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Wells landscape project earns stormwater smart award

By Staff | Jul 31, 2011

It’s billed as a first-of-a-kind.

The Shepherd’s Inn/Little Lamb’s Day Care in Wells is the county’s first stormwater smart facility.

Two rain gardens have been installed and other measures were taken to address runoff issues.

On July 22, a Stormwater Excellence Award was presented during a ceremony held at the nursing home.

“We didn’t set out to earn this award. We just wanted a space that would be a place for the residents to enjoy,” says Pastor Steven Lorenz of Covenant Life Church.

Michele Wigern and Michele Stindtman of Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation were on hand for the event and to celebrate the project.

The agency helped the home secure a grant to pay some of the cost totaling about $25,000.

“It’s the first project in the county to implement every possible aspect, such as pervious concrete, to deal with stormwater issues,” says Wigern.

In addition to the rain gardens, work at the site include 650 square feet of pervious concrete, three 87-gallon rain barrels, 12 planters and gutters.

The project is a culmination of the work of many, says Lorenz.

First, he says staff “took the bull by the horns” and raised a significant amount of money.

Then, “Divine Intervention” may have played a role.

Alex Huper heard what Shepherd’s Inn/Little Lambs was doing and volunteered some landscaping services as part of his Eagle Scout project.

“I think that was God’s word to us that we are to continue and go ahead,” Lorenz says.

The pastor also thanked those he called “the can-do crew,” contractors Schrader Enterprises, Tolzmann Construction, Treptow Construction and Wells Concrete.

Besides offering an aesthetic value, rain gardens are designed to reduce the amount of water and pollutants going into storm drains.

“The project addresses water quality issues and stormwater runoff problems,” says Stindtman. “The rainwater also can be used for the gardens. You get plenty of positive values.”