Green Infrastructure Bus Tour

Take part in this tour to observe green infrastructure projects recently completed within the Omaha area. This will be a great opportunity to see a number of low impact development techniques and discuss the pros and cons of the various practices with design professionals directly involved with these projects.

Douglas County Health Center – BMP’s DCHC Photo

Your Tour Leaders are Paul Woodward and Kyle Graham.  Two projects will be observed displaying various best management practices for storm water management. Some of the BMP’s incorporated into these two projects include bioretention cells with concrete weir walls, bioswales and underground rainwater harvesting tanks.

Aksarben Village SSP – Elmwood Park – Diversion Green Solutions
Elmwood Park

Tour Leader is John Royster.  Elmwood Park Diversion carries stormwater from the upper 26 acres of the 100 acre Aksarben Village watershed down a wooded ravine into nearby Elmwood Park Creek. This diversion eliminated a potentially dangerous flooding problem and dramatically decreased the size of stormwater conveyance piping in the watershed’s lower portion. A series of colored concrete weir walls control water flow and speed as it a passes down the ravine. Native grasses along the water course and three bioretention gardens improve water quality for the first 22 CFS of stormwater. Flows exceeding that volume flow underground to the lower receiving basin. A controlled outlet conveys flow from the lower basin into Elmwood Park Creek.

The diversion project cost approximately $1,200,000 resulting in a cost savings of grey infrastructure of about $500,000, and a reduced potential for flooding in the lower watershed. Funding for the project was provided by Omaha’s CSO Program. Big Muddy Workshop, Inc. and Veenstra & Kimm of West Des Moines partnered on the project design.

University of Nebraska at Omaha – Bioretention Garden

Tour Leader – John Royster.  This research-oriented bioretention garden welcomes prospective students and their families to the University of Nebraska – Omaha. The garden replaces an earlier construction sediment basin/rain garden that reflected poorly on the “front door” of the campus.  In creating the new garden a series of educational and research goals were established. Two small watersheds, with nearly identical runoff volumes, drain into the garden. This allowed the design to include two separate basins to test various species of native grasses, forbs, woody shrubs and small trees. An upturned outlet on one of the basin’s drain tiles allows testing for de-nitrification. The design is intended to invite visitors, students and staff into the space, providing a variety of seating locations and walkway options as well as plant labeling and interpretive signage for classes and the general public.

Design and construction of this garden was funded by the Omaha Public Works Stormwater Program and a grant from the Waterwise Landscape Initiatives Program, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Inc. The project cost was approximately $70,000.

Big Muddy Workshop, Inc. designed the garden, with planting design assistance from Steve Rodie, FASLA, a UNO/UNL faculty member and extension specialist.

Metro Community College – Fort Omaha Campus Bioretention
MCC Fort Omaha

Tom Bentley will host this portion of your tour.  The bioinfiltration garden at the Metro Community College Fort Omaha campus was a cooperative effort between the Omaha Stormwater Program and the College. In addition to the vegetated basins, the garden provides examples of four alternative methods of receiving and pre-treating runoff from the bounding parking area. A greenroof timber shelter further punctuates the project. The demonstration garden will serve as a teaching tool for the MCC Horticulture Department.

Tour Map

Green Infrastructure Tour Map



20132012, 2011, 201020092008, 2007, 2006