As part of the 2013 SRF Conference, the EFC organized a tour of the Maplewood Mall Rainwater Runoff Retrofit Project, which was partially funded by the SRF program. The tour was led by Cliff Aichinger with the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District.
Designed to improve the water quality in Kohlman Lake (and ultimately the Mississippi River), the Maplewood Mall Rainwater Runoff Retrofit Project reduces and filters rainwater runoff before it leaves the mall’s 35-acre parking lot. The project includes several features: a cistern that captures roof runoff, rainwater gardens, rainwater tree groves, and permeable pavers.
A second site of the tour was the Living Streets Demonstration Project in Maplewood’s Bartelmy-Meyer Neighborhood. Maplewood’s Living Streets project was developed to help reduce the amount of polluted runoff flowing into area lakes and the Mississippi River. “Living Streets” stems from a concept in which streets are more than a facility for driving and parking cars. They improve neighborhood function by narrowing streets to reduce traffic speed and incorporate sidewalks to improve walkability. They address environmental issues by treating stormwater and shading hot pavement.
There were sixteen (16) people on the tour. They represented 11 states and there was one person from EPA as well.