Designed by renowned landscape architect, Horace Cleveland in 1878, the historic Roger Williams Park (RWP) is located in the southern part of Providence, Rhode Island and contains approximately 435 acres of landscaped areas, including the Roger Williams Park Zoo. The original plan included many of the curvilinear roads that follow the natural landscape and the large lakes and strategically placed man-made structures that still exist today. Unfortunately, like many of the historic parks designed in that era, the water quality of the ponds is severely degraded and suffering from impacts associated with the development of dense urban areas that drain into the ponds. Brian Kuchar RLA, P.E. from the Horsley Witten Group, Inc (HW) and Brian Byrnes, the Deputy Superintendent for the Providence Department of Parks and Recreation (PDPR), will lead a tour of the on-going innovative stormwater management work being completed in Roger William Park.
In 2011, the City of Providence received funding from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 to improve the water quality and biodiversity conditions of the RWP Ponds. The PPRD collaborated with the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) and sub-consultants to develop a comprehensive Water Quality Master Plan to address pond nutrient pollution in the ponds of Roger Williams Park. Since its inception, this project has been a true collaboration between federal, state and local agencies, non-profits, design consultants and contractors and highlight the benefits of public/private partnerships. As part of the project, six innovative stormwater practices were designed, permitted and constructed within the Park’s historic landscape. Practices include a grass surface sand filter, vegetated wet swale, a staged bioswale, with both wet and dry swale practices, a bioretention area, and road replacement with pedestrian shoreline walk with bioswales.
– Outline the challenges of working within a historic landscape
– Describe each of the six innovative stormwater practices
– Discuss lessons learned for design and construction based upon two-years of operation and maintenance an – Explain the revolving park maintenance program to adapt to 21st century realities
– Provide details of the creation of the Rhode Island Park Conservancy to assist with the planning and funding of park-wide Improvement projects.
Brian Kuchar, RLA, P.E., LEED accredited professional, Horsley Witten Group, Inc. has over 17 years of experience in the combined fields of landscape architecture and environmental engineering including: site planning, green infrastructure, ecological restoration, stormwater management, and land management planning. Brian has been employed in both the public and private sector and has experience with a broad range of projects including institutional, commercial and residential land development, multi use paths, park design, and ecological restoration. He has also served as an adjunct professor in the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Rhode Island. Brian served as the Project Manager for this Project.
Brian Byrnes, CPSI, Deputy Superintendent – Providence Department of Parks and Recreation, holds a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Rhode Island. Brian has over 30 years of experience as a contractor for site work and landscape construction in Rhode Island. Throughout his career, he has participated in the construction of over 100 storm water retrofits and drainage projects. As Deputy Superintendent, his main responsibility is to oversee design and construction projects throughout the Parks system, focusing on engaging the community and creatively using resources to make unique and sustainable community spaces. Brian brings a unique perspective to this presentation. Prior to joining Providence Parks, Brian served as a contractor project manager and oversaw the construction of four of the five stormwater practices built within the park in 2013.