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The 2017 Spring Stormwater Symposium was held on March 8th on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus. The Symposium is a collaboration of the UNL, Nebraska Floodplain & Stormwater Managers Association (NeFSMA), and the Great Rivers Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association (GRIECA). The purpose of the symposium was to showcase examples of funding and management programs for stormwater management projects.

As a part of the Symposium, the organizers wanted to find an actual project to use as a case study that could be examined in a comprehensive manner, and be presented from several different viewpoints. The Spring Lake Park Green Infrastructure project, a component of the Missouri Avenue/Spring Lake SSP, fit the bill! Big Muddy Workshop was part of design team, with Kirkham Michael and S.E.H.

Nine panelists, include three City of Omaha staff members, a City compliance consultant, three design team members, a community supporter, and a UNO professor all presented their story. Each panelist took a few minutes to walk the audience through their contributions to the project. These contributions included how modeling was critical to successful stormwater calculations, the permitting processes required on a project like this, the role of civic leaders, the importance of community ownership and identity, and much more.

Ryan Bentley from Big Muddy Workshop presented the analysis, design, and details of the , and explained some of the challenges and successes of designing and constructing the project. He fielded questions from the audience about construction administration and surprises that arose between design and construction. Even though presentation lasted 2 ½ hours, audience members had good reviews and responded positively.

To see a copy of the slides presented at the symposium, visit Andy Szatko’s Linked In page at: LinkedIn


Several Big Muddy Workshop staff members participated in the 2016 Omaha Green Infrastructure Tour, on September 15, 2016. The group toured several of Omaha’s newest stormwater management projects to see how they are progressing and operating. The tour stops included the 24th Street Bioretention, Benson West Elementary, Florence Streetscape, Hell Creek Stream Restoration, Hillsdale Vegetated Swale & Sediment Removal Structure, Northwest High School Rain Gardens & Permeable paving, and Spring Lake Park CSO projects. Ryan Bentley, PLA ASLA led a tour of green infrastructure practices that Big Muddy and engineers from Kirkham Michael and S.E.H. designed for Spring Lake Park.

The 2014 Omaha Green Infrastructure Tour highlighted stormwater management projects that use innovative best management practices. Two of eight projects visited included design work by Big Muddy Workshop. One involved restoration of a section of the Rockbrook Creek tributary running through Prairie Lane Park. Big Muddy’s landscape architects provided green infrastructure design services for our engineering partner and prime consultant, CH2M HILL, which designed the stream channel improvements. The second project visited was the award-winning Elmwood Park Diversion, to view how the system was functioning during its second year of providing improved water quality benefits to Elmwood Park Creek. Veenstra and Kimm, Inc. is our engineering partner and prime consultant on this project, designing the project’s gray stormwater and sanitary sewer infrastructure.

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The 2014 Annual Conference of the Nebraska Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association included presentations by two Big Muddy staff. John Royster made a presentation on the value of interpretation titled “Getting the Word Out – Interpreting the Value of Stormwater Projects to Our Communities”. Ryan Bentley presented a session titled, “UNO Welcome Center Bioretention Garden: Lessons Placed from a Learning Space” with Professor Steve Rodie of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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