Learn At the ReStore
Property owners in the La Crosse area are now designing buildings and pavement and shaping land so water soaks in naturally, before it rolls across pavement to a storm drain or ditch. The result is less pollution, cleaner rivers, more groundwater for drinking, less expense for cities and towns, captured water for garden use, and interesting, healthy places for people. Landowners who apply for stormwater utility credits also reduce long-term home and business costs.
How does this work? See for yourself at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore!
The La Crosse Urban Stormwater group, Habitat For Humanity and local businesses, nonprofits and individuals are making the ReStore a place where we can see how to manage runoff and create great places at the same time.
Planning started in 2014, and construction began in August 2015. The project includes four basins to soak up water (biofilters); 700 native plants; rsegrading to improve water flow and retention; a hugelkulture swale (lazy gardener’s irrigation); four rain barrels; naturalized drainage area; food-bearing trees and shrubs; raised garden beds; a break area for employees and volunteer; and erosion control products including previous pavement.
The site will also include beautiful, weather resistant teaching signs explaining every landscape feature, the issue, and the positive impacts of this kind of local action.
A sculpture is planned for the ReStore parking lot entry, to be designed by Driftless region artist Karl Unnasch and constructed with assistance from Western Technical College students. The public art will be made of repurposed materials from the ReStore and will include water. Old steel garden tools will be used in the piece, so dig out broken old tools and bring them to the ReStore!
This project is developed by the La Crosse Urban Stormwater Group (La Crosse County, Cities of La Crosse & Onalaska, Towns of Campbell, Holland, Medary, Onalaska & Shelby and Villages of Holmen & West Salem) and Habitat For Humanity-La Crosse Area.
Many community partners have stepped up to make work possible, including design/construction partners: Coulee Region EcoScapes, NewGround, Inc., Paragon Associates LLC, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College.
Coulee Region Ecoscapes, Invisible Structures, Inc., Prairie Nursery, and Trees For Today donated products.
A network of communications partners are getting the word out to involve as many people as possible. These include: Boy Scouts of America, Coulee Partners For Sustainability, Coulee Region Adventures, Coulee Region EcoScapes, Habitat For Humanity UW-L Chapter, La Crosse County Health Department, La Crosse County Solid Waste Department, La Crosse Dive Unit, Living Lands & Waters, Mid-America Banklease, NewGround, Inc., UW-Extension, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College. The list grows daily.
Try This At Home
Donate Old Garden Tools
Your broken stuff can become part of a cool sculpture! Bring steel shovel, hoe, or other tool heads to the ReStore through November 30. Artist Karl Unnasch and WTC students will create public art with them for the ReStore gardens, inspiring us all to dig in and pay attention to water.
Share the News
Can your organization help spread the word with website or blog postings, articles, or sharing updates through your networks? Would you like to tour the site during construction? E-mail Soak It Up
What is a stormwater utility?
Learn more at Storm Water Utility