Update #3: The “Pepco Green Wall Project” In Brookland

by Astrid on March 14, 2013

Hello neighbors! It’s been a while since our last update, so we thought you like to know what is going on regarding our effort to add a green wall at the Pepco substation on 12th Street, NE. Thanks to Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie we had a face to face meeting on February 20 with the following attendees:

- Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie
- Tim Clark (McDuffie Staff)
- Donna Cooper (Regional Vice President, Pepco)
- Chris Taylor (Public Affairs Manager, Pepco)
- Theresa Sollecito (Civil / Structural Engineer, Pepco)
- Shirley Harmon (Environmental Compliance Assessment Manager, Pepco)
- Shani and myself
 
The Pepco Team clearly had concerns about our proposed concepts, especially regarding tree root structures potentially damaging the network of utility lines that run underneath the walkway. However, Donna Cooper promised us that all aspects of this project will be looked at, and that she is committed to finding a solution that will satisfy all parties involved. We all agreed that we have to meet again. I offered that I would do more research on technical aspects and that I would review our proposal based on the feedback I took away from the meeting. But at the same time, I made it clear that I am not going to give up easily and that I feel a responsibility towards the Brookland community to fight on their behalf. Over 160 of you have expressed their support by signing our Green Wall Petition. For those of you who still want to sign - it is not too late. Sign HERE. As long as this project is still in the planning and negotiating phase, every new signature is welcome and helpful.I sent a revised rendering to Pepco on March 3. Ms. Cooper acknowledged the receipt and committed to schedule another meeting after the proposal has been reviewed internally. We think this new concept would be a great compromise since vine roots do not grow deep enough to damage any underground structures. Here is what the improved rendering looks like:
Green Wall
 
Shani and I committed to ensure the watering of the plants. That was one aspect that Ms. Cooper was very clear about. Pepco would NOT take primary responsibility of day-to day maintainance the green space. We are exploring ways to ensure there is dedicated community support for the upkeep of the green wall.
 
It has to be mentioned that Casey Tree’s Executive Director Mark Buscaino has been a huge help. He has offered a lot of guidance along the way and has offered to hold the next meeting at his headquarters and to support our effort with his expertise. I hope it will not be too long until I hear back from Pepco, and the next meeting can be scheduled. I am very optimistic that this effort will result in an awesome project.
 
I will keep you all posted on any new developments and updates.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle March 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

You may also want to consider growing the vines from large planter boxes instead of planting them directly in the ground. Could maybe help alleviate Pepco’s concerns about the roots.

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Cara March 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

This is great!!! Thank you so much for taking the lead and getting this to happen! What a great improvement this will be!

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Rick March 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Excellent progress! Keep up the good work. :)

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Curtis March 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Great work on this! I am excited to see the final product and what comes of your hard work. If you need neighbors to help plant or water let us know!!

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IMGoph March 16, 2013 at 8:20 am

I suppose Pepco also doesn’t take responsibility for keeping the grass trimmed in the treeboxes as-is? All other residents are expected to do this, but from this photo, they let the grass grow over the sidewalk instead of keeping it properly edged.

I hope this project happens (I signed the petition), but I suspect this corporation will fight tooth-and-nail for their “right” to be lazy leeches.

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