Living Earth Design
Design for Life, Design for Lifestyle

Project 3

Whipple St. Basin - Prescott, AZ


Design for ecologic function...

The objective was to develop green infrastructure to remove/reduce non-point source pollution and improve the water quality of Watson Lake and its tributaries. We interpreted the project more widely to serve as a pilot to introduce City staff and residents to green infrastructure, and to maximize multiple potentials for the sites, creating dynamic places that actively engage neighbors.

We used an existing weedy detention basin located at the busy intersection of Whipple Street and Iron Springs Road to launch a community project with high public interest, ecologically sustainable goals and neighborhood building potential, a vision shared with the second bioretention project, located at the city's community center. 

Our concepts co-opt dynamics of healthy ecosystems to filter runoff from parking lots and adjacent developed land. With creative earthworks, stormwater is slowed and directed through a series of basins where plants and soils filter out hydrocarbons and sediment.The basin networks, active and passive rainwater systems and gardens are planted attenuate storm surges and clean run-off. At the adult center, a demonstration rain garden planted with diverse, low-water, edible species also provides wildlife habitat.