In 2008 a 3,000-square-foot green roof garden and rooftop labyrinth opened for public use on the roof of the American Psychological Association’s downtown Washington, D.C. building. The APA, which has 115,000 members, worked in partnership with the World Resources Institute, a building tenant, in the creation and implementation of this innovative project. This is considered to be the nation’s first urban green roof and labyrinth project.
According to APA’s website, “The project is designed to give employees and visitors a place for quiet reflection and help prevent pollution in local waterways.
APA was approached for the venture by The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which seeks to help Washington, D.C., cope with water runoff problems created by the city’s antiquated sewer system. Under normal rainfall conditions, water and sewage from downtown flows to a treatment plant, then into the Potomac River. But during the city’s heaviest storms – about 75 times a year – the sewer system becomes overloaded. Instead of being treated, polluted water and raw sewage run into area rivers and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Last year, about 1.5 billion gallons of water and sewage streamed into the city’s Anacostia River.”
This labyrinth is accessible to the public during regular weekday business hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Use the middle elevator that goes to the penthouse, or ask the security guard to direct you. You must present a photo ID to be admitted into the building.