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Technical Tours

LID & Comprehensive Watershed Management Tour (3.0 PDHs)

Sunday, July 19, 2020 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

A primary goal of District of Columbia citywide Sustainability Plan is to reduce the volume of stormwater runoff as well as improve the quality of waterways to standards suitable for fishing and swimming. Innovative and progressive regulatory mechanisms (driven by development) and voluntary Low Impact Development (LID) incentive programs have been successfully implemented, ranging from a suite of Riversmart programs and green roof rebates to free tree planting and Stormwater Trading Credits.

The tour will visit the United States National Arboretum, which is a public garden, research facility, and urban green space located in Northeast Washington, DC.

While visiting the Arboretum, you will tour the Springhouse Run Project. It began as an effort to restore Hickey Run, known as the largest source of toxic pollution to the Anacostia. Hickey enters the Arboretum as a storm sewer under New York Avenue, draining a large industrial and residential area to the north, including the enormous Metrobus service yard on Bladensburg Road. A large facility to remove toxics and trash from the water right where it enters the arboretum was built with EPA and city funds.

But removal of those pollutants revealed a major raw sewage signal that was ultimately traced to many illicit connections of sewage lines to the storm sewer. While that was being addressed, it was decided to turn efforts to Springhouse Run, a major tributary of Hickey that also comes into the arboretum as a storm sewer under New York Avenue. The idea was to learn from Springhouse and go back to Hickey with the lessons learned.

Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C. sits on a historic hill overlooking the monuments of the nation’s capital. The largest Catholic Cemetery in D.C., it consists of approximately 80 acres of total area, with 10 acres of impervious surface, mostly roads. Tetra Tech, The Nature Conservancy, and the associated entity District Storm Water LLC have implemented a multi-phase approach to generate storm water retention credits (SRC) for Mount Olivet Cemetery. This is a collaborative design-build project between EQR and Tetra Tech.

The cemetery is subject to substantial storm water fees under the 2013 Storm Water Regulations of the District of Columbia mainly due to a large amount of impervious cover on the cemetery site. The age of the cemetery also played a part in how they were impacted by those regulatory fees. It’s old and much of the existing infrastructure is unable to adequately handle the storm water volume on site.

The project installed five areas of bioretention facilities that can provide 133,500 gallons of storm water retention volume. The primary function of the bioretention facilities is to slow the velocity, treat and convey storm water.

The Alger Park Stream Restoration Project began in 2011, at the request of residents in the Hillcrest neighborhood in SE, DC. Staff from the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) met with community members to tour the stream that runs through Alger Park. The unnamed stream is part of the Texas Ave sub-watershed of the Anacostia River in the District of Columbia. The stream was in a highly degraded state with little base flow, a highly incised channel with vertical stream banks over 20 ft. tall, and few areas for in-stream habitat. The watershed area that drains into Alger Park is 32 acres in total. Overall, 32% of the area that drains into Alger Park is impervious cover. The watershed and Alger Park itself are steeply sloped and with Christiana soils. As the neighborhood developed, stormwater from roadways was directed into the park and stream valley via five stormwater outfalls. With the installation of the outfalls and increasing impervious area throughout the drainage basin, erosion rates along the stream banks continued to rise.

The Alger Park Stream Restoration Project is a model for urban stream restoration because it combined public and private space LID in the upland areas with two different types of stream restorations in the stream valley to maximize the restoration opportunities the site presented to ensure environmental uplift.

Canal Park is one of the first parks built as part of the District’s Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. A model for sustainable design, the park is a candidate for LEED Gold certification and pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). The park was completed in 2012 and consists of three linear blocks designed by OLIN. The linear rain garden, reminiscent of the Washington Canal that ran through the city in the late 1700’s, is a major design element that evokes the history of the area.

Canal Park maintains an extensive storm water collection and reuse system. One hundred percent of the water from the site and surrounding streets is collected in bioswales, tree pits, and rain gardens, and is channeled into two large underground cisterns. This satisfies 95 percent of the park’s water needs and creates a neighborhood-scale stormwater management system. There are also 28 underground geothermal wells that provide energy for park utilities and reduce energy consumption by 37 percent. Canal Park is a model for how to use green infrastructure to transform a former brownfield into a vital and sustainable urban environment.

The Yards Park is the green jewel in the new Capitol Riverfront redevelopment neighborhood near the Washington Nationals Stadium. The site, along the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, was originally a manufacturing annex of the Washington Navy Yard. Many old warehouse buildings surround the park, contributing an industrial character to the area. Major features like the riverfront boardwalk and 200-foot steel pedestrian bridge are links in the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail system. Designed by M. Paul Friedberg and Partners, the park has become an important catalyst in the emerging network of D.C. riverfront public space by promoting an accessible and economically viable waterfront. By celebrating water in its many forms, the Yards Park is a wonderful example of how a collection of large scale public landscape rooms with different characters and uses can create a sense of place. Each landscape feature transitions into the next with a considered focus on materials and plantings that complement their riverside context.

