The Watershed Center will receive a $627,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to install rain gardens and green roofs for restoring Kids Creek on the Munson Medical Center campus.

Restoring Kids Creek will improve fishing habitat. “The ultimate goal is to remove Kids Creek from Michigan’s Impaired Waters list,” says Program Director Sarah U’Ren.

This grant will cover Low Impact Development practices such as rain gardens, pervious pavement and green roofs.  These are aesthetically pleasing, hard-working and cost-effective ways to manage runoff.

Kids Creek is impaired due to heavy sedimentation from excessive runoff.

The DEQ grant will supplement $500,000 in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Oleson Foundation is generously providing additional funding.

The Low Impact Development strategies are part of an overall project to restore Kids Creek.  The other aspect involves bringing underground portions of Kids Creek to the surface, which is underway.

You can see photos on Facebook.

“We’re going to get the most mileage for our money,” says U’Ren.  “We will perform a cost-benefit analysis to see which practices will treat the most runoff for the least amount of money.  For example, if we have a $5,000 rain garden that treats 20,000 cubic feet of runoff compared to a $7,000 tree planter box that filters 5,000 cubic feet of runoff, we’re going to use the rain garden.”

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