Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Priority Church Grant Projects Are in Motion

By Paige Ahlborg

One of several rain gardens installed in fall 2013 at Lakeview Lutheran captures parking lot run-off.

Last year RWMWD received Clean Water Legacy Grant money to install stormwater best management practices (BMPs) at churches in priority areas of the District. Our priority areas are Kohlman Lake, Wakefield Lake, and Bennett Lake subwatersheds because they are impaired water bodies. Churches were selected as our focus group because they typically have a large amount of impervious surface (parking lots, roofs, and sidewalks) draining directly into local water bodies.

Wakefield Lake is impaired for phosphorus.  BMP projects in its
subwatershed being built this fall at Presentation Church and
Woodland Hills Church, are designed to help address this issue.
The grant funding we received along with District cost share funds allowed us to install practices at 6 churches. Last year we installed 3 rain gardens at Lakeview Lutheran Church and 5 rain gardens at Redeeming Love Church in Maplewood (Kohlman Lake Subwatershed). This year staff has worked closely with four other churches in the District to design stormwater BMPs which are scheduled to be installed this fall. Prince of Peace and Grace Church in Roseville (Bennett Lake Subwatershed) and Woodland Hills Church and Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood (Wakefield Lake Subwatershed) will all be installing various BMPs including native planting areas, rain gardens, and a tree trench. These BMPs will reduce the amount of stormwater reaching their receiving waters and will reduce the amount of phosphorus and sediment going into the waters.

Construction on the tree trench that transects their parking lot began in later August
at Presentation Church.

We have been very lucky to work with very dedicated and environmentally conscious representatives at all the churches. They have made this an easy process, and we are extremely excited that we will soon have all these beautiful rain gardens doing their part to clean up our local water bodies. We will continue to work with the churches on education, maintenance, and volunteer activities as a way to ensure the entire congregation is aware of the benefits of these BMPs and what a great opportunity these grant funds are for the church.

Please visit the
Minnesota's Legacy web site for more information related to the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment.

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