The tour will end at the DC Water Headquarters. The new headquarters embraces the future in sustainable design and construction. Heat from the pumping station’s wastewater treatment operations help condition the new building; a 30,000-gallon cistern captures rainwater for reuse onsite; and tinted glass sun shades reduce energy use while maximizing daylighting and the panoramic river views.

DC Neighborhood LID Retrofit Tour  (3.0 PDHs)

Sunday, July 19, 2020 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm  

The District of Columbia has a progressive history of regulating and incentivizing Low Impact Development (LID) and is using it as a supplement or substitute for “gray infrastructure” as a part of the District’s Long‐Term Control Plans. The tour will explore successes and challenges of intensive urban and neighborhood retrofits using a range of LID techniques including permeable surfaces, bioretention, rain gardens, and stream restoration. The projects have resulted in multiple community/neighborhood benefits including improved water quality, reduction of flood risk, recreational opportunities, increased property values, and increased habitat.

Rock Creek Park is a 1,754-acre federal park within the center of Washington, D.C. In the 1860’s sanitary and living conditions in Washington were so poor that President Lincoln requested a search for green space with fresh air to site a new presidential mansion. Rock Creek was chosen and although the mansion was never built, the president’s surveyor seeded the idea that Rock Creek become a public park. Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. was the landscape architect for the park (1900-1918) and carried on his father’s ideals of the City Beautiful movement. The design of the park coincided with the 1901 Plan for Washington, D.C., designed by Olmsted, Burnham, McKim and Saint-Gauden, and a redesign of 1791 L'Enfant Plan, which marked the nation's first attempt at city planning.

The purpose of the Carter Barron stormwater retrofit project is to retrofit an 11-acre site with green infrastructure to restore natural hydrology, prevent flooding and erosion, and protect habitat.

The goal of the project is to fully retrofit the targeted (11)-acre impervious area with green infrastructure to restore natural hydrology, prevent erosion, reduce stormwater pollution and protect natural habitat.

The (30)-acre project area is located in northern Washington, D.C. adjacent to the 16th Street Heights neighborhood. The Rock Creek Park Tennis Center sits at the headwaters of the Blagden Run watershed, a subwatershed of Rock Creek.

The Project Area has been identified as a priority restoration area by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Park Service and DOEE. During rain events, stormwater swiftly leaves the project area from five outfalls and erodes the headwater spring areas, lowers the groundwater table, and compromises habitat.

Four distinct gullies have been created by stormwater from outfalls draining the project area. Stormwater also leaves the project area through overland flow and a storm sewer that drains directly to Blagden Run.

The targeted  (11)-acre impervious area has no stormwater controls because it was developed prior to the promulgation of the District's stormwater regulations. By retrofitting the existing impervious cover and managing the stormwater on site, project partners will be able to restore the natural hydrology of our headwater streams.

The RiverSmart Washington project will be installing practices to reduce stormwater volume runoff in two neighborhoods in northwest Washington. These practices include permeable paving in alleys, roads, and parking lanes, and rain gardens in tree areas and curb bumpouts. The stormwater flow will be monitored and measured to calculate the stormwater runoff reduction. We will visit the MacFarland site covers the areas of Georgia Avenue, Iowa Avenue and Allison Street NW in the Combined Sewer Systems (CSS) area.

Montgomery County LID Retrofit Tour  (3.0 PDHs)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The Breewood Tributary drains 63 acres of highly developed urban area. Most of the area is single family homes, but there are also apartment buildings, town houses, schools, etc. It receives most of its flow from four storm drains that convey stormwater runoff from University Boulevard, Breewood Road, Tenbrook Drive and the surrounding areas. Much of the runoff from these storm drains had no stormwater management, except for the outfall that drains from Northwood High School.

Because of this, Breewood had eroding stream banks, exposed sewer lines, a large amount of untreated impervious area, fish blockages, and land uses associated with fertilizer and pesticide use.

Consequently, the tributary experienced frequent high flow rates during storms that continued to erode the stream channel resulting in high amounts of sediment washing out of the Breewood Tributary and impacting stream condition downstream in Sligo Creek.

Montgomery County has been working on restoration efforts in the Anacostia for decades. In the 2010 permit, the Breewood Tributary was singled out as a site to do a maximum LID retrofit and stream restoration approach, working on both public and private property across a large area.

A wide suite of BMPs will be showcased including roadside rain gardens, permeable pavement, a treatment train which captures and treats water in a variety of ways before it reaches the newly restored stream as well as providing information on the monitored results.

Additional projects along the Dennis Avenue Corridor include managing water in such a way that it created a new community amenity and social hub. The tour will cover the challenges of retrofitting in a built environment. The Dennis Avenue Corridor projects include various tree boxes, swale curb extensions, bioretention walls, step pool storm conveyance systems, parking pads and bioswales with mini-pools.

As a part of Montgomery County’s effort to protect our waters, Sligo Middle School was selected for a county facilities project to help reduce stormwater pollution that drains into our streams. County Facilities projects generally involve installing small-scale stormwater practices to capture water from rooftops, roadways, and sidewalks during storms. County Facilities projects incorporate many of the same practices as Green Streets projects.

Residents surrounding the Sligo Middle School project area can also help reduce stormwater pollution by installing stormwater practices on their property through the County's Targeted RainScapes Neighborhood program.

