Duke Ellington Park

Transforming an underutilized park to a sustainable gathering place.

The Golden Triangle, under a grant from the DC Department of Energy and Environment, completed the first phase of a redesign and renovation of Duke Ellington Park at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and M Street, NW.

The project included the installation of permeable pavers, new seating and landscaping, and a sustainable rainwater harvesting system.

By capturing stormwater runoff from New Hampshire Avenue and surrounding sidewalks, an underground system retains and treats stormwater runoff, before pumping the water back above ground to nourish the plant life in the park.

The system will help to minimize the amount of stormwater runoff that flows into DC’s wastewater treatment center and create flourishing rain gardens in the process.

CallisonRTKL, a leading sustainability architecture firm with a DC office a block away from the park, created a concept plan to activate and expand the usable footprint of the park.

Design Green LLC developed the environmentally sustainable elements of the park including the stormwater retention and rainwater harvesting system.

The 4,575-square-foot park captures and treats water flowing from more than 10,000 square feet of existing untreated impervious surface, including adjacent roadway and sidewalk storm water runoff. The runoff enters the underground rainwater harvesting system through the permeable pavers now covering the park or via the rain garden. The water then passes through crushed stone to filter out impurities before being channeled through a piping system to a 2,000 gallon underground tank. Water collected in the tank is filtered again before being used to irrigate the park’s trees.

Stay tuned for a second phase of the Duke Ellington Park project, which will include extending the existing sidewalk along M Street and realigning the M Street bike lane adjacent to the park. It would also include installation of additional rain gardens along the 21st Street sidewalk, enlarging existing tree boxes along the New Hampshire Avenue and M Street sidewalks, and redesigning the landscaping within the northern portion of the park. The Golden Triangle will be working with the DC Departments of Parks and Recreation, and Transportation on Phase II of the project.

The BID’s transformation of Ellington Park helped the Golden Triangle achieve LEED Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification, from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first BID in the world to be certified through the LEED for Communities program.

Learn more about the project and ribbon cutting in the press release.