Low Impact Design for Reno

The former McKinley Park School was built in 1910. Now known as the McKinley Arts & Culture Center, it occupies an important place within the Truckee River Arts and Culture District in the City of Reno.

Earlier this spring I worked with a local design group to create interpretation of innovative stormwater treatments that help mitigate stormwater runoff and keep the Truckee River clean.

Working with an art director, I came up with a series of four signs to be located on or near the grounds of the McKinley Arts and Cultural Center (right). Another artist created the metalwork that houses the signs. In September, we were thrilled to see the signs installed!

about stormwater runoff

Urban stormwater runoff has been recognized as contributing to the degradation of rivers and streams. Runoff from rooftops, parking areas, and other impervious surfaces carries pollutants into storm drains and into the Truckee River without treatment.

Sign #1, located across Riverside Drive from McKinley, and right on the river. It invites the reader to cross the street to read the other three signs.

about low impact design

Detail of metalwork on Sign #1.

Low Impact Design, or LID, is an innovative stormwater management approach that includes modeling nature and allowing the ground to hold, soak up, filter, and naturally treat rainwater.

LID includes rain gardens, depressed grassy swales, and other landscape areas collecting and treating urban runoff.

Sign #2, and the rain garden (background). LID methods may also help alleviate local flooding by redirecting runoff from concrete and rooftops to landscape areas, allowing the natural softscape to store waters, rather than taxing gutters and storm drains.
Detail of sign #2, located near the rain garden.

LID retrofits to the McKinley Arts and Cultural Center area include rooftop snow slide clips and rain gutters to collect rainwater and snowmelt, impervious swales to transport rainwater away from the building and into the landscape depression or rain garden, and a new parking area made of pervious concrete.

These retrofits will treat storm water, allow for infiltration into the ground, and assist in watershed protection within the Truckee Meadows.

Sign #3 near the pervious-concrete parking lot.
Sign #4. Each sign encourages a visitor to find the next one, and include a code that interested people can scan with a smartphone to learn more about low impact design.

One thought on “Low Impact Design for Reno

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s