The M&M Plaza parking lot will release less storm water run-off into the Menominee River and the bay of Green Bay thanks to the actions of local volunteers and community leaders it was announced today by the M&M Area Community Foundation (MMACF). The plan of action involves the M&M Plaza and eventual development of the former K-Mart property and improvements to the Plaza parking lot planned for this summer.
After three years of planning, fundraising, and partnership building, the Community Foundation has facilitated an agreement with the Plaza owners and developers to include rain garden catch basins as part of the overall parking lot improvements.
The Foundation’s Resilient Future Committee, under the leadership of Committee Chair John Lee, selected the Plaza parking lot which is next to the Menominee River as a site to demonstrate the value of rain gardens in the retention of storm runoff and the filtering of surface waters otherwise destined for direct entry into Green Bay.
“Since the flooding that occurred after heavy storms in 2017, the MMACF has been looking to raise awareness and educate our community on the importance of stormwater management and the protection of area water resources,” said Paula Gruszynski, Community Foundation Executive Director. Board member John Lee stepped up and took leadership of our Resilient Future Committee and now the committee is prepared to reveal the results of their efforts,” she concluded.
Funding for the feasibility and design study as well as the engineering and construction of the rain garden project is a result in part of a grant awarded to the Foundation by The Fund for Lake Michigan and an agreement by the Plaza owners and developers to provide matching funds for additional environmental and aesthetic improvements.
“A lot of people deserve credit for what we have accomplished,” said Committee Chair John Lee. “The committee includes a broad range of community leaders and knowledgeable professionals. They all contributed, along with the business entities connected to the parking lot area. It has turned out to be a true win-win overall,” he concluded.
As well as administering the grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan, MMACF sponsored a public hearing on the importance of water quality in 2019, met with business and local government officials to garner support, and has organized volunteers for the rain garden planting which will take place later this summer.
The parking lot changes will include traffic patterns and safety upgrades for both drivers and pedestrians.
“Not only will the rain gardens help manage stormwater, but the end product will also improve the appearance of the entire commercial and parking area adjacent to the Menominee River,” said Lynelle Caine, Resilient Future Committee member.