Three RDG Projects Receive ASLA Design Awards

October 17, 2019
Landscape Architecture Community & Regional Planning Urban Design Education

RDG has been recognized for work that improves lives and encourages community building. 

RDG recently received design recognition at the Nebraska/Dakotas Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the following projects: the Thompson Park Master Plan (Honor Award - Design Unbuilt), the Grand Forks Downtown Action Plan (Merit Award – Planning & Analysis) and Educare Flint (Honor Award – Design Built). 

Developing a master plan for Thompson Park, a 3.8-acre park in the heart of downtown Overland Park, Kansas was a collaborative effort led by RDG including city staff, the city council, a steering committee and citizens of Overland Park. Guiding principles were to appreciate the greenspace, become a definitive park destination, anticipate the future, and support the downtown. The selected design concept, includes restrooms and shelters, a central plaza and water feature, modern play equipment, an outdoor office space, an open recreation space beneath a canopy of existing trees, and a performance stage with a signature canopy designed to emulate a paper airplane. Thompson Park is currently under construction.

Thompson Park Master Plan for Overland Park, Kansas. Rendering by RDG.

The City of Grand Forks, North Dakota initiated the Downtown Action Plan following the mayor’s Vibrancy Initiative, which focused on making downtown a greater destination for people to visit, work, and live.  The plan and process took a unique approach, which is still being realized, by focusing on creating a compendium of action plans that are tailored to specific audiences.  These compendiums include (1) development strategies, which focus on targeted redevelopment of certain sites and design guidelines; (2) streetscape, which focuses on designing and rebuilding Demers Avenue; and (3) parks, which focus on completely redesigning the city’s signature downtown gathering space. The streetscape is being implemented before the plan’s completion.

Grand Forks Downtown Action Plan in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Rendering by RDG.

Educare Flint is the first early childhood education school built by the Educare network in Michigan. Highly skilled teaching staff and family support specialists connect children, parents, and community residents with needed services. Using integrated site design and architecture to support the concurrent delivery of both childcare and education, the center is a promising model for optimizing learning during the vital early years.

Educare Flint in Flint, Michigan. Photo by Thomas Grady Photography.

During the project’s visioning and programming phase, members of the Flint community challenged the school’s design to celebrate Flint’s accomplishments in innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, self-determination, and industry. There was a desire to celebrate the racial, economic, and cultural diversity of Flint while remaining sensitive to the neighborhood’s context and the City’s past.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director