McMillan Reservoir Park comprises a historic site in the District of Columbia.

1 The DC Government has attempted several iterations of development at McMillan, all of which have met strong community resistance. The McMillan community project team (“the Team”) proudly submits this Letter of Interest for EPA technical assistance in redeveloping the historic site using the fundamental principles of smart growth. The Team advocates establishing a Conservancy or land trust model, structured as a public-private partnership, to facilitate smart growth at McMillan to produce a world-class destination. The Team is committed to revitalizing the McMillan Reservoir Park site in a way that balances historic and environmental preservation, community impacts, and economic realities. Our proposed plan utilizes the site’s natural resources and historic elements, combined with lowimpact development features designed to maximize community benefits and safety to all who use it. The plan integrates edible landscaping and urban agriculture with restoration of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.’s landscaping plan from 1901, replacing invasive species with native species while utilizing the magnificent convergence of man and nature embodied by the site’s environmentally friendly – and visually stunning – water filtration technology and underground chambers. The plan proposes approximately 18 acres of contiguous green space to provide extensive permeable surface to absorb storm water runoff. The plan also includes the exposure and use of the onsite underground natural waterway, Tiber Creek. The Creek would be daylighted, creating an urban beach basin/swimming hole, thus reducing the downstream water volume by retention and evaporation to help mitigate future recurrence of the current local flooding problems in the downstream communities. The Team stands dedicated to sustainable building practices that will utilize existing historic structures and the site’s natural offerings at a considerably lower project life cycle cost as compared to complete demolition and high-density redevelopment of the site. These aspects – creating new green spaces and safe places for the

EPA SGIA for McMillan Reservoir Park
Letter of Interest

For additional detail, refer to “McMillan Sand Filtration Site Fact Sheet” attached as an appendix to this document.

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and to create jobs at. The Team leverages the collective experience of the team’s individual members and their organizations. That shift would be a marked departure from the current state of affairs in this area that straddles the boundaries of Wards 5 and 1. McMillan Reservoir Park while maintaining an area that can be used by the community at large—existing residents. The Team works to reduce the impact of each project on the environment while enhancing the quality of life for the surrounding community now and in the future. The plan focuses on a broad range of functional features and end users with the intention to draw people in from other parts of.Letter of Interest community while preserving historic elements for the future – make this plan grounded. and Climate Consultant. the District of Columbia. and beneficial end product. future residents. Land Use. Transportation. realistic. The overarching objective of the plan is to ensure that use of the McMillan Reservoir Park site aligns with the original vision of Olmstead and Senator McMillan – a gem in a necklace of emeralds adorning the City. The site has the potential to produce a variety of goods and to provide a spectrum of entertainment options that could transform McMillan Reservoir Park into a dynamic congregational point in the center of the City and within site of the Capitol dome. co-founder and Chairman of the McMillan Park Committee. community-beneficial design and implementation. The Team principals include Tony Norman. Having worked on similar redevelopment projects in the District of Columbia at Poplar Point. it acknowledges and respects the historical view of this site as part of a broader system of citywide green space. thoughtful. Although our plan includes some new construction. Dr. and Allison Bishins. and beyond. and holistic as compared to other development plans proposed for McMillan. and visitors to the nation’s capital. founder of the Friends of McMillan Park. which is currently the most underserved part of the District in terms of green space and recreational 2 of 4 . Larry Chang. Professor of Architecture at Catholic University of America. the Team has highlighted our commitment to holistic. the Team has formulated an approach that encompasses diverse interests and delivers a more holistic. The Team intends to implement local industries to provide economic sustainability for. which has sadly been fenced off and unused for this purpose since 1942. and the Soldiers Home. Reservation 13 / Hill East. Throughout the development of these projects. Miriam Gusevich.

