The Mirabeau Water Garden will become a campus for water research, demonstrating best practices for construction and urban water management in the city's lowest-lying and most vulnerable neighborhoods. The site is located at a 25-acre parcel in the Filmore neighborhood of New Orleans, between Bayou St. John and the London Avenue Canal. The land was donated to the City of New Orleans by the Congregation of St. Joseph on the condition that it be used to enhance and protect the neighborhood to “evoke a huge systemic shift in the way humans relate with water and land.”
The project builds upon design work from the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan to improve safety and investments by alleviating flooding and subsidence. The project will divert stormwater from the city’s drainage system, store and clean up to 10 million gallons of diverted stormwater, allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground, capture runoff from neighboring streets, and provide an educational and recreational amenity that demonstrates how natural processes can be harnessed to enable more sustainable forms of water management. As a demonstration project, Mirabeau Water Garden will be a model for other open spaces and institutional sites throughout the city and region.
The initial phase of this project is funded by a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and the second phase is the flagship project of the Gentilly Resilience District, which leverages funding from HUD's National Disaster Resilience Competition award to the City of New Orleans.