Project Portfolio

Regenerative Urban Bio-Basin System

Public-nonprofit project transforms a neglected city water-detention basin into a thriving member of the local ecosystem.

Prescott, Arizona

Skywater’s Strategy

A partnership between the City of Prescott and local non-profit watershed steward Prescott Creeks Preservation Association targeted an existing, weed-choked detention basin at a busy city intersection for bio-remediation. Funded by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) as part of its Nonpoint Source Pollution Reduction Plan, the project called for design of green infrastructure to remove and/or reduce non-point source pollution and to improve the water quality of nearby Watson Lake and its tributaries.

We created a passive rainwater harvesting system of bio-retention basins and interconnected swales to transform this penned-in environmental eyesore into a regenerative ecological tool. The site’s high traffic made it a natural model for public outreach and education. Its revitalization included park-like seating and pedestrian-friendly viewpoints, making it an import part of neighborhood building.


Project: Whipple Street Bio-Basins

Average annual precipitation: 13 in. (historically, 19 in.)

Capture surface: adjacent streets, parking lots and detention basin.

System and storage: bio-remediation swale network.

Pre-filtration: rock-lined sediment basins, soil and bio-basin plantings.



Designer, construction observation: Barnabas Kane, for Skywater and T. Barnabas Kane & Assoc.
Architect: Weddle Gilmore Black Rock Studio
Installers: Prescott Creeks Preservation Assn., City of Prescott
Volunteers: Hire-A-Vet, Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI), The River Network, AmeriCorps



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