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Woody Ward Recreation Center Stormwater Retrofit Project

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The Woody Ward Recreation Center stormwater retrofit project aims to reduce and manage stormwater pollution using best management practices (BMPs) that capture and treat stormwater from impervious surfaces. The Woody Ward Recreation Center is an 8.5 acre site located in northeast DC. The site contains about 1.5 acres of impervious area including rooftops, parking lots, pathways, and outdoor recreational courts. The recreation center was built upon a filled and piped stream that flows to the Anacostia River.

The goal of this project was to capture and treat as much stormwater runoff from the site as possible while also addressing existing standing water issues for the adjacent community. The stormwater BMPs utilized in this project are called bioretention systems. Bioretention is a vegetated stormwater management system that mimics the natural environment to reduce stormwater volumes and pollutants for the purpose of restoring our streams and rivers.

Bioretention provides the following benefits:

  • Reduces stormwater runoff
  • Slows stormwater flows
  • Removes stormwater pollutants
  • Provides habitat for birds, bees, and other pollinators
  • Improves air quality
  • Reduces air temperatures

This project also included the removal of unnecessary impervious surface that generated excessive stormwater volumes that impacted downstream water quality and created nuisance standing water issues for the community. This area was converted into a pocket park that provides ecological benefit and habitat for birds, bees, and other pollinators while creating pedestrian access and space for the community to use and enjoy.

How is a Bioretention Maintained?

Routine maintenance is necessary for all stormwater management practices. Routine maintenance for a bioretention includes cleaning out the inlets to ensure that stormwater can get into it, making sure overflows are free and clear of debris so that they can function during larger storm events, sustaining the vegetative cover by weeding/mowing/pruning as needed.

Project Status:
This project is now complete.

Final Designs

Check out this video on what makes the Woody Ward project so unique!

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