At a Glance
Green infrastructure improves stormwater management and quality of life in a historic city adjacent to Washington, DC.
The city of Mount Rainier, Maryland, located only four miles from downtown Washington, DC, is known as a vibrant, pedestrian friendly community with a longstanding history of environmental stewardship. Stormwater flowing through Mount Rainier drains to the Anacostia River and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. Working towards a vision of citywide green infrastructure, the city initiated an effort to transform an overly wide street in need of traffic calming into a “green street.” The street is also home to a community swimming pool and the future site of a public park.
Funded by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Buchanan Green Street project aims to reduce flows into the Anacostia, promote groundwater infiltration, expand the tree canopy and native vegetation, improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and educate the community about its connection to the local ecology. To advance the project beyond the conceptual phase, Biohabitats provided design and feasibility assessment services.
The Biohabitats team began by conducting a site assessment and quantifying the target stormwater treatment volume. Biohabitats then crafted engineering design drawings for a bioretention cell retrofit to capture and treat runoff along Buchanan Street and from a nearby swimming pool parking lot. Tailored for ease of maintenance by the City’s Department of Public Works, the design also improves street infrastructure, traffic calming, street trees and native plantings, educational opportunities, and flood control. Biohabitats mapped additional green infrastructure opportunities along Buchanan Street and within the adjacent residential neighborhood.
Once constructed, Mount Rainier’s new “green street” will serve as a key building block for the city’s future green street and green infrastructure efforts.