Washington Canal Park is a model of sustainability, a social gathering place, an economic trigger and one of the first parks certified under the Sustainable Sites Initiative. Located on 3 acres of what was previously relegated as a parking lot for district school buses, this three-block-long park is sited along the historic former Washington Canal system. Inspired by the site’s waterfront heritage, OLIN’s design evokes the history of the space with a linear rain garden and three pavilions reminiscent of floating barges that were once common in the canal.
Canal Park’s linear rain garden functions as an integrated stormwater system. Water is captured, treated and reused, satisfying up to 95 percent of the park’s water needs. This equates to a savings of 1.5 million gallons of potable water annually. 28 geothermal wells provide a highly efficient energy supply for utilities, reducing Canal Park’s overall energy use by 37 percent. Other sustainable design elements include dark-sky lighting elements, high albedo paving and site elements that encourage sustainable practices, such as electric car charging stations, bicycle racks and recycling bins.
Key Team Members
Rebecca Popowsky, Landscape Architect
Skip Graffam, Partner-in-Charge, post occupancy study
Michael Miller, Chief Researcher, post-occupancy study
2015, ULI Urban Open Space Award Finalist