Golden Triangle BID Partners with Smithsonian Gardens to Create Pollinator-Friendly Gardens in the Heart of Washington, DC

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Golden Streets Annual Landscaping Design Contest Brings 260 Pollinator-Friendly Tree Box Gardens and Two Pollinator Habitats to the Central Business District

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 17, 2019) – The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) announces its partnership with Smithsonian Gardens to present the theme for this year’s Golden Streets landscaping design contest – Pollinator Habitat – and related programming.

Hosted by the BID since 2011, Golden Streets is an annual tree box landscaping contest for buildings located in the Golden Triangle area. The program enhances the vibrancy of the neighborhood during the summer months with beautifully designed tree box gardens for hundreds of thousands of workers, residents and visitors to enjoy.

This year, participating buildings created pollinator-friendly gardens in more than 260 tree boxes. In addition, Smithsonian Gardens installed pollinator habitats in Longfellow and Monroe Parks. These installations are also an extension of Smithsonian Garden’s new campus-wide exhibition Habitat. Through 14 distinct exhibits across the Smithsonian, the exhibition explores how protecting habitats protects life.

“Creating sustainable public spaces is a priority for the Golden Triangle,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “Since 2012, we have built six rain gardens that not only reduce pollution to waterways but also provide habitat for pollinators. This year, we will install ten new rain gardens and expand nine tree boxes on 19th Street. Our partnership with Smithsonian Gardens for the Golden Streets competition builds on our environmental stewardship efforts and our commitment to create a central business district of the future.”

“We are excited to partner with the Golden Triangle BID,” said James Gagliardi, Supervisory Horticulturist at Smithsonian Gardens. “Featuring a diverse palette of plants with various flower shapes and colors, the pollinator habitats in Longfellow and Monroe Parks are designed to attract pollinators and people alike. These spaces will become an oasis in the city for all local inhabitants from butterflies and beetles to birds and people.”

As in years past, the best tree box landscaping designs will be recognized through the Golden Streets Awards. The categories this year are: Best in Design, Best in Sustainability, Best Tiny Tree Box and Best New Entry.

The winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges, including Smithsonian Gardens horticulturist James Gagliardi, Amelia Draper of NBC 4, Bradford McKee of Landscape Architecture Magazine and Luis Marmol of Dumbarton Oaks. Judging will take place on June 24, with a rain date set for June 26.

The winners will be announced during a kick-off & awards ceremony on June 27 from 12 – 2 p.m. in Monroe Park (20th & I Streets). Speakers include Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID, Barbara Faust, Director of Smithsonian Gardens and Jeff Reinbold, Acting Superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks National Services. Attendees will learn from Smithsonian Gardens about great pollinator plants and create a seed ball kit to take home and distribute in their community. The event will conclude with a guided walking tour of the winning tree box gardens and pollinator habitats. A rain date is set for June 28 from 12 – 2 p.m. at Farragut Square (Connecticut Ave & K Street).

As part of the partnership with the BID for the Golden Streets contest, Smithsonian Gardens will present the following programming:

  • June 28, 12 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.
  • July 12, 7:30 p.m., Farragut Park (Connecticut Ave & K Street): Create your own flower crown, then watch Mary Poppins Returns at the BID’s free outdoor movie program, Golden Cinema.
  • September 6, 12 p.m., Farragut Park (Connecticut Ave & K Street): Learn about pollinators and other insects from Smithsonian Gardens and create an insect habitat with your own Bug B&B at the Golden Triangle BID’s daylong outdoor experience, Farragut Fridays.
  • September 13, 12 p.m., Renwick Gallery (1661 Pennsylvania Ave, NW): Enjoy a nature walk with Renwick artist Michael Sherrill, Golden Triangle BID, and Smithsonian Gardens and explore the landscaping in the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

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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: https://goldentriangledc.com/ and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


About Smithsonian Gardens
Since its inception in 1972, Smithsonian Gardens has extended the Smithsonian’s museum experience in a public garden setting, inspiring visitors with exceptional displays and educating them about horticulture, plants, the natural and build environments and artistic design. Its research and educational programs promote the ongoing development of collections of living plants, garden documentation and horticultural artifacts. Smithsonian Gardens is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information, visit the Smithsonian Gardens website.

Media Contacts
Golden Triangle BID: Samantha Schmieder, sschmieder@goldentriangledc.com
Smithsonian Gardens: Alexandria Fairchild, FairchildA@si.edu

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