Water Towns

This project is a collaboration between the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC), Lawrence Tech University, and several municipalities within the Clinton River watershed. CRWC's WaterTowns program is a community-based initiative designed to help towns and cities in the watershed leverage the assets of Clinton River and Lake St. Clair for water-oriented community development.

In 2014 CRWC partnered with the Great Lakes Stormwater Management Institute of Lawrence Tech University to provide conceptual green infrastructure plans for downtown and municipal areas of three community partners in close proximity to the Clinton River or its tributaries - Clarkston, Rochester, and Clinton Township Lawrence Tech and CRWC representatives participated in three meetings per community partner to refine the conceptual plans and make sure the vision met municipal goals. The final meeting was a presentation at an open forum municipal council meeting which included a PowerPoint presentation and two 24” by 36” community vision boards documenting key design components.  

The project continued in 2015 with three new communities in the planning phase: Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights, and Utica. The communities from 2014 are continuing to bring the some of the visions to construction.

Joint Press Release on Project  

Clarkston Green Infrastructure Rendering

Existing Conditions:

Clarkston before


Clarkston After

Six small sites in downtown Clarkston were selected for this project. The sites form a link from the north to south side of downtown through pedestrian pathways and Depot Park. The alley pictured below is the area with the largest potential for improvement by disconnecting roof drains and reduction of impermeable surfaces. For more details about these improvements see the posters and presentation linked below.

Clarkston Poster

Clarkston Presentation

Alley Conversion


Clarkston before Render


Clarkston after Render


In Rochester, the site selected was under Main Street bridge by the Clinton River. CRWC already has been developing this site as part of their WaterTowns initiative, adding a kayak locker and launch in the park. The main issues addressed at this site were runoff from the bridge overpass and how to incorporate placemaking features. To see details and site plan follow the poster and presentation links below.

Rochester Posters

Rochester Presentation

Rooftop Runoff Collection


Rochester Before Render


Rochester After Render


The site for Clinton Township was the park surrounding the Civic Center. Many areas on this site could be converted from existing turf to native grasses and trees. These conversions would help reduce stormwater runoff, improve carbon sequestration, and reduce maintenance once it is established. To see the full site plan and recommendations follow the poster and presentation links below.

Clinton Posters

Clinton Township Presentation


Project Updates:

One of the rain gardens from the visioning was selected by a boyscout for his Eagle Scout project.

News Article:  http://candgnews.com/news/eagle-scout-project-aims-make-civic-center-more-enviro-friendly-83470

Additional progress on the rain garden and the rest of the vision will be posted when it occurs.


Turf to Native Prairie Conversions


Clinton Before Render


Clinton After Render


Rochester Hills multiple municipal sites selected for this project. The sites were: the City Offices, Clinton River Watershed Council Offices, Borden Park, and Yates Park.

Rochester Hills Poster

Existing Condition at Borden Park:

Rochester Hills after render

Artistic Rendering with Green Infrastructure:

stormwater - borden2

Sterling Heights selected Dodge Park and the Sterling Heights Senior Center for green infrastructure visioning. 

Sterling Heights GI Poster


Sterling Heights before render

Artistic Rendering:

Sterling Heights after render

Multiple small sites through downtown Utica were selected for green infrastructure visioning. 

Utica Poster


  Utica after render

Artistic Rendering:

Utica before render