Landscape Design Helps Control Stormwater
The Bee Branch Watershed encompasses historic neighborhoods where over 50 percent of Dubuque, Iowa residents live or work. From 1999-2011, six Presidential Disaster Declarations were issued for this region due to flash flooding, resulting in damages estimated at $69.8 million.
The Landscape Architect team with Madison, Wisconsin's Saiki Design, Inc. was part of a multidisciplinary consultant team selected to take this project from inception to completion including over $100 million in construction through phased implementation of the master plan, providing integrated design, documentation, and coordination. While major portions of this project have been completed, the Railroad Crossing, which will increase stormwater capacity and provide a pedestrian connection between Upper and Lower Bee Branch, is currently under construction.
The Landscape Architects were tasked with creating a design that conveyed a base flow of groundwater discharge as well as stormwater flow during and after construction. Through this, they achieved their goal of improving the stormwater quality. Additionally, they created a linear open space that serves the local neighborhood and the community at large by establishing a connection to the Heritage Trail, a regional, scenic, all-season, multi-use trail. The team also wanted to enhance other outdoor recreation opportunities available through the integration of specialty landscape areas such as rest areas, stormwater features, and play spaces for children. Within the play spaces and other areas throughout the site, the design team added educational opportunities centered around sustainability themes in the form of signs along the Bee Branch. These signs elaborate and educate on the history of the site, the local habitats and wildlife, prairie restoration, flash flooding, and sustainable water quality improvements.
As seen in LASN magazine, January 2021.