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(MAP) Something in the Water

How drainages affect Cottageville Park plans

The Cottageville area has gotten substantial attention because of the park’s new, open look. But storm-water treatment—not recreation—is a major factor driving plans. Here’s a look at how drainages affect Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s acquisition decisions:

  1. Cottageville Park: At the beginning of the year, Cottageville Park was a 1.5-acre area tucked away behind several decaying buildings. The watershed district acquired two acres south of the park as part of a partnership in which the city agreed to pay for the design and construction of the expanded parkland. The watershed district then (still pictured in this satellite photo), seeded the area and transformed the new acreage into green space.
  2. Proposed acquisitions: With discussions about Cottageville Park details still ongoing, the watershed district asked whether the city would be interested in investigating the acquisition of nine parcels straddling Lake Street—four on the north side (2a) and five on the south side (2b).
  3. City property: Hopkins isn’t currently doing anything with this isolated .16-acre property, but it would be a valuable piece of the puzzle if the watershed district decides to acquire the properties south of Lake Street. 
  4. Northern drainage: During its investigation of the acquisition proposal, the watershed district identified two main drainage areas that could benefit from additional acreage. The northern drainage area sends pollutants from streets, rooftops and yards, through a pipe and directly into the creek—untreated.
  5. Southern drainage: The southern drainage area sends untreated pollutants through a concrete channel and directly into the creek. Many of these pollutants come from the adjacent apartment complex. The extra space from the new acquisitions would allow the watershed district to create a wetland-type environment that would filter out pollutants before the water enters the creek. The district expects the most cost-effective approach to be directing both drainage areas to the properties south of Lake Street for treatment. By contrast, the northern properties could only treat the northern drainage because of the slope.

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