City Officials and Golden Triangle BID Break Ground on Rain Gardens and Expanded Tree Boxes Along 19th Street

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 20, 2019) – The Golden Triangle Business Improvement (BID) today broke ground on 10 new rain gardens and nine expanded tree boxes along 19th Street, NW. The project will add more than 4,000 square feet of green space, lining two full blocks on one of the most vibrant corridors in the central business district.

The initiative is made possible through a unique public-private partnership. Funding comes from the Golden Triangle BID, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the DC Department of Energy & Environment. Additional support is provided by Pepco – An Exelon Company, Rockrose, The Tower Companies, Carr Properties, OTO Development, Wawa and Population Services International.

“Creating sustainable public spaces through our Gold Is Green program is a priority for us,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “Studies show that parks, gardens and urban green spaces support human health and wellness. We are thrilled to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new rain gardens today and look forward to seeing our vision for a model sustainable street come to life.”

The rain gardens reduce pollution to waterways by capturing stormwater and naturally filtering it before sending the excess that cannot be soaked up by the soil and plants into the sewer system. The filter capacity is 43,000 gallons (the equivalent of about 4,100 five minute showers) of runoff per storm.

“EPA is pleased to be a partner in this project that has much to offer for the area’s environment, economy and quality of life,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Controlling stormwater runoff through green infrastructure improves local waters and the Chesapeake Bay.”

While contributing to the environmental sustainability of the metropolitan area, the project will also enhance the beauty of 19th Street for thousands of workers and residents and millions of visitors to enjoy.

The rain gardens and expanded tree boxes will be added to both sides of 19th Street, NW between K and M Streets. They will hug four existing rain gardens located at the corners of 19th and L Streets, installed by the BID in 2014. The project will add abundant green space, native plants and biodiversity to a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly street with broad sidewalks and considerable outdoor café seating.

This initiative is the latest in the BID’s history of green infrastructure projects through the Gold Is Green program. Since 2012, the BID has built six rain gardens and has converted 12,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete to green space.

The 19th Street rain gardens groundbreaking ceremony was attended by:

  • Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Member, Council of the District of Columbia
  • Tommy Wells, Director, District Department of Energy & Environment
  • Jeff Marootian, Director, District Department of Transportation
  • Donna Cooper, Region President, Pepco – An Exelon Company

“DOEE is excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of Energy & Environment. “The BID has an impressive history of leading the way with these green infrastructure projects through their Gold Is Green program. They are the leading example of building stormwater projects in DC.”

“Pepco is committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for our customers and communities,” said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. “This includes partnering on projects and initiatives that reflect Pepco’s commitment to environmental stewardship and support the betterment of the communities where we live and work. We are pleased to partner with the Golden Triangle BID on the 19th Street Rain Gardens, a project that will help reduce water runoff and expand the tree canopy in Downtown, D.C. Pepco and the Golden Triangle BID have a long history of working together, and partnering with the BID’s Gold Is Green program and the installation of the 19th Street Rain Gardens was a natural fit.”

Installation of the rain gardens is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Trees and perrennials will be planted in the fall and flowering plants will be added next spring.


About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District

Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) works to enhance Washington, DC’s central business district, the 43-square-block neighborhood stretching from The White House to Dupont Circle. Home to more than 6,000 businesses, the BID’s primary focus is to provide a clean, safe, and vibrant environment for hundreds of thousands of area workers and residents, and millions of visitors, and to encourage economic development through capital improvement projects, public art, sustainability and events programs. For more information please visit: and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Media Contacts:

Mareike Finck                                                    Sam Schmieder
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