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Southwest Lake Calhoun Wetland Ponds Project

A piece of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Clean Water Partnership Project

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About this project: 

Lake Calhoun stormwater pondA large-scale water quality improvement project took place at the southwest corner of Lake Calhoun as part of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Clean Water Partnership Project. The project is a key component of the largest urban lake restoration in the United States.

The project consists of a three-cell wetland pond designed to treat stormwater runoff from approximately 900 acres of urban watershed. Project construction involved numerous large-scale hydraulic structures and diversion pipes, wintertime excavation of approximately 60,000 cubic yards of soil, and special considerations regarding dewatering activities.

The project also includes a 120-foot pedestrian bridge, custom fieldstone retaining walls, deck overlooks, trails, and extensive aquatic plantings and upland vegetation. Project restoration and landscaping activities were completed during the spring and summer of 1999.

The Larger Plan

The Southwest Lake Calhoun Wetland was part of an extensive seven-year initiative to improve water quality throughout the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. The plan included another wetland, Cedar Meadows. It was built two years ago west of Cedar Lake and filters stormwater entering the lake. Since then, Cedar Lake's water quality has greatly improved and its water quality goals have been met.

Funding Source

The Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Clean Water Partnership (CWP) funded the Southwest Lake Calhoun Wetland. Organized in 1994, the CWP includes the City of Minneapolis, City of St. Louis Park, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


Project design was done by Wenck Associates, Inc.