Washburn Center for Children, Mortenson Construction, and the MWMO partnered to rebuild an underperforming raingarden at Washburn Center’s state-of-the-art mental health care facility. An MWMO Action Grant paid for native grasses and interpretive signage at the site.
Constructed in 2014, Washburn Center’s $24.5 million facility includes a variety of environmental sustainability features. Two raingardens were originally incorporated into the landscape design; while one functioned as intended, the other suffered from various problems, including lack of stormwater infiltration and growth of invasive plant species.
Working with the City of Minneapolis, Washburn Center decided to redesign and rebuild its malfunctioning “East Raingarden” to maximize its water filtration and pollinator habitat. Mortenson Construction provided funding and manpower to rebuild the basin and correct the filtration issues.
In addition to increasing the water quality benefits of the raingarden, the reconstruction improved the habitat and aesthetics of the garden, which is located prominently on a street corner and adjacent to the building’s front lobby. The presence of the raingardens and the addition of interpretive signage provides a unique experiential learning opportunity for children engaged in therapeutic care for trauma and other mental health challenges, and their families.