Innovative Projects

19th Street Rain Gardens

The Golden Triangle BID installed 11 bioretention cells and 10 expanded tree boxes on the sidewalks of one of the neighborhood’s key streets. This project is the result of years of planning, partnerships, advocacy and fundraising. At over $1 million in construction costs and two full blocks of new green infrastructure, this is the largest capital improvement managed by the BID thus far.

The project focused on a stretch of 19th Street that is a lunchtime destination in DC’s central business district with many restaurants and outdoor cafes on the ground floors of office buildings and hotels. The corridor had wide sidewalks with an abundance of concrete and runs to a geographic low point in the area. The new bioretention cells, aka rain gardens, capture and treat 43,000 gallons of polluted stormwater per storm protecting the city’s streams and rivers. Also, by building the new bioretention cells and expanded tree boxes, the BID converted 4,500 of concrete to new green space and added 33 trees and over 400 native plants.

Education, outreach, and identity-building are other major components of this project. The BID was able to use the design and construction of this project as a tool for educating some of its primary members, the commercial real estate sector and major tenants, on the process of retrofitting an urban space with green infrastructure, the environmental and aesthetic benefits, and the ongoing maintenance needs. The BID held meetings with property managers and businesses throughout the process and installed temporary and permanent signs for the general public. In addition to the direct environmental and aesthetic benefits, this project serves as a successful demonstration for the real estate community to encourage more green infrastructure in future developments.

Project Details

19th Street Rain Gardens

Golden Triangle BID


Planning, Design and Infrastructure
$5000001 - $7500000
$ 1,160,000
District of Columbia