At a Glance

The LID retrofits manage and treat stormwater runoff from approximately 70 percent of the elementary school’s entire impervious surface footprint and becomes a model for school greening and environmental education opportunities.

Project Description

The reduction of sediment and nutrients and the involvement of community are critical to Anacostia Watershed Society’s (AWS) efforts to transform the Anacostia River, deemed hopelessly polluted in the 1980s, into a swimmable, fishable waterbody. By initiating ecological restoration and stormwater management improvement projects in locations on or near schools, churches, and other gathering places, AWS improves water quality while also engaging the community and strengthening stewardship.

Such was the case at Riverdale Elementary School, a 2.6-acre public school with a parking lot, asphalt basketball courts, rooftops, and minimal green space. Stormwater from school grounds was flowing, untreated, from storm drains directly into Wells Run, a tributary to the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River. AWS initiated a project that integrated ecosystem enhancement, water quality improvement, and environmental education and stewardship. The project involved retrofitting school property with stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). Biohabitats was the prime contractor for this design-build effort, with Resource Environmental Solutions acting as prime subcontractor leading construction implementation.

Working closely with the AWS and the elementary school community, Biohabitats led the design, permitting, and construction of three lined, submerged gravel wetlands, two elevated micro-bioretention planters, and the removal of a small amount of impervious surfaces. In addition to slowing down and improving treatment of stormwater from the school’s rooftop and paved surfaces, the retrofits improve habitat, enhance the beauty of school grounds, and add outdoor educational opportunities for the entire school community.




Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province

Coastal Plain



Expertise Areas

Community, Design & Build, Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


Prince George's County Public Schools


Riverdale, Maryland, United States

Project Team
  • Resource Environmental Solutions