This past year, with assistance from SDOT’s Urban Forestry Landscape Architect, the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) department constructed a project which demonstrates how storm water management can be a beautiful success!
The Midvale Pond project provides a unique example of site design to manage storm water while enhancing the surrounding neighborhood with an attractive and accessible open space. The project transformed a 1.8 acre commercial site, which was previously occupied by warehouses, into a neighborhood amenity. The facility, located at 10735 Stone Avenue North, is designed to substantially reduce localized flooding; and reduce pollutants from the storm sewer system that conveys flows from the 1,120 acre Densmore Creek Basin to Lake Union.
The design layout includes sidewalks and a pathway for safe public access to walk, bird watch, and enjoy the seasonal changes provided by a diverse collection of trees and understory plants selected for fall color, flower display and wildlife habitat. Over the course of six months, SPU demolished structures and pavement from the light industrial site, and created a serene stormwater detention pond with emphasis on the use of native plant and tree species including more than 10,000 upland plants in addition to 12,000 emergent /wetland plants and 75 trees.
To the passerby, the alluring tranquility and beauty of the park-like site certainly disguises the fact that critical stormwater detention and pollution reduction is actively taking place in full view!