Canalfront Park in Lewes receives sustainability award

City, Andropogon cited for forward-thinking project
November 3, 2011

The Canalfront Park in Lewes has received the American Institute of Architects, Delaware chapter, 2011 Sustainability Award. William Lenihan of Tevebaugh Associates, president-elect of the architects group, presented the award to Lewes Mayor Jim Ford and José Almiñana of Andropogon Ecological Design and Planning during the AIA Delaware Annual meeting Oct. 20 at University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment in Lewes.

In his presentation, Lenihan said: “The Canalfront Park is significant because it connects the city to the harbor with beautiful green space.  It reduced the original amount of impervious surface and includes a storm water management system, which reduces the run-off into the canal by 85 percent.  To reduce the amount of contaminants which enter the canal,” said Lenihan, “the boat launch was relocated.  The active rain gardens, thousands of plantings and tidal pond showcase the local biology and better the air and water quality of this unique environment.”

Ford and Almiñana accepted the award on behalf of the City of Lewes and Andropogon.

“The park is innovative but hopefully not unique. It is a source of pride and shows a sustainability which demonstrates the direction the whole community is going,” said Ford. “The park was 10 years in the making and involved almost every facet of the community dating back to the efforts of Mayor George H.P. Smith and so many others in the town.”

Almiñana, a principal at Andropogon, was quick to point out that it was the Andropogon team, not himself, who designed and saw the Canalfront Project through to completion.  He mentioned Teresa Durkin of Andropogon, Pres Lee who served as liaison between Lewes and Andropogon, and Martin Troutman for their design and engineering efforts.

“Projects like the Canalfront Park weave man and nature together for the benefit of both,” said Almiñana.

He cautioned the community to come up with a dedicated funding source to take care of the stewardship component of the park.  “Green infrastructure needs an operator, just like a sewage treatment plant.  You wouldn’t design a sewage treatment plant without an operator. Unlike buildings, landscapes have a time dimension. What is needed now is focus on the post-occupational operation of the park and its ecosystems as they evolve.”

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