Golden Streets, the annual landscaping design contest for buildings in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, is back! This year, the Golden Triangle BID has partnered with Smithsonian Gardens to present the theme Pollinator Habitat and related programming.
Buildings around the central business district have created urban gardens with pollinator-friendly plants in more than 260 tree boxes, and Smithsonian Gardens has installed pollinator habitats in Longfellow and Monroe Parks.
Golden Streets Awards
Every year, the BID honors the best tree box designs through the Golden Streets awards program. The 2019 winners are:
Best in Design: The Brawner Company, 888 17th Street NW
Description: An alluring garden with a variety of pollinator plants and an impactful use of color, height and texture and handwritten signs with educational messages.
Plants used: Sunflowers, petunias, cosmos, zinnias, angelonia, gomphrena, impatiens, salvia, butterfly bush, lantana, black-eyed Susan vine (thunbergia), gazania, sage, dichondra, calibrachoa, black-eyed Susan -evergreen boxwood and false cypress.
Best in Sustainability: Rockrose Development Corp, 1900 M Street NW
Description: A beautiful garden filled with perennial plants that will have long lasting blooms for pollinators.
Plants used: Milkweed, beebalm, shasta daisy, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, blanket flower, coneflower (Echinacea) and boxwood.
Best New Entry: Cushman & Wakefield, 1999 K Street NW
Description: A vibrant garden with high impact color choices that incorporates water features to benefit pollinators.
Plants used: A vast array of plants — from tropicals such as cannas to annuals such as zinnias and salvia.
Best Tiny Tree Box: Tishman Speyer, 1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Description: A grand garden in a tiny tree box with an appealing combination of pollinator-friendly plants.
Plants used: Coneflower (echinacea), creeping Jenny and lavender.
The second-place winners are:
- Best in Design: WashREIT, 1627 I Street
- Best in Sustainability: Blake Real Estate, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue
- Best Tiny Tree Box: Tishman Speyer, 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue
Winners were selected by a panel of expert judges including:
- James Gagliardi, Supervisory Horticulturist, Smithsonian Gardens
- Luis Marmol, Horticulturist, Dumbarton Oaks
- Amelia Draper, Meteorologist, NBC4
Pollination is a vital stage in the life cycle of all flowering plants. The work of pollinators such as birds, bees, butterflies and beetles ensures full harvests of crops and contributes to healthy plants everywhere. The Golden Triangle BID is proud to help pollinators through this year’s Golden Streets program. For more information about pollinators, or to join the community of pollinators supporters, visit www.pollinator.org.
Pollinator Habitats in Longfellow and Monroe Parks
The pollinator habitats in Longfellow and Monroe Parks were designed by Smithsonian Gardens to attract pollinators and people alike. A diverse palette of plans with various flower shapes and colors caters to a wide variety of pollinators. Some plants were chosen to support pollinator lifecycles such as milkweed, the host plant for the monarch caterpillar. These spaces will become an oasis in the city for all local inhabitants from butterflies and beetles to birds and people.
Longfellow Park is located at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and M Street, and Monroe Park is at 20th and I Streets.
June 28, 12-2 p.m., Farragut Park (Connecticut Ave & K Street)
Terrific Tillandsia & Superb Succulents presented by Smithsonian Gardens at the Golden Triangle BID’s daylong outdoor experience, Farragut Fridays.
June 27, 12 – 2 p.m., Monroe Park (20th & I Streets)
Join us for the Golden Streets kick-off event. Find out the winners of this year’s Golden Streets awards, then enjoy a walking-tour of the winning tree box gardens, Longfellow and Monroe Parks, and the rain gardens. Rain date: June 28, 12 – 2 p.m., Farragut Park.
July 12, Sunset, Farragut Park (Connecticut Ave & K Street)
Create whimsical flower crowns and watch Mary Poppins Returns at Golden Cinema.
Sept 6, 12-2 p.m., Farragut Park (Connecticut Ave & K Street)
Learn about pollinators from Smithsonian Gardens and create an insect habitat with your own Bug B&B.
Sept 13, 12 – 1 p.m., Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Ave at 17th St NW)
Nature walk with artist Michael Nature walk with artist Michael Sherrill, Golden Triangle BID, and Smithsonian Gardens.