Commissioner Hugh Youngblood. Art Enables. The plan also enjoys the backing of several influential local businesses including Big Bear Café. restaurants. which choose to largely ignore the historical value of the site and treat it primarily as a vacant parcel. Stronghold. and other commercial outlets will vend and make use of the fresh produce. and Youngblood Capital Group. renewable energy. National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Team has long sought and received support from the local community. The Committee of 100. and 5C03. Boundary Stone. boutiques. open grass lands. Review/update/finalize the plan with help from EPA. SMD 5C04. and DC Environmental Network.Letter of Interest facilities. and Trinity Universities. cheeses. performance art venues. HUD and DOT: January – March 2012 (3 months) 2 3 The Team can provide a copy of the petition upon request. 5C04. and museum of environmental technology will provide outlets for relaxation. Onsite farmers markets. ANC. DC Preservation League. ANC. and naturally filtered bottled water produced at the revitalized McMillan site. Crispus Attucks Development Corporation. and education. demonstrates our firm commitment to community-oriented development. Capitol Food Mart. wines. ANC. coupled with public support from local government and civic entities such as Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 1A and 1B. Establish Conservancy / Land Trust. Commissioner Tony Norman. ANC. McMillan Reservoir Park will become a beacon for the surrounding citizens and communities. Ecolocity. play. 3 and the Bloomingdale. cultural enrichment. SMD 5C03 3 of 4 . 5C07. Catholic. Pleasant Plains. A community-based petition 2 demonstrates a strong desire to move away from current high-density mixed-use development plans. and which lacks a vibrant business environment. including The Cultural Landscape Foundation. This support from the private sector and academia. Rustik Tavern. Commissioner James Fournier. and Parkview Civic Associations. glasswork. Single Member Districts 1B10. Other local groups in support of our proposal include North Capitol Main Street and Howard. The Team also has support from organizations from beyond the immediate community. SMD 5C07. Edgewood. The urban beach. Greater Greater Washington. WPFW Radio. Commissioner John Salatti. SMD 1B10. Empower DC. Our time line from proposal acceptance to breaking ground is as follows: 1.

commerce." 4 The data produced a Top 10 and a Bottom 13 list of DC neighborhoods. residential. McMillan Reservoir Park remains poised to serve the community as a walkable destination for relaxation. education. The Team needs help establishing the McMillan Reservoir Park Conservancy / Land Trust to operate and maintain the site. Ward 5 lacked any areas deemed suitable or walkable enough to rank in the Top 10. we cite a recent urban development study that underscores the importance of smart growth at McMillan Reservoir Park.html 4 4 of 4 .. a community that borders McMillan Park to the east. In conclusion. on the Bottom 13 list. how many chain businesses dominate the blocks). and other dimensions – including that holy grail of pedestrian friendliness known as ‘walkability’. 3. and LeDroit Park. Initiate construction: October 2012 To realize the community’s goals. waste water. the Team requires EPA’s technical assistance in the following areas: 1. ensuring that the positive changes made to the site remain forever. This includes Bloomingdale. Eckington. In October 2011. Truxton Circle / Bates.tbd. This assessment clearly demonstrates that the communities surrounding the McMillan site urgently need a central beacon that both can be used and enjoyed by local citizens and can serve as a source of local pride. entertainment. Plan and secure financing through private organizations and Government assistance: April – September 2012 (6 months) 3. the analysis placed Stronghold. Mapquest released a beta version of its MqVibe tool which ranks the District of Columbia’s most and least walkable neighborhoods. play. The Team needs assistance in finalizing our detailed sustainable development plan. This mechanism evaluates neighborhoods in terms of “edginess.e. culture. burbiness (i. the Team also needs assistance with various financing and implementation activities. This would include identifying efficient modernization solutions for transportation. In fact. http://www.Letter of Interest 2. and dining. and utility infrastructure. After completing the detailed design phase of the project.

