Innovation Grants: Nature & Recreation

Three projects were funded to enhance the District’s biodiversity, reduce the urban heat island effect, and create accessible, inviting spaces for recreation for residents.


Native Plant Nursery at Bertie Backus – IN PROGRESS 

Amendments Nursery Project- Shade Structures

Example of a nursery

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) received $121,500 to construct a native plant nursery at UDC’s Bertie Backus Campus inWard 5. The nursery will grow plants to be used for habitat restoration following invasive plant management. The site will also serve as a host facility for education, outreach, and local green-jobs training in skills such as greenhouse management, plant production, invasive plant management, and habitat restoration.

Current Status: Construction is anticipated to start Winter 2016.



Tree Canopy Implementation Plans for Park and School Lands – COMPLETE

Tree Planting with Casey Trees

Tree Planting with Casey Trees

To achieve the District’s goal of a 40% tree canopy cover by 2032, city agencies and nonprofit partners Casey Trees and Washington Parks & People developed and implemented a canopy plan for public parks and school yards. Working with stakeholders — from principals to “Friends of” groups for various park parcels — over 6,500 volunteer hours were donated to plant and maintain 1,790 trees on DC Public Schools (DCPS) and Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) land. In addition, nine members of the Washington Parks & People’s Green Corps received job skills training in tree maintenance.

In December 2015, Mayor Bowser deepened the District’s commitment to increasing urban canopy cover, by launching Canopy 3000 at the District’s first Tree Summit. Based on successful partnerships like the work with DCPS and DPR, this new public-private partnership will expand tree plantings on public and private lands by 3,000 additional trees per year.


Water Saving Splash Pad – IN PROGRESS 

Chevychase splash park

Chevy Chase Splash Park

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) was also awarded $492,000 to install a new splash pad with water jets and sprays that captures and reuses rain water to irrigate athletic fields while providing a play and educational opportunity for children. The splash pad is an innovative solution for water use at a recreational site that addresses the need to capture and use rainwater to relieve pressure on the District’s storm water infrastructure. DPR intends to test the feasibility of such a system for broader use throughout its inventory.

Current Status:  Site selection is underway and construction should begin in Fall 2016.

@PepcoConnect said they'll REDUCE rates to pass federal tax savings to customers! Read more about this at

Yesterday from Sustainable DC's Twitter via TweetDeck