NOHOA Bioswale

A collaboration between VLAWMO, the North Oaks Home Owner's Association (NOHOA),
and the Minnesota Water Stewards - a program from Freshwater Society.

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Quick Facts:

The swale is on average just under 1’ deep.

Pre-renovation, the swale was observed to be inundated with up to 2’ of sediment in some areas.

Swale drains to nearby wetlands and eventually to Gilfillan Lake.


Project will be funded by the VLAWMO Community Blue grant program and NOHOA.

Reason for Project:

Prior to the renovation, the East Oaks Rec Center Bioswale experienced poor infiltration after rain events. Some areas within the swale have been documented to have poor drainage, while the majority of the swale is inundated with sediment. A renovation was planned to improve the swale’s performance by increasing the swale’s size, introducing a well-draining soil amendment, and constructing new sediment catchment structures (sumps) at the swale inlets.

The Bioswale is an example of green infrastructure that supports local MS4 education and local water resources. As a water management organization, VLAWMO strives to partner with its member communities to retain stormwater close to where it falls for a period under 48 hours. This temporary collection helps reduce sedimentation and pollution loading in downstream wetlands, lakes, and streams, and replenishes local groundwater.


Construction is tentatively scheduled for July, 2021. It will consist of the following steps:

  • Excavate clay and clogged sediment (Mid-July)
  • Build two sediment catchment structures at swale inlets, near culverts (Mid-July)
  • Introduce amended soil (Late July)
  • Lay mulch and re-plant the swale (Early August)
  • Ongoing maintenance to keep sediment structures clear (Early August)


The result of the project is improved drainage into groundwater at the East Oaks Rec Center Bioswale, and reducing the risk for the swale exporting nutrients and sediment to downstream wetlands and eventually Gilfillan Lake.

Project Image Gallery

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