• NO nearby public parks. contingent on its use as parkland. Sadly. DESIGN • Integral part of the McMillan Commission’s “Emerald Necklace“ open greenspace strategy for the Nation’s Capital. Pleasant Plains.. and an additional treatment plant completed adjacent to the Dalecarlia Reservoir in 1928.3 million for economic development. The Dalecarlia facility was further expanded in the 1950s. East: North Capitol Street. Comprised of 20 vaulted underground cells of non-reinforced concrete (about 1 acre each) & two above-ground courts of silos & regulator houses FUNCTION Chemical-free purification technology provided clean and safe drinking water until replaced by chlorine treatment in 1986. LeDroit Park. a Landmark with huge potential to provide both economic development and community services. NO library. designers of New York’s Central Park HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE • Listed on District’s Inventory of Historic Sites since 1991 • Listed on the DC Preservation League's "Most Endangered" list • Recommended for designation as a National Historic Site by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. a monumental slow sand filtration system. POTENTIAL • In its day. The original McMillan Park gardens were designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Stronghold SIZE Approximately 25 acres in total. led to the elimination of typhoid epidemics and the reduction of many other communicable diseases in the city. South: Channing Street. who chaired the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia and supported development of the new water supply facilities. & Sr.McMillan Sand Filtration Site McMillan’s Story Meeting the Needs of a Growing Capital To handle population growth and municipal sanitation needs. Edgewood. Brookland. McMillan’s neighbors enjoyed access to much of the park until World War II. • Today. McMillan’s future currently hangs in the balance.S. Neighborhoods: Bloomingdale. Fact Sheet LOCATION Boundaries: North: Michigan Avenue. A public health milestone. In 1985. McMillan’s innovative system of water purification. Wards: Situated entirely in Ward 5. NO senior center. McMillan Park is an integral part of the McMillan Commission’s “Emerald Necklace“ open greenspace strategy for the Nation’s Capital. this national treasure is now listed on the DC Preservation League's "Most Endangered" list. Park Place. the reservoir and filtration plant were named in honor of Senator James McMillan of Michigan. The District government rejected that offer and in 1987 opted instead to purchase the land for $9. West: First Street. a world-class architectural and technological marvel. McMillan has been recommended for designation as a National Historic Site by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. • Nearest community recreation center over a mile away. Subsequent improvements to the city water system were initiated in the 1920s. Congress authorized a formidable engineering project: the construction of Washington's first water treatment facility. Water would be channeled from the Georgetown Reservoir through the Washington City Tunnel to a tract of land north of the city for purification. Army Corps of Engineers (federal government) offered the site’s surplus acreage to the District for one dollar. & Sr. with the regular use of chlorine as a disinfectant implemented in 1923 at the McMillan filtration plant. . • Original McMillan Park gardens were designed by renowned landscape architecture firm of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. having designed such landmarks as New York’s Central Park. COMMUNITY SIGNIFICANCE • Once offered stunning publicly accessible parkland • Located amidst neighborhoods with no recreation facilities. is known as the “father of American landscape architecture. which relied on sand rather than chemicals. immediately abutting Wards 1 & 4. The U. Completed in 1905. the slow sand filtration plant at McMillan was replaced with a new rapid sand filter plant. Olmsted Sr.


Sequentially. one of the old cells used to exhibit the historic sustainable slow sand filtration process. 6. 5. filter and recycle it. steam baths.URBAN BEACH: healing body and soul exhibit and irrigation Water flows down to be stored and treated in the urban beach or the cistern. connected by narrow water channels along the courts. WASHINGTON MEDICAL CENTER 4. VETERAN’S AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER. NATIONAL ORTHOPEDIC CENTER. These include: 1. rain water stored in the old sand bins flows down to small circular pools at the base. recreation and therapy After treatment. HOWARD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL outdoor pool outdoor pool indoor pool Lower level plan pools under the towers Section through pools with farm above exhibit of sand filtration Section through INDOOR and OUTDOOR pools. CHILDREN’S NATIONAL MEDICAL CENTER. NATIONAL REHABILITATION HOSPITAL 3. etc. showers. 2. We treasure it throughout the park and store. Water can be pumped up to irrigate the farm above celebration of water Water is a precious resource. . water go to indoor and outdoor swimming pools. cold and water spa pools. This new facility can double as a community center and serve the healing mission of the national instiutions north of the site and others in the vicinity.

Washington DC 20035-6154 THE CAPITAL SUSTAINABLE HISTORY ENGINEERING PUBLIC HEALTH RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY FARMING ARTS & CRAFTS TOURISM SHOPPING RECREATION GREEN JOBS MCMILLAN It’s all Tel 202 545 0869 Fax 866 525 0247 http://ecolocity.ourmcmillan.PROTECT McMILLAN PARK Support this project Friends of McMillan Park on GREENING EcolocityDC P O Box 66154. 100% recycled paper .

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