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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Niles partnership transforms lot into thriving community park to capture stormwater

An abandoned bank building and parking lot in Niles is now an attractive community space, thanks to a partnership between the MWRD and the village of Niles.

The Golf Mill Stormwater Park was formally completed in April 2023, as project partners from the MWRD, the village of Niles and Niles Park District planted trees to commemorate Arbor Day to remind us of the value of green infrastructure. The $11 million project, for which the MWRD committed $2 million, provides flood relief for 100 structures in a 200-acre area on Niles’ northwest side. The site can store 4.5 million gallons of stormwater while expanding and improving Golf Mill Park with new amenities designed to take on more stormwater.

This project received the 2023 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.


More information:

Press release

 Golf Mill Stormwater Park – before

Partnership builds resilience

The project, at 9101 Greenwood Ave., came into fruition through the MWRD’s Stormwater Partnership Program. Each year, the MWRD calls for governmental entities to apply for assistance on local stormwater management projects that are conceptual or ready for construction. In 2018, the village of Niles stepped forward with the Golf Mill Project and an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) was signed between the MWRD and Niles. The work in Niles was one of 14 projects selected in 2018 by the MWRD for our Stormwater Partnership Program.

 Golf Mill Stormwater Park


Storm relief is on the way

Construction includes surface and underground stormwater storage areas near Greenwood Avenue to provide flood relief to nearby residential and commercial properties. Construction crews installed 4,000 feet of storm sewer as large as 48 inches in diameter. They ran it below Church Street to Maryland Street and across Milwaukee Avenue to collect stormwater from Callero and Courtland drives. In addition to permeable pavers along Church Street and the park, the project incorporates new landscaping, lighting, an electric vehicle charging station, public art, a walking path, a festival ground area and a water feature connected to the stormwater detention facility.

An agreement all can support

A primary goal of the MWRD's partnership programs is to provide equal opportunities for businesses and workers throughout the county. That is why partners, like the village of Niles, must include affirmative action, labor, and public bid provisions in their construction contracts. Additionally, the village of Niles and the MWRD will continue to oversee the completed project to ensure it provides stormwater benefits throughout its life.

 Golf Mill Stormwater Park – ribbon cutting
From L to R: Niles Village Manager Joseph La Margo, former Niles Mayor Robert Callero, Trustee Dean Strzelecki, Niles Park District President Scott O’Brien, Niles Mayor George D. Alpogianis, MWRD Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos, Niles Park District Commissioner Dennis O’Donovan, MWRD Vice President Patricia Theresa Flynn, Niles Trustee John Jekot and Niles Park District Commissioner George VanGeem cut the ribbon on the new Golf Mill stormwater park.