Self-Guided Walking Tour
Greening our public spaces is a priority for the Golden Triangle. Since 2012, the BID has converted more than 12,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete to green space and built five rain gardens to reduce pollution to waterways. Currently, the BID is adding ten more rain gardens to 19th Street. This year’s Golden Streets competition builds on our love for all things green with the theme of Pollinator Habitat. Take a self-guided tour to explore pollinator-friendly urban gardens across the neighborhood.
Find the boxes on the map, then visit and enjoy the incredibly landscaped tree boxes designed by the participants in the 2019 competition:
- 1. 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 2. Longfellow Park
- 3. M Street Rain Garden
- 4. Rhode Island Avenue Rain Garden
- 5. 1615 M Street NW
- 6. 1730 M Street NW
- 7. 1150 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 8. 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 9. 1130 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 10. 1725 DeSales Street NW
- 11. 1120 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 12. 1050 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 13. 1025 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 14. 1615 L Street NW
- 15. 1666 K Street NW
- 16. 1625 I Street NW
- 17. 1627 I Street NW
- 18. 888 17th Street NW
- 19. 800 17th Street NW
- 20. 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
- 21. 1730 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
- 22. 1776 G Street NW
- 23. 1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
- 24. 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
- 25. 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
- 26. 1775 I Street NW
- 27. 1750 K Street NW
- 28. 1776 K Street NW
- 29. 1800 K Street NW
- 30. 1801 K Street NW
- 31. 1800 M Street NW
- 32. 1330 Connecticut Avenue NW
- 33. 1220 19th Street NW
- 34. 1200 19th Street NW
- 35. 1900 M Street NW
- 36. 1146 19th Street NW
- 37. 1140 19th Street NW
- 38. 1120 19th Street NW
- 39. Rain Garden at 1899 L Street NW
- 40. 1899 L Street NW
- 41. Rain Garden at 1828 L Street NW
- 42. 1900 K Street NW
- 43. Monroe Park
- 44. 1999 K Street NW
- 45. Alexander Court
- 46. Lafayette Centre
- 47. 2000 M Street NW
- 48. 1919 M Street NW
- 49. 2001 M Street NW
- 50. Duke Ellington Park
Click to Enlarge
Buildings throughout the Golden Triangle BID are currently planting their tree box gardens for the 2019 Golden Streets competition. This year, through our partnership with Smithsonian Gardens, the tree boxes will feature pollinator-friendly plants. We chatted with James Gagliardi, a Golden Streets judge and a horticulturist with Smithsonian Gardens, about the importance of pollinators to our world and how you can help provide habitats.
1. Tell me a little bit about pollinator habitats and why they’re so important.
Nearly 90% of flowering plants rely on about 200,000 species of animal pollinators for fertilization. From butterflies and bees to flies and beetles, most pollinators are insects. But birds, bats, and small mammals also pollinate plants which is vital for a strong ecosystem. One in three bites of food you eat depends on pollinators. Pollination by honey bees and other species adds $24 billion in value to the agricultural crops in the United States each year.
2. How can everyday Washingtonians incorporate pollinator-friendly plants into their community?
Pollinators are an essential part of our gardens and ecosystems. However, stressors have been depleting habitats and populations. Gardeners can be part of the solution by creating landscapes that support pollinators of all kinds.When choosing the best combination of plants for the landscape, be sure that you plan for a garden that serves pollinators throughout the seasons. Start with plants for pollinators that emerge early in spring to shrubs with heavy activity in summer and then transition to a bustling fall when pollinators build their winter reserves. We must also consider the needs of pollinators throughout their entire life cycle. Creating a habitat means maintaining gardens that provide shelter and food.
3. As a veteran Golden Streets judge, what benefits do you see the program bring the neighborhood?
As a veteran judge and close neighbor to the Golden Triangle I recognize the beauty and benefit that the Golden Streets competition has brought to the local community. As a public garden professional I am glad to see a partnership with Smithsonian Gardens elevating the program. By adding the educational aspects and habitat theme to Golden Streets, the program becomes much more impactful for people, plants and pollinators.