City To Honor Edward Silberman For Water Quality Legacy

Next week the City of Golden Valley will honor Edward Silberman, a resident who strived for better water management practices and improved water quality for all of us.

The City will unveil a memorial plaque for Silberman during a dedication ceremony Thursday, July 19, 2:30 pm, at Schaper Park, 631 Ottawa Ave N. Schaper Park is an important location in Silberman’s legacy, with several features that provide flood control and protect the water quality of neighboring Sweeney Lake and Bassett Creek.

Leadership And Commitment

Edward Silberman

Edward Silberman

Golden Valley and regions beyond owe a debt of gratitude to Silberman, whose leadership and commitment unified professionals and citizens in the quest for improved flood control and water quality.

From 1973–2000, Silberman represented Golden Valley on the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC), where he was instrumental in developing long-term storm water management solutions.

“He was forthright and insightful,” says Pat Schutrop, who was the recording administrator for BCWMC when Silberman was commissioner. “As the watershed commissioner representing Golden Valley, he was committed, genuine, and an ethically respected person.”

Silberman’s water management solutions included a major flood control project that reduced damages by $1 million per year, implementation of some of Minnesota’s first water quality treatment facilities, and promotion of measures to preserve the natural setting and aesthetics in watershed projects. Silberman also championed public involvement in the decision-making process, successfully melding bureaucratic and public input on such projects.

His passion for engineering and hydrology fueled a 40-year civic career following his active duty with the US Army and Army Corps of Engineers during WWII. As co-developer and later director of the University of Minnesota’s St Anthony Falls Laboratory from 1946–1974, he harnessed the power of the Mississippi River.

flood storage pond

This portion of the pond at Schaper Park was excavated from the upland to create additional flood storage to protect life and property.

During that time Silberman also taught and mentored future engineers at the University of Minnesota, retiring as a full professor in 1981 and continuing as an adjunct professor until 1988. As professor emeritus, he mentored graduate students on a weekly basis until months before his death in 2011 at age 97.

Without storm water management practices championed by pioneers like Silberman, flooding and polluted lakes and streams would be the norm rather than the exception. His work ethic and depth of commitment to the environment make him a true community leader and inspire others to continue his legacy.

This entry posted in | Community | Physical Development | Surface Water Management