work underway on a water-discharge structure we designed for poor soil conditions
project filter
downloadable resources
back to projects

low-impact landscape design for city hall campus

low-impact landscape design for city hall campus

sustainable design reduces pollution from stormwater runoff

The city of Minnetonka decided to create a model campus for its city hall that demonstrated sustainable design and alternative stormwater management techniques. Barr worked closely with city planners to design a welcoming, user-friendly landscape that not only serves the needs of people but also reflects the native environment.

The campus is two miles downstream of Lake Minnetonka along Minnehaha Creek. Because growth has had environmental impacts on the city’s water resources, one of the project’s goals was to protect these water bodies using low-impact development practices.

We designed a sustainable landscape based on low-maintenance, native plants and redeveloped two large parking lots. Stormwater runs off these lots into a series of wetlands, rainwater gardens, and vegetated swales and then infiltrates into the ground and irrigates the native plants, shrubs, and trees. This eliminates the need for irrigation and fertilizers and protects Minnehaha Creek from large volumes of polluted runoff. The design also included planting many trees to provide shade and created a primary entry road to improve public safety as well as park space.

In 2007, the project was recognized by the City Engineers Association of Minnesota as an outstanding municipal project.