Located between Capitol Hill and the Anacostia River, the three-acre Washington Canal Park is a new public park located on three city blocks in the southeast quadrant of Washington, DC. The Capital Riverfront neighborhood that surrounds the park site has been undergoing a redevelopment, with the creation of the new Nationals Ballpark, the LEED Silver U.S. Deparment of Transportation Headquarters, and the renovation of nearly all of the historic industrial buildings associated with the Washington Navy Yard. The development of the park on three parcels (two of which were used for school bus parking and one of which was partially overgrown) that were once a component of the Washington Canal System, is helping unite the area.
An important goal for the project was to include water both as a key symbolic element as well as a functional and sustainable element of the park. Nitsch Engineering provided sustainable site design/consulting services for the project with a particular focus on stormwater management systems that provide “water” sustainability. We provided design and consulting services through the Design Development stage; this includes designing sustainable site features such as rain gardens, a created wetland, and stormwater harvesting for site irrigation. Nitsch Engineering also investigated features such as green roofs and grey and black water recycling for the park pavilions. During the Construction Document phase of the project, we acted in an advisory role to the local civil engineering firm. The park opened in 2012, and has earned LEED Gold and SITES Three-Star Certifications.