Rain Gardens for Rice Creek

Street reconstruction projects often provide opportunities to install new projects that can benefit water quality in nearby waterbodies. In the City of Fridley, up to six curb-cut rain gardens are currently being designed in conjunction with a street reconstruction project. The designs are being done by ACD in partnership with the City of Fridley, the Rice Creek Watershed District, and landowners. The rain gardens will capture stormwater runoff before it enters the storm sewer system, which discharges to Rice Creek.

Depending on the underlying soils at each site, rain gardens with sandy soils will use infiltration (i.e. the water will soak into the ground) while those with finer soils (e.g. silty soils) will filter the runoff before discharging the cleaner water to the storm sewer system. In both cases, Rice Creek will benefit from reduced loading of sediment and nutrients.

High priority properties with large contributing drainage areas were targeted. Those properties with landowners willing to transition some yard space out near the road from turf grass to garden area and agree to provide maintenance are being considered for rain garden installation. Funding will be provided by the City of Fridley and the Rice Creek Watershed District.

Watch for additional updates as designs are finalized and the rain gardens are installed. To see other rain gardens already installed throughout Anoka County, please see the virtual project tour on ACD's website.

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Lower Rice Creek Stormwater Retrofit Analysis

The Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) contracted with ACD to complete a stormwater retrofit analysis for the purpose of identifying and ranking water quality improvement projects throughout select drainage areas to Lower Rice Creek in Anoka County. The report is in final review by the Technical Advisory Committee, and the final report will be completed by July 1st.

A total of 145 projects were identified throughout the 1,115-acre study area and generally consisted of rain gardens, underground sediment collection chambers, and stormwater pond installations or modifications. Potential projects were ranked in order of cost-effectiveness. The report provides a tool for natural resource managers when considering the implementation of projects to improve water quality in Lower Rice Creek.

The project is funded by RCWD and a Metropolitan Conservation Districts Clean Water Fund Accelerated Implementation grant.

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