MWRD celebrates Niles, Illinois park stormwater improvements

May 26, 2023
The $11 million project utilizes green infrastructure elements and permeable pavement to mitigate flooding for nearly 100 structures in a 200-acre area lot, and to improve local water quality.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) joined the Village of Niles in a ribbon cutting to celebrate new stormwater improvements to Golf Mill park.

The project incorporates green infrastructure elements and permeable pavement to capture stormwater, mitigate flooding, and improve local water quality.

The approximately $11 million project, for which MWRD committed $2 million, will provide flood relief for nearly 100 structures in a 200-acre area lot on Niles’ northwest side. The new park will store 4.5 million gallons of stormwater, while also expanding and improving the existing Golf Mill Park.

In April, MWRD and Niles officials celebrated the completion of the Golf Mill Park stormwater project at 9101 Greenwood Ave. in Niles. Officials also commemorated the day with a tree dedication to the late Fred Kudert, a Niles resident, engineer and stormwater management advocate.

“I commend the Village of Niles for their leadership, vision and commitment to protecting local water quality and the community from flooding,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “As we know, the unpredictable nature of climate change has challenged us to rethink the way we manage water. This investment by the Village of Niles should be applauded, as it will spur more communities to action and protect future generations to come.”

The project called for construction of a relief storm sewer and surface and underground stormwater storage areas near Greenwood Ave. to provide flood relief to nearby residential and commercial properties. In addition to permeable pavers along Church Street and the park, the project incorporates new landscaping, new lighting, an electric vehicle charging station and a water feature connected to the stormwater detention facility.

“I am so proud to be here today to celebrate this multi-faceted project,” said MWRD Commissioner Spyropoulos. “It is great to see the stormwater improvements, but the new, improved landscaping, lighting, electric vehicle charging station and water feature will be a true community asset for many decades to come.”

The project came into fruition through the MWRD’s Local Stormwater Partnership Program. Each year, MWRD holds a call for governmental entities to apply for assistance on local stormwater management projects that are conceptual or shovel ready. In 2018, the Village of Niles stepped forward with the Golf Mill Project and an intergovernmental agreement was signed between the MWRD and Niles.

Since MWRD’s initial call for projects in September 2013, more than 50 have been approved by the MWRD Board of Commissioners. The resulting projects are located across Cook County and include localized detention, upsized critical storm sewers/culverts, pump stations, and established drainage ways.

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