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The proposed project entails the design and installation of a comprehensive on-site stormwater management system at the Double 8 Foods grocery store in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood (555 Fairfield Avenue, Indianapolis).

Location of proposed rain gardens and cistern relative to Double 8 Foods building, parking lot, existing recycling bin, paved tree lawns, and adjacent streets and sidewalks

Currently, the Double 8 Foods parcel is completely covered with impervious surfaces (building @ 16,811 ft2, parking lot @ 30,258 ft2, paved tree lawns @ 1,856 ft2), forcing stormwater toward existing inadequate, chronically-silted storm drains that routinely overflow leaving standing water.  The proposed rain gardens and complimentary above-ground cistern will manage 100% of this parcel’s stormwater on-site, reduce storm drain silting, and help to mitigate combined sewer overflow (CSO) events.  In addition to addressing these functional deficiencies, the new green space will at once buffer and soften the overwhelming visual impact of the parking lot and contribute positively to this visually blighted area.  This project will also serve as a model for on-site stormwater remediation for several of its commercial and residential neighbors, as well as complement existing community-building initiatives.

How?  Green Infrastructure

The proposed rain gardens will replace the existing paved tree lawns at the perimeter of the parking lot adjacent to North Park Avenue and East 34th Street.  The parking lot slopes to the east and southeast toward these areas

Contour map of and adjacent to Double 8 Foods site

negating the need for extensive grading and repaving.  The proposed above-ground cistern will collect stormwater from the roof of the Double 8 Foods building, helping to mitigate CSO events and providing a fresh water supply for the rain gardens during dry periods, which will be particularly important until the new plantings become established.  Cistern overflow will be piped underground directly to the rain gardens, allowing stormwater to infiltrate rather than overwhelm the existing storm sewer infrastructure.

Working with our project partners, IndyTilth has developed a plan to provide ongoing rain garden monitoring and maintenance, including regular litter removal, weeding, pruning, mulching, and watering as required.  Volunteers for resident-led neighborhood work parties will be recruited through a rich network of collaborating organizations.

Where?  Community Benefits

Double 8 Foods is a tremendous community asset.  The convenient, walkable location of the Double 8 affords residents without automobile transportation easy access to healthy foods.  Significantly, Double 8 Foods is the only vendor of fresh fruits and vegetables and the largest vendor of non-prepared food in the Mapleton-Fall Creek area.  As a true neighborhood grocery store, Double 8 Foods honors individual requests for specific food items and hires employees predominantly from the neighborhood.

The Double 8 also serves as a neighborhood recycling destination.  An existing Recycle Indianapolis drop-off recycling bin (glass, metal, and plastics) located in the southeast corner of the parking lot is complemented by an Abitibi Paper Retriever recycling bin located in the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church parking lot immediately to the east across North Park Avenue.

Due to the large daily volume of foot and vehicular traffic generated by these amenities, there is significant opportunity for this project to serve as a highly visible community education tool.

Who?  Support & Commitment

This project has been met with enthusiasm by Double 8 Foods, community organizations, multiple neighborhood associations, and residents alike.  Project partners include the community development corporation, each of the neighborhood associations within the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood, as well as a coalition of local churches and a large affordable apartment community (see Partners page).

When?  Timeline & Benchmarks

12/1/2010 – KIB-IPL Project Greenspace program recipient notification

This grant application builds on a pending KIB-IPL Project Greenspace application that will fund the final design and engineering, cistern installation, and rain garden materials (planting medium, rain garden plants, mulch).  If additional KIB-IPL Project Greenspace resources are available, they may be used to cover limited project management and site preparation costs.

6/1/2011 – complete integrated design process

Final design, engineering, and construction budgeting will be completed as part of an “integrated design process” involving each of the project partners.  This process will facilitate maximum value engineering and smooth the transition from design to construction.  Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) works with a network of professional partners to provide design and engineering services for sustainable projects.  Smock-Fansler has worked with both KIB and the City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability on rain garden projects in the past.  Smock-Fansler will serve as project manager and general contractor for the site preparation portion of the construction, including providing all necessary permits.

8/15/2011 – complete heavy construction (site preparation)

Smock-Fansler will place sedimentation control, cut and remove asphalt, install a new concrete pad for the cistern, install new concrete curbs and openings, excavate the rain garden retention area, excavate for cistern overflow piping, install cistern overflow piping, install rain garden under-drain system, backfill and rough grade, and patch asphalt.  Smock-Fansler will also arrange the work site in such a way as to maintain free and clear access to the Double 8 Foods loading dock as required throughout construction.

10/1/2011 – complete rain garden installation

KIB will coordinate site delivery of rain garden materials, including planting medium, appropriate native vegetation, and organic mulch.  Double 8 Foods will provide a dedicated material staging and work area in their parking lot.  IndyTilth will coordinate with community partners to provide volunteer labor to install rain garden materials. IndyTilth will also submit a United Water Grant Follow-Up Report within 30 days of completing the project.

Ongoing – rain garden maintenance

IndyTilth and Double 8 Foods will coordinate with community partners to provide regular rain garden maintenance as needed.

Ongoing – green infrastructure information and educational sessions

IndyTilth will coordinate with local organizations such as Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to provide informational sessions, both on-site and at community meetings.  In addition, we will work with our community partners to develop and market educational events and information sessions as well highlight the project on our website,

Project Summary

This project will satisfy three goals.  First, the proposed green infrastructure will address chronic stormwater management issues in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood and help to mitigate CSO events citywide.  Second, the rain gardens will help to beautify the Double 8 Foods site at Fairfield Avenue and further cement this neighborhood grocery and recycling destination as an important community hub.  Third, the project will serve to educate the broader community by providing accessible, tangible examples of green neighborhood revitalization techniques as well as contribute to community engagement.  Supported by our community partners, neighborhood stakeholders, and resident volunteers, IndyTilth plans to complete this project by June 1st, 2011.

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