DEQ and the Town of Grand Isle contracted with GEC to conceptualize and design a system which will aid in improving the quality of non-point source storm water runoff from the central portion of the island. GEC’s landscape architect and engineers developed a park-type program that features a centralized vegetated swale which serves to filter pollutants and nutrients from impounded storm water prior to pumping into the marshes (the island relies on pump stations to force accumulated water into adjacent marshes).
In addition to the filter swale, recent construction included educational components and innovative low impact measures that act as a demonstration tool for park visitors. For example, plans call for construction of a flexible porous paving material combined with aggregate to serve as a pervious parking. A circular outdoor classroom features porous pavers and a central rain garden. The classroom provides educational opportunities to visitors through kiosk interpretation of several conservation issues, including the relationship between development and water quality, habitat loss, and bird migration. A 24’ x 20’ picnic shelter is outfitted with photovoltaic cells, utilizing 100% solar energy to power the pump which directs water into the filter swale