Retrofitting For Sustainability

Like the first-phase renovation, the conversion eliminated nutrient runoff, and simultaneously increased the scheduling ability for the facility, which helped generate more revenue for the city.

Six tennis courts were renovated during this phase, and built-in bleachers were installed for the ball fields as well. A specially designed hooded backstop was installed to protect spectators and passersby.

Phase III

The third phase of the project received a $500,000 Department of Ecology LID Grant to incorporate further low-impact development strategies into the park. This phase focused on the passive-use area of the park.

Stormwater management was addressed during this phase through the installation of a “green” roof on the park’s maintenance building. Rain gardens were also designed to capture and filter runoff from a new multi-use building, which was also part of the project.

Pervious asphalt paving was incorporated to replace pathways and reduce the hardscape footprint. This technique was also applied to the adjacent basketball courts.

The three phases of the Grass Lawn Park project enhanced the environmental, financial, and social sustainability of the facility, transforming a park with serious operational constraints into a well-utilized facility.

Today, the site is a successful example of how a well-loved public park can be retrofitted to conform to conscientious growth and sustainable development.

Bruce Dees, FASLA, is the principal of Bruce Dees & Associates, a landscape-architecture, urban-design, site-planning, and recreational-facilities design firm in Tacoma, Wash.

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