Ballpark project knocks stormwater out of the park

Nov 1st, 2013 | By | Category: Everything Else

The city of Tacoma is hitting an environmental home run with a stormwater control project at Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers.
As the Pacific Coast League minor league baseball team’s 2013 season was nearing an end in early September, work crews were preparing to break ground on Phase 2 of the stadium’s sustainable stormwater project. Fans of the Rainiers will have more than a new season to look forward to next spring. Work this fall calls for installing more porous asphalt in the parking lot, a large rain garden (called a bioretention facility), 2.5 acres of landscaping with 263 shade trees, and pervious concrete sidewalks that officials said will make getting to the game from Scott Pierson Trail and Tyler Street easier.
The result will be a stadium with a parking lot that filters 10 acres of water on-site so that polluted rainwater doesn’t make it downstream to fish and wildlife, officials said.
The $1.5 million project, which city officials said could be a model for other commercial developments, uses plants, trees and permeable soils to slow down and absorb water running off the stadium’s parking lot. That water could be dirtied by vehicles with oil leaks or other dripping fluids.
Rain falling at Cheney Stadium can eventually travel 10 miles along stream banks before flowing into Chambers Bay.
“Putting natural process to work like this can be a smart and efficient use of resources,” said City Councilman Ryan Mello. “Puget Sound and the land around Tacoma’s lakes, rivers and streams are tremendous economic and quality-of-life assets that deserve our protection.”
Officials said the city’s surface-water efforts, such as this Environmental Services Department project, have made Tacoma a regional leader in green infrastructure. Phase I of the project achieved Silver Greenroads Certification, helping make Tacoma home to the highest concentration of Greenroads-certified projects in the nation. Since its completion in 2012, Phase 1 has garnered statewide attention through university student and professional organization tours.
A groundbreaking ceremony for Phase 2 was held before the start of the Rainiers’ season-ending game Sept. 2. Mello and Environmental Services officials were on hand along with representatives of the team and project contractor Stan Palmer Construction.
Tacoma awarded a contract to Palmer to do the work. Money for the project includes up to $1 million in grant funds from the state Department of Ecology, with matching city and stadium funding.

A rain garden on Cheyenne Street, one of the entrances to Cheney Stadium, is part of a city of Tacoma stormwater control project that’s being finished this fall. (Courtesy photo/Greenroads)

A rain garden on Cheyenne Street, one of the entrances to Cheney Stadium, is part of a city of Tacoma stormwater control project that’s being finished this fall.
(Courtesy photo/Greenroads)

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