Golden Triangle Business Improvement District Earns Top Design Award from International Downtown Association for the Installation of the 19th Street Rain Gardens

Monday, October 5, 2020

Washington, D.C. (October 5, 2020) – The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) announces it is the recipient of a Pinnacle Award from the International Downtown Association (IDA) for its 19th Street Rain Gardens. The project included the installation of 11 bioretention rain gardens and 10 expanded tree boxes along the sidewalks of 19th Street, between K and M Streets, NW. This stretch of 19th Street is a lunchtime destination in DC’s central business district, with many restaurants and outdoor cafes.

IDA will award the Golden Triangle BID with the Pinnacle Award in the Planning, Design, and Infrastructure category, on the first day of its 66th Annual Conference and Marketplace virtual event, October 6-8, 2020. This award marks the third time the BID has been recognized by the international organization. It was honored in 2017 with IDA’s Excellence in Urban Place Management Award in the Downtown Leadership and Management category for its security and emergency preparedness program. And in 2018 the BID won The Pinnacle Award for its collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery for bringing art from the Burning Man festival to the streets of Washington, D.C.

The 19th Street rain gardens capture and treat on average 43,000 gallons of polluted water per storm, protecting the city’s streams and rivers. The gardens also act as a new home for 33 trees and 400 native plants that provide shade, air pollution filtration, and habitats for pollinators, including bees and butterflies. In all, the gardens replaced 4,500 square feet of impervious concrete with beautiful new green space for pedestrians to enjoy. Long term environmental benefits include reduction in local flooding, heat island impact and pressure on the city’s aging sewer infrastructure.

“This project demonstrates that retrofitting a highly visible public space can provide environmental benefits to the city while simultaneously making the street more beautiful and valuable for property owners, restaurants and retail,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “We hope locals and visitors will enjoy the beautiful rain gardens with pollinator-friendly plants, while many of our cultural institutions remain closed.”

The Golden Triangle BID team conducted an intentional and thorough outreach and education process for property owners and businesses on the many co-benefits of low impact development (LID) and how rain gardens function. The BID used the design and construction of this project as a tool for educating its members, the commercial real estate sector and major tenants on the process of retrofitting an urban space with green infrastructure, the environmental and aesthetic benefits and the ongoing maintenance needs.

The project completion was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony for stakeholders and the public and featured a luncheon for project partners and funders in December 2019.

“The Golden Triangle BID’s innovative project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The Golden Triangle BID has made an impact on its city and the people who live, work and play in the community, and demonstrates the continued commitment to champion livable, vital and thriving urban centers.”

The 19th Street rain gardens are a part of the Golden Triangle BID’s larger rain gardens initiative, which has helped the BID 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.

See the profile for this winning project on the IDA website here: https://downtown.org/innovative-projects/19th-street-rain-gardens/

A complete list of the 2020 Downtown Achievement Award winners is available online at www.downtown.org.

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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 44-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.

About IDA

IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit www.downtown.org.

Media Contacts:
Mittie Rooney, 301.602.8709, mrooney@axcomgroup.com
Debbi Mayster, 240.988.6243, dmayster@axcomgroup.com

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