work underway on a water-discharge structure we designed for poor soil conditions
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rainwater gardens for urban stormwater management

rainwater gardens for urban stormwater management
Minneapolis, Minnesota

parking lot and stormwater system work together

7-Sigma, a small business in an urban residential neighborhood, asked Barr to design a rainwater garden to collect parking-lot runoff to nourish plants.

We designed the slope of the lot to direct stormwater runoff to rainwater gardens around the perimeter and in the center of the parking lot. These gardens store the runoff long enough for it to infiltrate into the soil. Flat concrete or ribbon curbs allow water to flow easily into the gardens, preventing runoff channelization and erosion of side slopes. Trees and shrubs create a visual line at the edge of the rainwater gardens and stop cars from driving into them. Once completed, the gardens were infiltrating water at a much higher rate than anticipated and we determined there was no need to install a cistern.

7-Sigma received the 2006 Garden of the Year award from Minneapolis Blooms, an organization that recognizes watershed-friendly, publicly visible gardens that improve the city's air and water quality.

Click here to read about how the 7-Sigma project helped pioneer alternative stormwater management on commercial properties in the Twin Cities area.