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Great Lakes Article:

Designers welcome help planning water garden
By Chuck Frederick
Duluth News Tribune
Published December 9th, 2004

Designs for the long-discussed living water garden at Duluth's Bayfront Festival Park will begin to be put on paper Saturday, and you're invited to help.

The nonprofit Sweetwater Alliance has scheduled a public brainstorming session with an internationally known landscape designer tapped to help create the garden, alliance founder Jill Jacoby announced this week.

Patricia Johanson of New York will lead the six-hour session at Hartley Nature Center. Her resume includes the $30 million baywalk around San Francisco's Candlestick Park State Recreation Area that's also a sewer basin, and the 912-acre, $200 million Ulsan Park in Seoul, South Korea -- an interactive garden that also rids water of decades of pollution.

The project in Duluth will clean storm water from downtown but will only be about a half-acre in size. The hope is that the attraction will serve as a model for Duluthians and visitors, showing them how plants and rocks can be used at their own homes to capture rainwater and runoff, to filter out pollutants and, finally, to release cleaner water into Lake Superior.

Design work for the storm water garden is expected to cost $116,000. The money is coming from several sources, including donations. The Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program has offered $58,000 if Sweetwater Alliance is able to raise a matching $58,000 by the end of the year. The nonprofit has collected about $37,000. It can receive an additional $10,000 from the Four Cedars Foundation, which has Twin Ports ties, if it's able to raise $12,000. That $12,000 is the amount Sweetwater Alliance still needs to raise.

For more information about the project or about Saturday's session, contact the 2-year-old nonprofit at 728-5392 or visit it on the Internet at

Donations to the living water garden can be mailed to Sweetwater Alliance, P.O. Box 3100, Duluth, MN 55803.

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