Golden Triangle BID and DDOE Celebrate Completion of Rain Garden
Release Date: Wednesday, June 20th 2012
DDOE and the Golden Triangle BID Celebrate the Completion of a Rain Garden to Reduce Storm Water Runoff
Replacing Impervious Concrete with Soil, Plants to Capture Pollutants and Protect DC Rivers
Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) today celebrates the completion of the BID’s first rain garden or biocell. Replacing a concrete traffic island at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue and M Street northwest, the new biocell provides pervious green space – soil and plants – that capture and filter storm water otherwise bound for Washington’s rivers.
In a ceremony this morning, District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Christophe Tulou along with Greg Meyer, Chairman of the Golden Triangle BID’s Board of Directors and a Senior Vice President at Brookfield Properties, ceremoniously added the garden’s final two plants to applause from the gathered crowd.
Golden Triangle staff took the initiative to explore the viability of a biocell at this location and applied for a grant from DDOE. The local agency allocates a portion of the Environmental Protection Agency’s grant funds for nonpoint source water pollution as identified in Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.
“Once again, today the Golden Triangle is a leader,” said Mr. Meyer. “We are pleased to be the first BID to install a rain garden in Washington. This streetscape improvement is not only aesthetically pleasing, but reduces storm water runoff, which is a major issue for the health of our rivers.”
“Projects like this rain garden – transforming impervious hardscape into a garden that captures storm water, reduces the heat island affect and adds green space – are the type we need more of across the city,” said Director Tulou.
“The completion of this rain garden is another component of our Golden Streets initiative,” said BID Executive Director Leona Agouridis. “In addition to the important storm water retention this biocell offers, it adds aesthetic appeal to the neighborhood much like the Connecticut Avenue median project.”
Connecticut Avenue was transformed last fall with the installation by the District Department of Transportation of a landscaped median down the middle of the key thoroughfare. The median replaced asphalt with 3,000 square feet of green space. The effect is visually appealing, environmentally friendly and provides a safer means of crossing the busy boulevard.
In recent months the BID has also held a cell phone recycling event, installed a series of bike racks and added 10 recycling bins co-located with BID trash cans in a pilot program. “Flowers for Phones” is the annual event encouraging proper cell phone disposal. Retired cell phones and chargers are collected over two days in a central BID location in exchange for a potted plant. Within the BID is parking for 700 bicycles in addition to four public artworks that function as bike racks. Most recently, a work called Exploration was installed near the National Geographic headquarters building. Additional recycle bins to the initial 10 will be added throughout the BID over the coming months.
A commitment to sustainability is evident across the neighborhood as the Golden Triangle boasts 23 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings including several with the highest (LEED Platinum) distinction.