and rains over the last few years caused flooding of one of the main entrances, impacting the interior of the building as well as the site. The mosque tried a number of do-it-yourself improvements, but had not been able to resolve the issue.
With support from an MWMO Planning Grant in fall 2018, the mosque hired landscape architects to analyze the site and develop a plan for improvements that will manage the stormwater more holistically. In addition to managing the water, the mosque saw the project as an opportunity to transform the space to promote health and wellness, peace, and a more informed and engaged community around environmental justice. They hope to become the first “Eco-Mosque” in the Twin Cities region, and serve as a model for other property owners as well as the broader Muslim community.
The Planning Grant resulted in site analysis, stormwater calculations, and construction documents for improvements to the site that could be phased in over time. The MWMO awarded the mosque an Action Grant in 2019 to begin implementing the stormwater improvements. The first phase of work added 10 raingardens to the property in a treatment train approach, redirecting water away from the building entrances and creating gathering spaces from which the mosque and surrounding community can benefit for years to come.
Masjid An-Nur implemented the first phase of work in summer of 2019. As designed, the raingardens will manage 84 percent of a 1.1-inch rain event for the entire site. The raingardens are also designed to be integrated into a larger future system that would manage higher volumes of water from the parking lot when it can be reconstructed.