We will also visit Forest Estates, which was the first LID neighborhood retrofit in the area. Residents within the Forest Estates project area can also help reduce stormwater pollution by installing a stormwater practices on their property through the County's Targeted RainScapes Neighborhood program.

This project is part of the Montgomery County’s need to meet Federal and State mandates to control and treat stormwater runoff. The goal of this project was to reduce stormwater runoff, minimize pollution, promote infiltration, and restore stream conditions in the Northwest Branch, the Anacostia River, and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Lewisdale Elementary School Stormwater Retrofit is a bioretention retrofit project that was constructed through a collaborative effort between the Clean Water Partnership (CWP) and the Prince George’s County Public School (PGCPS) system. It is part of a comprehensive effort to provide a platform and demonstration projects for the Treating and Teaching grant program, a collaborative effort between the Anacostia Watershed Society, Prince George's County, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Clean Water Partnership, conducted by local environmental education non-profit organizations throughout the school system.

The University of Maryland at College Park includes several LID retrofit projects that were constructed as part of research conducted by the Clark School of Engineering or that were integrated into the design of new buildings on campus. The tour will visit a near-zero runoff rain garden/water harvesting system at the School of Public Health, a 20-year old research bioretention site and facilities that were designed as part of the infrastructure at the new Iribe Computer Sciences and the Fischell Bioengineering Buildings.

Neighborhood Restoration – Inter-agency Coordination and RainScapes  (3.0 PDHs)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Sligo Park Hills is one of the earliest neighborhoods developed in Montgomery County, and is known for very active resident participation. The steepness of roads in the neighborhood, a lack of an existing drainage system, flooding concerns, and on-going erosion have made this neighborhood a target for a focused effort by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

Sligo Park Hills is very close to Sligo Creek. The neighborhood has no existing stormwater or drainage infrastructure prior to recent Green Street and RainScapes efforts. Stormwater management efforts in this community are part of the ongoing effort to restore and repair conditions in Sligo Creek and the Anacostia watershed.

In a neighborhood that is already developed, opportunities for retroactively adding stormwater management are constrained by the existing infrastructure and property boundaries. Thus, when a comprehensive study is undertaken, opportunities are identified on both public and private land in order to determine the maximum amount of runoff reduction that can be accomplished.

The goal in Sligo Park Hills is to encourage between 10% - 30% of neighborhood residents to participate in installing a project, or between 24 and 72 homes. Sligo Park Hills is at a 4% participation level now including installations and RainScapes Rewards rebate projects.

Sligo Park Hills is an example of extreme challenge to retrofit in an older neighborhood. The steep slopes and a narrow right-of-way, increased the technical difficulty in design and installation of LID BMPs; the resultant treatment train approach successfully combined LID tools to manage runoff in the right of way, provide needed safe street parking and provide walking space for the residents.

The Fordham Street Stream Restoration Project was completed in 2017 by the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment. This channel is a small tributary to the Anacostia watershed with over 200 acres of drainage. It demonstrates how to incorporate tributary restoration into overall watershed planning programs. The design is based on natural channel design principles and features many restoration techniques, including a wetland creation.

The Cricket Field Stormwater Pond Retrofit is a small-scale stormwater pond that was completed in 2018. The project treats approximately 15 acres of uncontrolled urban runoff. The facility is designed as a combination flood control and water quality wet pond. It also includes Green Stormwater Infrastructure design features such as riparian planting and forestation. The project is located in a park and is accessible to the public.

New Development LID Tour  (3.0 PDHs)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This tour encompasses a wide range of new development ESD/LID solutions. The first stop is at a regional outlet mall, Clarksburg Premium Outlets (Simon Company), an 84 acres site in the Clarksburg Special Protection Area, that was required to install maximum ESD/LID, including bioretention, micro-bioretention, permeable pavements, and swales. DEP biologists and consultant will be on-site to discuss before and after stream monitoring, and BMP performance monitoring data.

The second stop highlights HOA property management issues with respect to maintaining ESD practices installed during the development process, and is also in the drainage area of a Univ. of Maryland hydrology research project linked to a USGS gauge. The research team is modeling the effects of stormwater BMPs on downstream channel morphology. Additional stops include an innovative stormwater management solution in a nature play park, Constitution Gardens Park (Gaithersburg, MD), designed by Nancy Striniste and Lauren Wheeler. Water is a central theme of the design, from the vast quantities of stormwater infiltrated by the park’s pervious pavers and six lushly planted linked rain gardens, to the engaging water features and water play elements throughout the park. Water and its forms were also an aesthetic inspiration– spirals, eddies and concentric circles are a visual theme that repeats in large design elements and tiny details throughout the space.

The tour will culminate at Pike and Rose within walking distance of the venue hotel. This is a new LEED Gold, “new suburbanism” urban design redevelopment project with numerous ESD/LID stormwater practices, including bioretention rain gardens, green roofs, and the East Coast’s largest rooftop farm. The combined stormwater treatment practices achieved a 77% runoff reduction through the redevelopment of an aging shopping strip center. This site is a great example of how multiple environmental sustainability goals can be achieved.

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