Storm Water System

Award-winning storm water system

A new storm water treatment system on the southeast side of the JCCC campus has been singled out as a noteworthy green project in the Kansas City area.

The Mid-America Regional Council recently listed the project as one of its Sustainable Success Stories. The acknowledgment, which MARC hands out monthly for green projects, credited Bowman Bowman Novick, Inc., and Burns & McDonnell, the firms that designed and implemented the system for the college.

“In addition to making Overland Park’s streams cleaner, this project is an example of green infrastructure for students and the general public,” MARC states in its description of the project on its website.  “This system demonstrates storm water capabilities of natural systems and provides JCCC and its students educational and learning opportunities.”

Before the system was created, oil from cars and other pollutants mixed with rainwater runoff from parking lots on the southeast side of campus and flowed into Indian Creek, said Jay Antle, executive director of the JCCC Center for Sustainability.

The new system, which includes native vegetation, a rain garden and a wetland, filters pollutants from the water and slows the release of the water into the creek.

More than 50,000 native grasses and plants, including wildflowers, have been planted to promote ecological activity and provide habitat for animals and beneficial microbes. Two rows of limestone seats are available for an outdoor classroom and a concrete walkway lines the wetland perimeter.

Several instructors from the science department have visited the area to assess whether they might use it in their classes, Antle said.

Most of $650,605 project was paid for by stimulus money provided by the America Reinvestment and Recovery Act.  Of that amount, the college contributed 20 percent.