In the mid-1990s, the city issued bonds to pay for improvements as preparations were made for the 1996 Centennail Olympic Games. A portion of the bond funds were designated for a study and work on storm water management issues in Grant Park. The study began in 1997 and took two years to complete. As consultants were analyzing the needs and developing strategies they incorporated a more wholistic approach and as a result, developed an updated master plan (based on the original development plan crafted the Olmsted Brothers Landscape Design).
Actual work on the Storm Water Project did not begin until 2002. The Conservancy was most fortunate to be a part of the overall management of the project and was able to utilize a grant from the Arthur Blank Family Foundation to add to and enhance the proposed work. Over a twelve month period contractors:
During this project, the Conservancy utilized grant dollars to enhance specific components of the work but also brought tens of thousands of dollars in donated services (landscape design, oversight, plantings, etc.) to expand the scope and results.