There was a crumbling section of concrete bulkhead along the river in a portion of the park that was a remnant of the waterfront’s earlier industrial era. Rather than rebuild the bulkhead with concrete, park designers suggested a “greener” solution which involved constructing a bioengineered edge. The bio-edge uses reinforced soil and native plants to stabilize the bank so that it can filter rainwater as it runs-off from hard surfaces in the park into the river.
The bio-edge design uses a sheet pile wall at the bottom to hold the edge in place, and then steps back horizontally as it rises above the water level. Each step-back incorporates a “geo-grid,” a net-like reinforcing form filled with soil, which keeps the soil in place but allows water to pass through it. The soil is planted with native species such as sweet pepper, hydrangea, winterberry, mountain laurel, and arrow-wood viburnum. The appearance of the bio-edge varies throughout the year, as the native plants take on their seasonal colors.