Have you ever wondered what the big brick structure on the west side of the 3100 block (between Irving and Jackson) of 12th Street is? It is the Pepco substation #133. We happen to live very close to it, and because of that, have come to realize what a visual and environmental negative it is for our neighborhood. Here is what it looks like:
In this post I am asking for your support. I am planning to approach Pepco and ask them to create a “Green Wall” in front of this substation.
After some research I found out that about 3/4 of the space in front of the building is Pepco property, the rest public walk way.
In the following images I am trying to show you what I envision for this space.
One idea is opening up the concrete surface and planting a row of evergreen trees right along the wall, or a few feet away from the building. Another idea would be creating a “green wall” of vines climbing up a metal structure.
(Please disregard the numbers in the pictures. These slides are from a power point presentation that is part of the package I am going to present to Pepco.)
There are three major reasons why this is a worthwhile project.
1) An obvious reason, of course, is to make the site more visually appealing for residents and passing pedestrians. This would enhance the neighborhood for all and potentially increase property values.
2) We hope that the row of trees would break up and reduce the echo chamber effect the tall, flat brick wall creates towards the row houses across the street. This is especially problematic here because 12th Street is the main artery of Brookland it is heavily travelled by ambulances, firetrucks, etc. Studies have shown that trees and other vegetation are more effective than man made options for reducing noise pollution.
3) From an environmental point of view, a green space would provide several improvements. Opening up a significant square footage of concrete walk way would help to reduce storm water run off. As you can see from the photos, the entire length of the wall is currently impervious. Further, projects like these help reduce pollution and help to offset urban heat island effects.
As part of this effort we have sought out the support of local organizations, and we thank Casey Trees, The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association and the Greater Brookland Garden Club in particular for agreeing to stand with us. But, we felt that our proposal would be much stronger with a petition from members of the community. So, I ask all of you, if you would like to see this project become a reality, and would like to support my efforts in my negotiations with Pepco, please sign the petition below. I have no idea if we will be successful, but we think it is worth a try. Thanks in advance for your support!