Islands in the Street
Islands In The Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton on Grooveshark

Islands in the Street


In September 2012, the City of Grand Rapids completed work on several bioretention islands along Plainfield Avenue, designed to reduce stormwater runoff as well as filter out any pollutants that are picked up. For more information on the Plainfield Avenue Project, check out the video below. As our client for our project, the City tasked us with collecting water samples during storm events to analyze the performance of these islands.


Our Design

For a complete report on our design, click on "Final Report" in the sidebar to the left.

We designed the islands in a way that is environmentally responsible and aesthetically improves the urban landscape. Our islands were specifically designed for four locations in downtown Grand Rapids. For example, below is a profile view of the tiered design for Michigan Street in front of the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

Tiered Design

To see a flow chart we created showing how water flows through a bioretention island, click here. To further facilitate the understanding of how the islands work, we also constructed a 12:1 scale model of a bioretention island. The completed model is shown below.

Scale Model