Our Town

City of Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota



The continual flooding of the Red River has proven disastrous to Fargo's 105,549 residents. To prevent further damage to property and infrastructure, the city constructed 20 drainage basins in 2000. Little consideration was given to the aesthetic and urban impacts, and while the basins have assuaged the effects of catastrophic rainfall events, they have also cut off neighborhoods and disrupted socializing.

To remedy these community problems, residents of a selected Fargo neighborhood will work with ecological artist Jackie Brookner to design and transform an existing stormwater detention basin into a neighborhood commons. Project activities will establish a model for an ongoing public art program in Fargo that will bring art, sculpture, landscape, and public space improvements into each of the 20 affected neighborhoods, many of which serve immigrant refugee populations and low- to moderate-income families. The City of Fargo's Planning and Engineering Departments and River Keepers will, in addition to launching the pilot project with Brookner, publish a step-by-step guide both to ensure the continuation of the initiative in Fargo and for use by other communities seeking to develop positive relationships between citizens and the watersheds in which they live.