First United Methodist Church Parking Lot Retrofit

What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.  

Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

Bioretention / Rain Gardens
before image
Before: the asphalt parking lot had issues with flooding and cut-through traffic. Credit: Anacostia Watershed Society.
after image
After: permeable pavement and plantings capture runoff and provide habitat. Credit: Anacostia Watershed Society.


Project location: Hyattsville, MD

Problem: The parking lot of First United Methodist Church in Hyattsville was prone to flooding, and polluted runoff from the lot was entering the local waterway Wells Run.  In addition, the parking lot experienced frequent cut-through traffic, which created unsafe conditions for pedestrians. 

Solution: The church’s lot was redesigned to incorporate permeable parking pads and rain gardens along the length of the lot.  Native plantings provide wildlife habitat and function as a natural water treatment facility.  The site diverts an estimated 1.9 million gallons of water per year from Wells Run.  In addition to its water quality and flood mitigation benefits, the newly redesigned site also calms traffic and makes the site a safe and pleasant place.

Scale: 49,340 square foot parking lot

Pollutants removed: 50% nitrogen; 60% phosphorous; 90% sediment compared to pre-project loads

Cost: $744,000 (cost effectiveness $0.40 per gallon of water diverted)

Funding sources: MD Department of Natural Resources’ Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund

Partners: AB Consultants; Anacostia Watershed Society; Ruppert Landscape; The Nature Conservancy

More information: 

Contact Information
Ariel Trahan | Anacostia Watershed Society | | 301-699-6204
Key project facts
Project Type
Project Scale
$500,000 - $749,999
Story Focus
Job Creation
Environmental Benefits
Stormwater Funds
Problem Addressed
Flooding / Drainage
Health Hazard
Runoff Pollution
Year Installed
State Legislative District
Federal Legislative District