Two Blocks of Central Business District Lined with Green Space
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 9, 2019) – The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) announced the completion of 11 new rain gardens and 10 expanded tree boxes along 19th Street, NW in an inaugural planting ceremony held today. The project adds more than 4,500 square feet of green space, lining two full blocks on one of the most vibrant corridors in Washington’s central business district.
The initiative is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Golden Triangle BID and the DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE). Additional support is provided by Pepco, Rockrose Development Corporation, The Tower Companies, Carr Properties, OTO Development, Wawa and Population Services International.
“We are proud to demonstrate that it is possible to retrofit a dense, built-out urban environment with green infrastructure,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “I would like to thank our partners, public and private, for their support of this project over the past years. The 19th Street rain gardens contribute to the environmental sustainability of the metropolitan area and continue to transform the Golden Triangle into the model central business district of the future.”
The new rain gardens can capture and filter up to 43,000 gallons of polluted runoff per storm — thereby reducing the risk of local flooding and helping to clean waterways.
“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.”
This project brings the natural environment directly to the thousands of workers, visitors, and nearby residents that walk down 19th Street every day. The BID has planted 33 trees and more than 400 native plants specially selected for their ability to absorb water and to survive long dry periods between storms. Several of the plants were chosen for their habitat value for pollinators like bees and butterflies.
This initiative is the latest in the BID’s history of green infrastructure projects. The BID previously built six rain gardens and converted 12,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete to green space. The implementation of these sustainability programs contributed to the BID’s LEED certification earlier this year. The Golden Triangle was awarded LEED Platinum — the highest level of LEED certification — by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first BID in the world to be certified through the LEED for Communities program.
The rain gardens — which are part of the Golden Triangle’s Gold Is Green program, the BID’s portfolio of sustainability initiatives — have been added to both sides of 19th Street, NW between K and M Streets. They join four existing rain gardens located at the corners of 19th and L Streets built by the BID in 2014. To highlight 19th Street as a green corridor, the Golden Triangle has installed Gold Is Green light pole banners and decals on trash and recycling receptacles. Additionally, five educational signs explaining how rain gardens work have been installed.
The 19th Street rain garden completion ceremony was attended by:
- Jack Evans, Ward 2 Member, Council of the District of Columbia
- 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
- Lori Reynolds, Chief, State Assistance and Partnership Branch, S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III
- David Velazquez, President and CEO, Pepco Holdings
- Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, US Green Building Council
- Scott Mead, Board President, Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
- Leona Agouridis, Executive Director, Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
Photos from the event can be found here.
About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) enhances Washington, DC’s central business district, the 43-square-block neighborhood stretching from The White House to Dupont Circle. Home to roughly 6,000 businesses, the BID provides a clean, safe, and vibrant environment for hundreds of thousands of workers, residents, and visitors, and encourages economic development through capital projects, public art, sustainability and events. The Golden Triangle has been awarded LEED Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification, by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first BID in the world to be certified through the LEED for Communities program. For more information, visit: goldentriangledc.com and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.