As part of a larger effort to restore Minnehaha Creek through St. Louis Park and Hopkins, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) is working to restore more than 1,000 feet of Minnehaha Creek adjacent to an industrial property between Blake Road and the North Cedar Lake Regional Trail.
The MCWD purchased the 16.9-acre property, currently the site of a cold storage warehouse, in 2011. The District plans to use the property to treat a significant amount of polluted stormwater from surrounding neighborhoods and to restore the channel. After the restoration is complete, most of the land will be sold off for redevelopment to recover purchase costs. Learn more about the acquisition here.
Once completed, the project will treat stormwater from 247 acres of urban land that previously drained directly into the creek, most of it untreated. Pipes will redirect that runoff to a stormwater infiltration basin -- a large depression in the ground that collects stormwater and lets it soak into the ground, much like a raingarden.
The project will remove and estimated 181 pounds of phosphorus per year from Minnehaha Creek, which will improve water quality and help meet federal pollution standards for the creek and downstream Lake Hiawatha. By adding water to the soil near the creek, the project will also help maintain flow in the creek and prevent it from drying up as often. The area around the creek on the property will become part of a linear park stretching to Louisiana Avenue, where the MCWD is doing further restoration work (see: Reach 20 Restoration, Methodist Hospital Re-meander and Cottageville Park expansion).
The District will install a pipe to divert stormwater from Powell Road into the infiltration basin in 2015. Diversion of a pipe near Lake Street will occur in 2015 or 2016, to save money by coinciding with Metropolitan Council's sanitary sewer work. The stormwater treatment features will be constructed sometime between 2016 and 2018, after the existing warehouse is demolished.
Learn more on the MCWD’s website.