Arlington National Cemetery is a hallowed and historic resting place for our veterans and many notable figures in U.S. history; we had the honor to restore approximately 1,900 linear feet of stream channel and improve stormwater management to help maintain the beauty and ecological health of this national landmark’s Millennium project area.

The Challenge

Arlington National Cemetery was quickly running out of space for internments, and the 27 acres included a degraded stream and a stormwater runoff erosion issue. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needed to maximize the burial capacity and wanted to use the stream as a focal point. WSSI joined the team to restore the stability and health of the natural environment.

Our Solution

We designed approximately 1,900 linear feet of stream restoration that serves as a prominent natural landscape amenity and also improves the water quality and channel resilience. Our studies included wetland delineation, a complete tree survey, and detailed topographic survey, along with a complete stream geomorphic assessment. WSSI also was instrumental in obtaining regulatory agency approval for impacts to Waters of the United States so the project could proceed, as well as waivers for encroachments into the Resource Protection Area. WSSI provided assistance with a variety of studies the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers included in the Environmental Assessment for the project.

WSSI also resolved an erosion issue caused by stormwater flow from a cemetery parking lot, addressing both the need for restoration and the need for better stormwater management. WSSI’s engineering team used Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance concepts to design restoration plans for the eroded outfall channel. We also designed an underground stormwater management facility so that the outflow from the facility was reduced to that of a forested condition (using the Energy Balance method), meaning the runoff was no more than it would have been if the parking lot was a wooded area.

WSSI’s site inspections – requested by the client throughout the construction process – helped see the concepts through to reality.


Best Landscape Hardscape Urban Development & Project of the Year Finalist (2019), Engineering News-Record, Mid-Atlantic

DESIGNArlington Award of Excellence (2019), Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development

Project Facts
  • Owner
    U.S. Department of the Army
  • Location
    Arlington, VA
  • Size
    ±1,900 linear feet
  • Frank Graziano

    Gainesville, VA

  • Scott Petrey

    Millersville, MD