Land Reviialization Success Stories | EPA 560-F-l 8-003
June 2018
Planning for Sustainable Brownfield Redevelopment
The Assunpink Creek is 25 miles long, and drains approximately 91 square miles in central New Jersey, The Creek is the major
natural feature within the Assunpink Greenway and adjacent Mill Hill Park, In the late 1970s, a 500-foot section of Assunpink
Creek, between Broad and Warren streets in Trenton, New Jersey was channeled into an existing culvert and covered to make
room for development projects that were never constructed. Since then, this brownfields property sat vacant and underutilized.
Over the years the culvert experienced several structural failures resulting in a public
safety hazard. In late 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USAGE), in
partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP)
and the City of Trenton, began a project to restore this section of the Assunpink Creek
to a more natural ecological condition. The stream "daylighting" project will remove
the culvert, allowing the stream to be exposed to natural sunlight and no longer run
underground. The project will stabilize and naturally align the daylighted creek with
river stone, boulders and other native materials; improve fish migration from the
Delaware River; and create two acres of new open park space for passive recreation.
In addition to reducing the public safety hazard, the removal of the deteriorating
culvert will improve community aesthetics.
In September 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Land
Revitalization Team provided technical assistance to the city by preparing a 30%
Construction Drawing (CD) Set for the approximately 2-acre park that will occupy
the brownfields space reclaimed following the daylighting of Assunpink Creek. The
EPA Land Revitalization Team reviewed the USACE Stream Daylighting and
Restoration Plans, assessed existing site conditions, met with city and local
stakeholders, analyzed potential opportunities and constraints based upon
stakeholders' input and needs, and developed a schematic design of the park.
This new park is at an important location within the planning framework of downtown
Trenton, The park design and 30% CD Set incorporates and connects features of
historic Mill Hill Park immediately adjacent to the project. It is located in the heart of
the downtown business and historic district, and is the location of the Second Battle
of Trenton during the American Revolution. The recovering urban stream connects
several greenway and other urban park facilities in the city.
The proposed park design will restore the natural ecosystem and freshwater
ecology of the creek, while providing a series of small, well-defined spaces that
range from natural "nooks" to urban, streetscape focused plazas. This plan enables
residents to experience the new park in a variety of ways. The daylighting and park
enhancement project will create a gathering place and hub to the community, and
help to revitalize the community and local economy.
For more information, please contact Sabina Byck EPA Region 2 at
Figure 1: Assunpink Creek restoration project.
Figure 2: Assunpink 30% Plan Set Design.
Early collaboration amongst city
departments and state environmental
agencies can lead to effective and efficient
Daylighting urban streams improves water
quality, mitigates flooding, and revitalizes the
local economy.
	Engage local stakeholders to enhance the
design and advance the 30% Construction
Drawing set.
	Work with USACE to ensure that the park
construction plans fall within the final
restoration work that USACE will conduct.
	Study the non-daylighted portion of the
culvert to determine if it can support the
planned redevelopment design.