In conjunction with Benson’s new East Gateway, this project created a sustainable green space on a partial block of 58th east entrance of downtown Benson. This area is rapidly becoming one of the city’s most popular arts and entertainment districts.
The centerpiece of this “urban parklet” will be a bioretention garden that follows the City of Omaha’s new design and construction guidelines for bioretention gardens. This project is a prime example of how functional bioretention gardens can be integrated into urban spaces to improve community environment.
The project directly aligns with the philosophy of the Benson-Ames Alliance, a grassroots group of community leaders formed in 2005 to help plan and implement the revitalization of the area bound by Western Avenue on the south, Sorensen Parkway on the north, Saddle Creek Road/Fontenelle Boulevard on the east and 72nd west.
The Benson-Ames Alliance, managed by Omaha by Design, is striving to become a sustainable community that actively seeks a balance between its built and its natural environments. It is home to Benson High School, which partnered with the City of Omaha, Omaha by Design and the Benson-Ames Alliance to create a bioretention garden Street, adjacent to Maple Street, that intersects with the Street on the on the school grounds that serves as an ongoing learning opportunity for students, staff, alumni and visitors.
Green Infrastructure Practices
This project site provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate how green infrastructure practices can be located in areas that have been highly impacted, such as this half- block of 58th space on which to develop an overall sustainable landscape that will highlight native and ecologically well-adapted non-invasive plants that require minimal irrigation after establishment, are sized and spaced appropriately so they need little pruning and cover the site effectively, and will convey stormwater runoff slowly from adjacent areas.
Who will maintain this project?
The project will be maintained by the Benson Business Improvement District (BID). The Benson BID, a legal entity within the City of Omaha, manages an annual budget that includes dedicated funds for landscaping as well as cleaning and maintenance. The Benson BID will hire a qualified landscaping firm to conduct the required maintenance. In addition, an environmental inspector from the City of Omaha’s Environmental Quality Control Division will evaluate the site for an indefinite period of time.
Project Fact Sheet
For more information check out the Benson Project Fact Sheet.