Located along the Corsica River, Centreville Wharf park is situated on a former fertilizer plant site with historical ties to the colonial shipping trade. In the 1700's, the wharf area was central to life in Centreville, due to being one of the departure points for the hogsheads of tobacco being shipped from the area and sent to Baltimore and London.
Over the next 200 years, a combination of industrial and residential development gradually took a toll on the health of the river and surrounding estuaries. In 1996, recognizing the low dissolved oxygen in portions of the Upper Bay, Maryland listed all of the upper Chesapeake Bay tidal water segments, including the Corsica, as not meeting standards for phosphorus, nitrogen (nutrients) and sediments.
Fortunately, greater public awareness of the problem led to a change in development practices and an increased emphasis by local, state, and federal agencies on restoration and sustainability throughout the watershed. The Centreville Wharf Park's use of EP Henry ECO Permeable Pavers was the result of city officials' careful consideration of the delicate balance of the local environment, as well as the park's role within the greater Chesapeake Bay system.
Because the Corsica enters the Chesapeake Bay at the Centreville Wharf, a substantial portion of the wharf area has been opened to provide much needed public access to the river, raising citizen awareness and serving as a reminder of the responsibility to restore and preserve the surrounding environs.
Project contractor Kevin Kelmartin points out why EP Henry ECO Pavers were the right choice for use in the park's walkways.
"The stone bed underneath the pavers acts as a stormwater filter to slow down runoff, allowing it to soak into the ground rather than carrying pollutants into the adjacent river." Kelmartin adds, "The pavers also have an overall aesthetic appeal. They look better than a conventional sidewalk since they fit into the historic feel of the town."
Two "pocket" parks have been constructed at the wharf. This included replacement of the existing bulkhead and construction of gazebos, pavilions and asphalt parking. Careful attention was given to stormwater management and critical area mitigation and sustainable landscaping with EP Henry ECO Permeable Pavers selected for use in walkways throughout the site. Five finger piers with mooring piles for ten slips, two observation platforms with access for transient boaters, and a boardwalk were also built. Site construction also features living shoreline, wetland restoration, critical area mitigation and landscaping.