Countdown to Earth Day: You're Invited to Tour an Amazing $1.7 Million Aurora Rain Garden Project

Countdown to Earth Day: You’re Invited to Tour an Amazing $1.7 Million Aurora Rain Garden Project


  • This month, Kane County Connects will highlight the organizations that are working to conserve and protect our local environment. Check out this “Countdown to Earth Day” feature every day from now until April 22 to learn more about the people and projects that are helping to improve sustainability throughout the Fox Valley.

Join the city of Aurora and the staff of WBK Engineering from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, for a behind-the-scene tour of RiverEdge Park, an 11.3-acre, master-planned outdoor destination located on the banks of the Fox River in downtown Aurora IL.

The park includes of an outdoor theater featuring world-class amenities such as sound and lighting instruments, a mix tower, concessions facilities and site utilities. Additionally, the park includes a recreational, multi-use trail, concrete plazas and walks, native landscaping and 40,500 square feet of permeable paver plaza.

The park was built using sustainable design practices and included the restoration of the Fox River shoreline and Blues Island providing a collection of amenities for both active and passive recreation opportunities.

The park opened to the public in June of 2013 and has become a popular entertainment destination, attracting 100,000 patrons from the region in the summer of 2015. The Park was designed by the Aurora Park Collaborative.

rain garden

As part of Aurora’s green component to their Long Term Control Plan for CSO control, the city of Aurora built 112 individual rain gardens at 17 city intersections in 2014. This $1.7 million project is funded by the largest IEPA Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant to-date and relies on Aurora’s sandy soils to provide significant infiltration/volume control.

Design considerations included multiple engineered soil mix pilots, traffic operations design, ADA curb ramp upgrades, neighborhood-based landscape architecture restoration plans, provision for future performance monitoring,  storm water quantity and quality modeling, routine and non-routine rain garden maintenance, and integrated public informational meetings.

The incorporation of green features into this project has resulted in an aesthetically impactful community amenity for the city of Aurora. Strand and project partner, Hey and Associates, designed Aurora’s rain gardens.

Aurora Rain Garden Tour

  • Who: Presenters are WBK staff; Eric Schoney and the city of Aurora
  • What: A program on “Aurora Sustainable Design – RiverEdge Park & Rain Gardens”
  • When: noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2016
  • Where: Aurora’s RiverEdge Park 360 N. Broadway /Route 25, Aurora IL. Parking is available for the tour behind the Dunham Pavilion, just north of the park.
  • For More Info: Visit Hey and Associates page