Living Waters of Larimer
In 2011, the Larimer community created the region’s first ecodistrict plan. Living Waters of Larimer advances those goals by aligning placemaking, performance, and policy for artful green infrastructure.
Living Waters of Larimer is a community development project that demonstrates how green infrastructure can be integrated into the urban spaces, cultural life, and economic infrastructure of a community. The project was conceived to:
- Raise community capacity to advocate for wise long term rainwater management.
- Activate the community through place-based rainwater demonstration projects.
- Define best practices for urban placemaking with high performing rainwater systems in different scales of development.
Living Waters examines four areas in Larimer that are at various stages in the redevelopment process, including a large single parcel redevelopment project, a scattered site redevelopment project, multiple adjacent vacant parcels publicly and privately owned, and publicly owned road right-of-way areas. These types of development can be found in communities across the region; the findings of the Living Waters project will be applicable far beyond the boundaries of Larimer. The Living Waters team, which includes evolveEA, holds walking tours to present the context of development projects and their impact on the neighborhood. The tours are promoted as a series called “Negley Run Was Here,” and have traced the historic path of the Negley Run stream before and after it was culverted and buried over the past century. Today there is almost no trace of Negley Run, but by understanding how water flows through the neighborhood, residents are learning to propose and plan new solutions for water management.
Over the two years of this grant-funded project, the team worked with the community to publish:
- A toolkit of community engagement and education material
- A watershed website
- A comprehensive Urban Agriculture study
Other project initiatives have led to water design discussions in meetings about community land trusts, urban agriculture, and vacant land reuse and investigative visits to homes of Larimer residents frustrated by basement flooding.
With evolveEA’s assistance, the Living Waters artists, Bob Bingham and Betsy Damon, have convened workshops for residents to create a vision for a distributed stormwater network that improves quality of life and economic opportunity. A concept for the design of ”Little Negley Run” is in development for the site where part of the original stream once flowed.