Bronx River Park Plaza
Planting plan for 219th St Plaza, Bronx NY was designed to mitigate stormwater runoff that eroded the park entrance. Velocity of the runoff was due to lack of softscape that interrupted the flow down the hill.
The plaza surrounds a WWI monument. A slotted curb accepts stormwater into a basin filled with native grasses and shrubs, sub-base of gravel allowing variable rates of saturation and purification before replenishing the aquifier. The river stones break the speed of the runoff, which allows the plants to be established.
The shape of the plaza provides a smooth interface between the pedestrian/bike paths and the street, and a slope less than 5%. This was the first time NYC Parks allowed street water to be treated on their property.
I created a model that accounted for rainfall in a 100 year-flood condition. I used pavers on a flexible base, and included a dry well to allow for overflow.
To mimic a natural system, I chose native plants that occur in a riparian corridor that handle flood and dry conditions. Due to substantial shade from a mature oak, I focused on texture, color and blooming for interest. Grasses at the front of the planting bed adequately handle flood and salt during the winter. Other natives were chosen for their ability to withstand shade for the majority of the day.
Since construction of the plaza over a year ago, the plantings have held up with minimal amount of maintenance.