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SOMERS — The Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) has received a $70,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan to help manage stormwater runoff from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside here.

UW-Parkside will contribute to the project’s cost by selling energy produced by the campus solar farm back to the electricity grid.

“We appreciate the partnerships we have developed with Root Pike WIN and the Fund for Lake Michigan to move environmental innovations like the RSC forward,” said Dr. Deborah Ford, UW-Parkside Chancellor. “With the proceeds from our solar field, we are using the sun to ‘power’ stormwater innovation on campus. The solar buy-back funding mechanism and the matching funds it creates to advance projects like the RSC is pretty cool.”

The Root-Pike WIN – Parkside collaboration

Root-Pike WIN and UW-Parkside will construct a regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) system along University Drive. RSC systems are a series of planted infiltration pools overlying a sand and wood chip bed. The design allows for flexibility in pool size, elevation, and location such that the entire RSC can be sculpted into the existing landscape, ultimately minimizing disturbances and associated costs due to excavation.

Since the RSC is a sand/wood chip-based system, stormwater pollutants will be filtered from runoff, resulting in improved water quality and ecological benefits for the Pike River, located downstream from the campus.

According to a Root-Pike WIN news release, the RSC will reduce suspended solids, nitrogen and phosphorus by 50 percent and reduce the amount of road salt that could reach the river water. An RSC needs minimal maintenance, requires little mowing, no dredging and doesn’t attract geese.

“UW-Parkside is becoming a leader in sustainable practices for large campuses, and the RSC is one of many to follow,” Dave Giordano, Root-Pike WIN executive director, said in a news release. “Reducing costs while improving environmental conditions is how Root-Pike WIN defines ‘sustainability’ and the UW-Parkside is setting the example for others to follow with the RSC.”


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...