Manchester is an urban waterfront community that has been designated as a high-priority area for water quality and flood control. The downtown area was prone to seasonal flooding and ponding. This situation had to be addressed while still maintaining Manchester’s desire to develop a rural village center and retain its quaint small-town charm. The goal was to enhance water quality by constructing a variety of green stormwater infrastructure for the 100-acre basin, including bioretention, modular wetlands, and a vault filter system within a new community stormwater park. The new 2-acre stormwater park features a spiral rain garden that is the main architectural element of the park and also treats light rainfall and ground water. The concrete around the spiral garden wall features a poem etched into it that can only be seen when the concrete is damp. The park has a large grass meeting space, colored gravel and brick walking paths, stone benches, light stanchions, and bike stands.
Other project elements include a new 36-inch diameter outfall, a new public pier, and beach restoration. Over 1 mile of urban arterial streets were also reconstructed into complete streets with green stormwater infrastructure. The project was funded by a combination of local funds and state grants, and included extensive work with Ecology for approval of the innovative stormwater park treatment system as well as outreach with the affected community.