Canal Park

Your Guide
Joan Honeyman, ASLA

Canal Park is one of the first parks built as part of the District’s Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. A model for sustainable design, the park is a candidate for LEED Gold certification and pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). The park was completed in 2012 and consists of three linear blocks designed by OLIN. The linear rain garden, reminiscent of the Washington Canal that ran through the city in the late 1700’s, is a major design element that evokes the history of the area. 

Canal Park maintains an extensive storm water collection and reuse system. 100 percent of the water from the site and surrounding streets is collected in bioswales, tree pits, and rain gardens, and is channeled into two large underground cisterns. This satisfies 95 percent of the park’s water needs and creates a neighborhood-scale stormwater management system. There are also 28 underground geothermal wells that provide energy for park utilities and reduce energy consumption by 37 percent. Canal Park is a model for how to use green infrastructure to transform a former brownfield into a vital and sustainable urban environment.

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