A Tale of Stem and Stone: Combining Conventional and Bioengineered Solutions to Retrofit a Suburban Stormwater Channel to Achieve Elegant Flood Resilience

Presenters: Donald W. Baker, PE, DWRE & Brian W. C Sturm, PLA, ASLA, LEED-AP

Effective and beautiful urban channel stormwater management need not be a tale of stem or stone, but of both. In this channel flooding abatement case study, you’ll learn how the City of Prairie Village, Kansas, solved its two-decade localized flooding problem only after giving up attempts to move the flood downstream, instead opting to lower and pacify it by combining the best of conventional structural elements and bioengineering vegetative methods. To top it off, they involved affected residents in an innovative public-involvement plan to allow them to choose their own landscape plantings.

Learning Objectives: 
  • As the result of taking this course/class the learner should be able to identify different classes of vegetation suitable for channel stabilization based upon Manning's roughness coefficient.
  • As the result of taking this course/class the learner should be able to list a minimum of 3 plant species suitable for channel stabilization in an ornamental landscape environment.
  • As the result of taking this course/class the learner should be able to recognize general opportunities in suburban and urban stormwater control situations to combine conventional engineering structural stormwater techniques with bioengineered vegetated stormwater management techniques.

Brian W. C. Sturm

Presented by Donald W. Baker, PE, DWRE – Owner and Principal, WATER RESOURCES SOLUTIONS & Brian W. C Sturm, PLA, ASLA, LEED-AP – Senior Landscape Architect, Landworks Studio

Since his childhood in southeastern Colorado when his mom was constantly yelling at him to quit wasting water and turn off the garden hose, Don Baker has been fascinated by the hows and whys of water flows and river patterns. A registered water-resources engineer in 11 states, adjunct professor of engineering at University of Missouri at Kansas City, and holder of the prestigious Diplomate, Water Resource Engineering, from the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, Baker is principal and owner of Water Resources Solutions. He and the WRS team have built a dozen similar physical models.

Brian W.C. Sturm is a senior landscape architect with Landworks Studio, a private landscape architecture and planning firm based in Olathe, Kansas. His projects range from the master planning of municipal parks, to site specific planting design for commercial and residential development, to engineered water quality BMPs for public infrastructure. He is a professional landscape architect licensed in the state of Kansas with over 15 years of experience and has managed projects in 8 different states from California to North Carolina. He earned his Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the College of Environment + Design at the University of Georgia.