April 4, 2013

Regional ASLA Design Award Winning Projects

THREE projects to receive design recognition from the Central States Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) at the 2013 spring conference include: Valley View Park Master Plan in West Des Moines as a Merit Award winner in the design unbuilt category; The Iowa State Parks Design Guide with a Merit Award in the planning category; and the Loess Hills Interpretive Center/Video and Site as an Honor Award in the communication category.

The Loess Hills Interpretative Video and Site in Harrison County, Iowa is a recipient of an Honor Award in the Communication category. This project is located at the Harrison County Welcome Center and celebrates the Loess Hills of Western Iowa through several interpretive techniques. The video connects emotionally with the visitor through art and interpretation, causing the visitor to seek additional information, encouraging them to visit specific Loess Hills sites, and to respect and protect the landforms. A graphic panel highlights the flora and fauna of the hills, while the walking trail engages the users through the use of light bollards, native plants, a road cut that exposes the Loess Hills soil profile, and views of the magnificent Loess Hills. View more project information.

The Valley View Park Master Plan in West Des Moines, Iowa, is a recipient of a Merit Award in the Design Unbuilt category. Valley View Park is in a region that once was dominated by prairie, prior to European settlement. A driving priority of this master plan was to demonstrate how these historic conditions of the site could be reestablished as the foundation for future Park development. Preservation of native hardwood trees, restoration of native prairie areas, and reestablishment of ecological zones within the Park seamlessly integrate rainwater management processes that mimic an ecologically-based system rather than an engineered or forced system.
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The Iowa State Parks Design Guide focuses on the year 2020 - the 100th anniversary of Iowa State Parks. Few people realize that there are over 14 million visits to these parks each year. Working together with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, RDG has successfully planned a future Iowa State Park built environment that is preferred and beloved by the public, affordable by its governance, and sustainable for future generations.
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