Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tree Plaza advances with Chesapake Bay Trust grant

    Our Dupont Tree Plaza has won a prestigious grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The funds will enable RMA to commission an engineered design to retrofit the bare city sidewalk with shade trees and help clean up the Bay.

    Our vision of adding trees to the east end of the Embassy Row route and making a new civic space there has advanced steadily.

    In the past year,  RMA met with city agencies such as Capital Bikeshares, DDOT public space, the Urban Forestry Administration, and the Office of Planning. We were greatly helped by Designgreen LLC, a green engineering firm, which facilitated most meetings.

      RMA met with and obtained letters of support from PNC Bank, which abuts the sidewalk, the Fresh Farm Market, the Dupont Circle Citizen's Association and Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets.

     The international architecture firm Leo A Daly revised its Concept Site Layout Plan several times based on requirements for tree planting, bike stands, pedestrian walks and traffic safety. Shown here is the "jigsaw puzzle" site so far agreed (or not opposed) by public and private stakeholders.

      Two key features of the Tree Plaza plan qualified it for an award from the  Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns program, which is funded by EPA and managed by the Trust:

      1) The plaza will have 14 deciduous trees including 11 new ones,  lots of pervious surface and underground water catchment taking runoff from the streets. Thus our arboreal installation captures storm water. It will measurably help the District comply with federal directives to cleanse Rock Creek, the rivers, and the Bay.

      2) By engaging nearby public schools --  School Without Walls @ Francis Stevens, and Ross Elementary -- the project will teach how people change "gray" city spaces into "green." This is important knowledge for those who will shape the city in future.

      RMA is honored for this chance to expand our "green community."