Six street-side bioretention gardens were installed in a two-block area in the old downtown area of Florence, a historic neighborhood in north Omaha. The gardens are part of a larger redevelopment and revitalization project for the Florence Neighborhood that is planned between Willit and Clay Streets on Highway 75/N. 30th highly traveled and urban corridor, which creates a huge opportunity for utilization and promotion of landscapes that can be both aesthetically beautiful as well as useful for stormwater management. The City of Omaha is responsible for the immediate maintenance of the gardens with the long-term maintenance becoming the responsibility of the business community in Florence.
Who is responsible for this project?
The City of Omaha Stormwater program will be maintaining the bioretention gardens and evaluating their performance periodically to make sure it is working as intended and information can be learned about them to improve design going forward. Because these gardens will be utilizing a new under-drain design, plants, and sediment traps that have not been commonly utilized before this project, the City of Omaha is very interested in how the gardens perform. Sharing what is learned from this project with everyone who works with stormwater systems is a key component of the City’s education and outreach goals for stormwater solutions.
What happens when it rains?
This project is located in an area serviced by a combined sewer system, part of the Minnie Lusa drainage basin, where sewage and stormwater runoff flow in the same pipe. When there is a rainfall event, sometimes with as little as a tenth of an inch of rain, the volume flowing through this system can overwhelm the wastewater treatment plant and result in bypassing the plant and discharging directly into the Missouri River, untreated.
The six bioretention gardens are designed to limit the amount of runoff reaching the combined sewer system. This will provide education on stormwater and low impact development strategies, experience in an ultra-urban setting and much needed landscaping that will soften and balance with the surrounding urban setting.
Project Fact Sheet
For more information check out the Florence Streetscape Project Fact Sheet.