Five Projects Receive ASLA Design Recognition

We were honored for outstanding design work by the Great Plains Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Projects recognized for design excellence include: Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy in Memphis, Tennessee with an Award of Excellence; Deadwood Alive in Deadwood, South Dakota a Merit Award; and Pracht Wetlands Park in Wichita, Kansas, the Flint Hills Nature Trail in Eastern Kansas, and our in-house Design Residency Video all received an Honor Award!

Educational Environments:

The Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy – receives an award of excellence for integration of its site design with the built environment to support the concurrent delivery of both child care and education. Creation of this unique, outdoor, and age appropriate learning environment serves 224 children six weeks to five years, and provides 35,760 SF of play area for engaging with the outdoors in a safe environment.  The center is a promising model for optimizing learning during the vital early years.  Learn more about this project.

 

Community Environments:

Deadwood Live recognized as a Merit award winner, this project is a collaborative process including the citizens of Deadwood, the Deadwood revitalization committee, and the consultants to develop program and design concepts for public gathering spaces in Downtown Deadwood.  From the study came several basic conclusions; the center of Deadwood is more than the historic segment of Main Street, Deadwood has a sequence of public spaces, each with special attributes and actual or potential roles in the fabric of the City, and community investment in public spaces should serve both community and visitor needs.

 

Parks,  Recreation and Wetlands Environments:

Pracht Wetlands Park in Wichita, Kansas, an honor award recipient, is designed to flip a severely human-altered playa wetland from a duck hunting venue into an eco-sensitive urban wetland park.  It will increase wetland awareness and appreciation through the development of minimally invasive, flood resilient boardwalk, while also improving water quality entering and exiting the wetlands through innovate stormwater facilities.  Within the overlooks, and along the boardwalk, visitors may stop to read passages of literature and quotations about water. Excerpts from a book entitled “Deep Immersion: The Experience of Water,” set the tone and make the emotional connection to water. The quotations establish another rhythm along the walk to lead the visitor to the destination overlooks.

 

Flint Hills Nature Trail in Eastern Kansas, is a master plan resulting from months of discussions, public input meetings, and design sessions, directed to making the Flint Hills Nature Trail one of our nation’s best trails.  We worked with CFS Engineers, to develop a master plan that includes signage design, trailhead location and design, and base-level interpretation for the trail that runs on a former rail line, by breaking the 120-mile trail into a series of interpretive rooms. Each room is based on an important theme in that region, whether it is historical significance, natural landform, or cultural identity. The master plan recommends a consistent sign aesthetic which can be customized for each “room,” essentially breaking the long trail into a series of smaller trails that can be “owned” by the surrounding community.

The Design Residency Video, titled “My Park Is …” is a piece of visual communication which came out of our  2012 Design Residency – an event where students and practitioners from varying disciplines work hand-in-hand to re-imagine their world through a process that is founded upon collaboration, community and multi-disciplinary design. While the video starts out as a succinct summary of student thoughts, it ended up shaping the direction of Iowa’s state park system, used as a tool to showing how inspiration can shape policy and funding. To learn more about the Residency Video

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