Region 1: EPA New England

Providence Green Infrastructure Project


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is partnering with the City of Providence, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and other stakeholders for a project to construct a bio-infiltration system at J.T. Owen's Park near Mashapaug Pond. Bio-infiltration is a green infrastructure (GI) best management practice (BMP) for stormwater control. Green infrastructure is stormwater management approach that takes advantage of natural processes to capture and treat stormwater volume and pollutants. The Mashapaug project is a retrofit project and will include a public outreach component to showcase the project and engage the community.

An important goal of this project is to introduce municipal officials and other public and private stakeholders to GI as a practical and effective technique to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution and improve water quality.

We anticipate that the bio-infiltration BMP will:

  • lead to improved water quality in Mashapaug Pond;
  • increase public and private awareness of GI as an effective approach for municipal stormwater management;
  • engage and educate local department of public works engineers and other municipal officials how GI can be a viable and effective control for stormwater;
  • engage Project Partners to understand and implement operation and maintenance (O&M) procedures to ensure the BMP continues to operate into the foreseeable future.

The bio-infiltration BMP will be constructed on the J.T. Owens Park, which is situated on Mashapaug Pond, a waterbody listed as impaired for nutrients. The Pond feeds into Roosevelt Lake, part of the interconnected pond system created in Roger Williams Park at the end of the 19th century, and its input contributes to severe water quality problems in those ponds as well. The bio-infiltration BMP will be sited adjacent to the existing Little League baseball fields which are located near Mashapaug Pond.

Construction of the bio-infiltration BMP will entail installing a diversion structure into the storm sewer line located near the Niantic Ave and Swanson St. intersection and diverting an approximate 1 to 1.2 inches of water to the bio-infiltration retrofit located at the southern/far edge of the Little League ballfields. The BMP will treat runoff from approximately 6.5 acres, including about 2.6 acres of impervious cover that would ordinarily discharge to Mashapaug Pond, an impaired waterbody with a TMDL.

Aerial photo of site: Mashapoag Pond of Bio-infiltration BMP

Green Infrastructure BMP Design

Cross-Section of Bio-infiltration BMP

Current Status of Project

This project is currently in the process of mobilizing and construction is tentatively set to begin sometime after June 2, 2014.

Be sure to check back for additional status updates!

2014 Tentative Project Schedule*:

Week of Task(s)
May 26 & June 2 Mobilization, access, setup
June 2 Rough Grading; Road work
June 9 Pipe work; finish grading
June 9 & June 16 Landscaping
June 16 Roadwork; paving
June 16 & June 23 Clean-up
June 23 Planting
Summer 2014 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

*Tasks will take place on weekdays and are subject to change based on weather or unforeseen conditions that may affect the schedule.

Before Construction (Fall 2013):

Before Construction (Fall 2013) photo
Before Construction (Fall 2013) photo
Before Construction (Fall 2013) photo
Before Construction (Fall 2013) photo
Before Construction (Fall 2013) photo
Before Construction (Fall 2013) photo

During Construction

During Construction photo: Providence BMP construction
During Construction photo: Providence BMP construction
During Construction: Members of the technical team gather around in front of the bio-infiltration basin.
During Construction: Recycled curbing is installed in the forebay to prevent erosion from pipe discharge.
During Construction: A view of the entire BMP site from the outfield of the baseball field looking towards Swanton Street.
During Construction: Construction equipment is used to create the berm between the forebay and the vegetative infiltration basin.
During Construction: A view of the forebay, gravel berm, bioinfiltration basin during the final stages of construction.
During Construction: Construction equipment picking up granite blocks from the DPW yard.  These blocks will prevent erosion in the BMP spillway.

After Construction

Coming ______ 2014


Technical Contact

Ray Cody (
(617) 918-1366

Education & Outreach Contact

Caitlyn Whittle (
(617) 918-1748

Karen Simpson (
(617) 918-1672

Additional Resources/Links