Point State Park Stormwater Bioswale


Project Sponsors: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, The Garden Club of Allegheny County & The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Project Location  

Point State Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Design Concept for the Stormwater Bastions

Stormwater runoff is detained behind a series of concrete structures with triangular weirs that were designed to pond and slow the runoff water and allow time for water to be taken up by the native plants, as it slowly infiltrates into the soil. The project demonstrates a sculptural use of stormwater.  In this design, stormwater is considered as a resource, rather than a waste product that is to be removed from the landscape as quickly as possible by the use of conventional storm sewers.

The pointed shape of these stormwater bastions is inspired by Fort Pitt, where bastions were built into the fort to allow cannon fire to be aimed in multiple directions. This structural design connects with the historical context of Point State Park while reducing runoff and improving water quality. The native plantings and proposed meadow areas will enhance the nearby native gardens recently completed by the Garden Club of Allegheny County. A listing of the native plants used is included in this report. The native planting design was completed in collaboration between the Project Partners and Best Feeds Outdoor Design. The project area was cleared of invasive weeds and underbrush, to open up the area from the edge of the walking trail through the far side of the bioswale and landscaped areas.  This enhances the view of the project and will allow for the establishment of the native shrubs and perennials. The design of the bioswale evolved to include river rock in the area where water would pond behind the bastions, since the DCNR had concerns that standing water could be a safety issue and directed that the depth of standing water in the system could not exceed six (6") inches.

Project Completion Date:  October 17, 2015

Art Gazdik,
Oct 24, 2015, 9:57 AM