Annapolis Visitor Center Permeable Parking Court

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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!

The parking court under construction. Credit: BUBBA Awards
The finished parking court. Credit: BUBBA Awards.


Project location: Annapolis, MD

Problem: Visitors to Maryland’s historic state capital often stop at the Annapolis Visitor Center before exploring the rest of the city.  Unfortunately, the Center’s parking lot was poorly accessible, unattractive, and prone to flooding (or becoming iced-over in winter). 

Solution: Representing Annapolis’ first-ever investment in green infrastructure, the Visitor Center parking lot was transformed into a functional, stormwater-friendly and visually appealing space in the center of the city.  The City installed permeable pavers and raingardens, as well as benches and bike racks.  Signage on the site points out green features such as recycled curbs, efficient lighting and solar powered meters.  The project won a “Best Ultra Urban Design” award from the Chesapeake Stormwater Network in 2015.

Scale: 0.62 acres

Cost: $800,000

Funding sources: City of Annapolis; MD Department of the Environment

Contact information:

Shelley Rentsch | Annapolis Landscape Architects | | 410-670-7212
Anne Arundel

Key project facts

Project Type:
$750,000 - $999,999
Story Focus:
Job Creation, Environmental Benefits, Business Partnerships
Stormwater Utility Funds:
Problem Addressed:
Aesthetics, Failing Infrastructure, Flooding / Drainage, Runoff Pollution
Year Installed:
Before 2013
State Legislative District:
Congressional District:
MD 3rd