Slow it down, Spread it out, Soak it in

Urban Stormwater Management:
Concepts, Ways to Help, Grant Opportunities…

Resident's Rain Garden near Diamond Lake in MinneapolisFriends of Diamond Lake board members Mary Martini and Stu Goldstein attended a presentation by Leslie Yetka of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District on March 6, 2013. They learned some important concepts that can help all of us to better manage stormwater runoff.

Evolving Philosophy
Stormwater management design philosophy has evolved over the years from get stormwater off the property as quickly as possible to keep the water on the land. Since the 2000’s, green infrastructure concepts have been developed. These impact both our large natural areas and small individual sites that make use of the functions and benefits of natural features, such as soils and plants, to reduce runoff and improve water quality. Today, the philosophy is slow it down, spread it out, soak it in.

A raingarden is an example of a small-scale stormwater best management practice (BMP). It is also a Low-Impact Development practice because it captures and infiltrates runoff instead of letting it leave the site. In an experiment in Burnsville, raingardens were shown to keep 90 percent of the rainfall on residential properties, preventing pollutants from flowing into a nearby body of water. Other tools to manage runoff include: permeable pavers, rain exchange systems, green roofs, trees, and land use design.
 
In 2010 and 2011 Friends of Diamond Lake partnered with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Hedberg Landscape on the Go Blue! project. This project supported the installation of stormwater BMPs for 34 households, as well as larger projects for Diamond Lake Lutheran Church and Pearl Park (Minneapolis Parks Board). Each of the households and organizations received cost-share funding from a Minnesota Clean Water Funds grant. It is estimated that these projects reduce stormwater runoff to Diamond Lake by 1.5 million gallons annually—enough water to fill three Olympic size swimming pools

What can you do?
If you are interested in installing stormwater best management practices on your property, there are a couple of support opportunities available this spring that you may want to consider:

Metro Blooms is offering raingarden workshops in several locations throughout Minneapolis from April through June. These three-hour Raingardens and Beyond workshops teach participants about watershed management, stormwater runoff, and raingarden basics and provide hands-on assistance in planning a raingarden project. The cost is $15.00. Registration for these popular workshops fills up quickly.
More info: Visit the Metro Blooms website or call 651-699-2426

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is offering cost-share grants to those who want to install raingardens, permeable concrete driveways, or other stormwater best practices. Grants are available to any public or private property located within the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and may pay for up to 50 percent of the project. The deadline for most residential projects is May 31.
More info: Visit the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District website or contact Joe Barten at 952-641-4523 or jbarten@minnehahacreek.org

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