Department of Parks and Recreation

Powhatan Springs Park - Children's Rain Garden


Children playing in rain garden

6020 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22205

Information Line

Rain Garden Video
Video: Powhatan Rain Garden Brings Rain Water to Life

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The children's rain garden at Powhatan Springs Park

As designed by the park design team of Oculus along with artist Jann Rosen-Queralt, the site plan combines a children's learning experience and a bioretention area into a single dramatic element of the park. Bioretention is a means of cleansing stormwater runoff through a man-made wetlands or "rain garden." Construction of the rain garden was made possible by a grant from the Kiwanis Club of Arlington.

The flow and collection of rainwater is exposed and animated to further emphasize collection and placement of water into the bioretention system. The system contains several interactive components that function as stormwater collection devices and also provide interactive fun for children.

Water vessels collect water from the roofs of the park buildings and release the water a drop at a time after a rainfall, thereby creating a trickle of water for days afterward.

Water Pump and Water Flume. A water storage tank is installed beneath the bioretention area. Rainwater will is used to fill this tank. From this tank, water is pumped into a flume which runs through the nature area to the stream. Children may place objects in the flume and watch as they float downstream.

Wetland Plants and Stepping Stones have been placed in the bioretention area providing an opportunity for children to hop from stone to stone and touch, see and smell the wetland plants.

Embedded art of leaf impressionsV-Ditch leaf impressions, jade river pebbles, copper bits from parking lot to rain garden.

Raindrop System. Drops of water will be released and fall from pipes on the restroom building for a few minutes every hour on the hour. This is expected to be an event that children anticipate. Children can play in the drops of water, collect them or run through them. A minimal amount of water will be used to maintain the wetland plants.

Wall Embedments. The concrete wall surrounding the Children's Nature Area is embedded with long pieces of wood that will eventually decay to leave behind interesting impressions.

Last Modified: July 22, 2013
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611