(Washington, DC) -- The District’s RiverSmart Washington project was awarded a 2012 Vision Award, acknowledging its important environmental benefits to the city. The Vision Award, administered by the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, a group of influential District advocates for responsible planning and land use in the city, recognizes exemplary neighborhood projects developed to benefit the District or that can be replicated in other areas of the city.
The Department of the Environment (DDOE) and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) accepted the award jointly.
RiverSmart Washington, a public-private sector partnership, aims to measure whether installing attractive, low-cost, eco-friendly landscaping and innovative streetscaping in two neighborhoods in Chevy Chase and Petworth can reduce polluted runoff into Rock Creek. Through this effort, the District installs measures such as permeable pavement in alleyways and parking lanes, and street-side rain gardens to capture and infiltrate stormwater from the public right of way. DDOT will use this as a pilot project combining stormwater management with infrastructure improvements to replicate in future street reconstruction projects. The project installation will be complete in spring 2013 and will be followed by post-construction stormwater monitoring.
In accepting the award, DDOT Director Terry Bellamy said that the project is truly transformative because “RiverSmart Washington shows how sustainability can be an integral part of every road improvement project.”
DDOE Director Christophe A. G. Tulou singled out the benefits of the project, stating that it will “create additional green space in our highly urbanized environment; reduce pollution flowing to our local waterways; and lessen the cost of building and maintaining sewer infrastructure.”
The RiverSmart Washington Project is a partnership led by DDOE and DDOT with other partner organizations including the Rock Creek Conservancy, DC Water, LimnoTech, and Casey Trees, and is funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.