16 April 2011

Bioretention Gardens Pending for Elmwood Park

An area of Elmwood Park will soon be transformed by a project to deal with stormwater runoff from Omaha streets.

General plan for the project in Elmwood Park. Information provided by Public Works department.

The general development plan indicates a linear project site is along the west side of 60th street, and southward from Elmwood Drive. This area is currently lawn which is regularly mowed during the growing season, as well as interspersed trees.

This project will receive stormwater runoff from about 35 acres of housing on the east side of 60th street, according to Ned Tramp, of the Public Works department of the city of Omaha.

The work being done is part of a larger effort to separate sewage and stormwater in the eastern part of the city.

Water going into the stormwater drains will be diverted to the park site, where a pond, three bioretention gardens and several weirs will slow the rate of drainage of the water into Wood Creek, northward in the park.

There will also be a capture basin where trash and grit will captured and kept until it is removed by city workers on a regular basis.

The primary features of the bioretention gardens are flowering plants and different types of grass species.

Planting plans for the gardens - devised by the Big Muddy Workshop Inc. - indicate that sneezeweed, spotted bee balm, little joe-pye weed, prairie spiderwort, swamp milkweed, prairie blazing star, purple coneflower and golden alexander.

Grasses to be seeded are Virginia wildrye, Canada wildrye, western wheatgrass, red top, side oats grama, and little bluestem. These are all native species except for red top.

Preliminary design for the bioretention gardens at Elmwood Park.

Garden A planting plan.

Garden C planting plan.

Garden F planting plan.

Vegetative features associated with the project will create a different habitat setting within the park environs.

Construction is expected to occur in late summer, or early autumn.

Public Works staff worked with the Parks and Recreation Department in developing this plan.

Current views of the project site in Elmwood Park. Pictures taken April 16, 2011.

Looking northward.

Looking southward.

Southern section of the project area.