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Large Residential Buildings in DC Step Up Green Efforts

by Shilpi Paul

Large Residential Buildings in DC Step Up Green Efforts: Figure 1
The new rain garden at McLean Gardens

In addition to subsidizing the cost of rain gardens and barrels for single-family homeowners in DC, the RiverSmart Homes program has now expanded their scope to include multi-family structures and apartment complexes.

Through the RiverSmart Communities program, the city is trying to facilitate the proliferation of rain gardens all over the city by helping larger buildings, like condos, co-ops and houses of worship, with the cost. Grants are available from the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), and if the buildings can come up with some “match funding” to help defer the costs, their application is that much more competitive.

Large Residential Buildings in DC Step Up Green Efforts: Figure 2
The team at McLean Gardens

Alex Shtogren of dc greenworks, the organization that is implementing and installing several of the actual gardens, told UrbanTurf that so far, they have put in rain gardens at the residential complex McLean Gardens on Wisconsin Avenue and will be installing a cistern and native plants at Logan Circle Condominiums soon. Two other large residential buildings in the city are close to completing the application process for rain garden installation. Some grant money is still available, said Shtogren, but the applicant list is growing.

Stormwater runoff is a huge issue in the District — rain flows over impervious surfaces and picks up pollutants on its way to the river, rather than absorbing into the groundwater — and the RiverSmart programs are an attempt to mitigate the problem. Rain gardens are designed to absorb the rain water that flows over the various surfaces, and cisterns can hold the rain until it can be used for irrigation.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/riversmart_communities_puts_a_garden_in_mclean_gardens/5726

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