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.