Rain garden project confuses, frustrates some South Minneapolis residents
A neighborhood street reconstruction project is causing some confusion in Minneapolis.
The city installed 18 blocks of rain gardens in parts of South Minneapolis as part of its stormwater management plan. But residents complain they are getting weedy and no one knows who is supposed to maintain them.
“I would say it looks really weedy. That’s what is growing: big weeds. I take pride in my yard and I think there’s some confusion over who is supposed to take care of it,” said resident Tony Baisley.
The rain gardens are trenches in place of boulevards, filled with native plants. They are intended to capture and treat stormwater before it flows into area lakes and rivers. But after a long, dry summer, some of them are looking neglected and have collected trash and sediment.
“We have definitely heard they are unhappy with the number of weeds,” said Liz Stout, an engineer with the City of Minneapolis Public Works Department.
She admits there has been a learning curve with the project. She says there was also some confusion with the city’s contractor about who was responsible for the maintenance. Upkeep is not the residents’ responsibility, and she says the city is stepping in.
“The city is taking the weeds out, assessing, and replanting. We are going through the maintenance,” she said.
The city is adding other rain gardens to other parts of the city. Work is already underway along Bryant Avenue and there are also plans for Hennepin Avenue as well.