ST. CLOUD - St. Cloud State University is transforming one of its parking lots into a pollution reduction project to help protect Mississippi River water quality.

A $196,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will transform the Q-Lot, which is south of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

The grant go towards building a retention pond, reconstructing the outlet to the river and will put in 6,000-7,000 native plants. The project will prevent and possibly eliminate untreated storm water runoff before it enters the river.

Q-Lot makes up eight acres of land. Currently the waterproof surfaces don't allow for rainfall or snow to soak in the ground. The water runs off directly into the storm sewers which flow straight into the river.

Construction is expected to go until June with planting starting on June 8th.