Central Green

Project Location:

Bioretention Soil

Project Location:

The Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA

Property Owner:

Liberty Property Trust


Custom Engineered Soil


C. Caramanico & Sons

Date Installed:

Between Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

The beautiful turn of the century campus within the Philadelphia Navy Yard complex provided a great canvas for new buildings and landscapes to support Philadelphia’s burgeoning tech economy. However, knowing the entire landmass is man-made, built from river dredge and mainland soil spoils with a brackish high water table, there were valid concerns over potential soil contamination issues which may have occurred during the naval base’s wartime operations.

To address these concerns, and ensure a successful and functional landscape for the Central Green project, Soil Scientist Tim Craul was brought in. After evaluating the existing soil conditions, he specified a two-layer soil system containing a coarse drainage layer located below a finer, slightly more organic surface/planting layer. Together the soil layers work to support plant life, while also maintaining optimum soil moisture and the ability to filter and infiltrate stormwater.

C. Caramanico and Sons spread over 3,000 yards of Laurel Valley Custom Engineered Soil to create Central Green’s “social space”, a six acre park-like setting. The landscape is a beautiful sanctuary for people to enjoy, play in, and unwind amongst aesthetically pleasing yet functional bio-swales and rain gardens seemingly hidden right before your eyes.

The award-winning landscape was designed by James Corner Field Operations, most recognized as being the Project Lead on NYC’s famous High Line, and is a wonderful example of what the future of urban stormwater management is all about.