Great New Rain Gardens Downtown

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“Dear PoPville,

I have watched this project develop over the past month. I had some reservations as recently as last week, but I have to say the finished product is a nice addition of open sidewalk space and inviting seating.”

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From a press release:

“The nation’s capital, which is already a leader in green infrastructure, will soon have four new rain gardens to add to its efforts in one of the most heavily trafficked neighborhoods.

The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District will hold a ribbon cutting for four new rain gardens that it designed and built at 19th and L Streets, N.W., at noon on May 21.

The gardens, which total 2,280 square feet, have vegetation that will attract butterflies and bees. Rain gardens mimic natural hydrology; they help divert water and keep it within the aquifer and out of streams and rivers.”

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12 Comment

  • That’s so cool – and these things really work. Are these things are cheaper than piping storm water to a treatment plant? If so, I hope they proliferate. They’re also a nice addition to the concrete jungle.

    I have a rain garden in my backyard thanks to DDOE and it works great. Getting it installed took time and effort. I also had to reinforce the downslope walls because they were built too steeply which caused erosion, but it works great now and the plants are quite pretty. People ask me about standing water and mosquitoes but the water drains into the soil very quickly.

    • Yes DDOE is a great source for everyone who wants to do their own raingarden or bayscaping: or call 202-535-2240

    • any chance you would be willing to share pictures?

  • They look nice. Honestly, I’m excited for the little sitting benches. Every bit of seating around here is on restaurant patios where you have to be a customer. These are perfect for when you get a cup of coffee, smoothie or whatever and just want to sit and enjoy for 10-15 minutes before going back to the office. Thanks Golden Triangle!

  • These are great!
    Also, these rain gardens are an important marekting tool to INFORM everyone about the problems with storm water runoff and hopefully encourage people in DC and surrounding areas to design and build their own rain-gardens and manage storm water runoff more effectively on peoples private properties.
    If everyone would do a little bit to decrease the runoff into our rivers and stream the Chesapeake bay and local rivers would benefit tremendously.
    It is very easy and fun to build a rain garden (just google it and you will find plenty of online tips and examples) and they tend to look great once the plants mature. If native plants are used such as Clethra Alnifolia and Itea Virginica they are also great for bees, butterflies and they attract hummingbirds. Just google “native plants DC or Maryland” and you will find a list of the most important native plants.
    Other great tools for reducing storm water runoff from private properties are rain barrels, which also help safe cost for water and green roofs – but these tend to cost a bit more of money.

    • You can get a rain barrel for $45 though DDOE. I had them come out and do an assessment (free) and because of the way my yard is sloped (toward the house instead of away) I didn’t have too many options. They referred me to a company and they are coming to install my rain barrel this Sunday!

  • So does surface water from the road & sidewalk actually flow somehow (vents that aren’t visible in the photos?) beneath the concrete curb into the garden area? Or is it just the rain falling directly onto the garden area that is used?

    • If you look behind the sign, there’s a curb cut that directs rain from the street gutter into the garden area. These gardens require periodic clean-up, since the rain will also flush litter in.

      • Yes, each of the four rain gardens has two of these curb cuts to divert the stormwater into the rain gardens. Really excited how well these have turned out.

  • Love these. The ones in NoMa are great

  • These are awesome!! More of these, please all over the city!!

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