FOUR Projects Receive ASLA Award Recognition

Des Moines, Iowa – RDG Planning & Design is recognized for design excellence by the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for the following projects:

  • University of North Carolina – Greensboro (UNCG) Kaplan Center for Wellness – located in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the recipient of a Design-Built Honor Award
  • Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Student Activity Center – located in Ankeny, Iowa, is the recipient of a Design-Built Merit Award
  • Gray’s Station Conceptual Plan – Des Moines, Iowa, is recognized with a Merit Award for Planning & Analysis
  • Walnut Creek Watershed Plan  – Polk & Dallas Counties, Iowa, receives an Honor Award for Planning & Analysis



Jury Comment: “Impressed with integration of sustainable design”

The UNCG Wellness and Recreation Center (WRC) is part of a new Spartan Village, a mixed-use redevelopment area on the southern edge of campus comprised of industrial, business, and residential properties. The Center provides over 216,000 gross square feet of recreation and wellness space and occupies the majority of its five-acre city block site. A dedicated portion of the site’s southern edge creates a landscape buffer to soften views and scale from existing residential neighborhoods. A series of bioretention cells in this area provide stormwater treatment and peak discharge attenuation. Rainwater is managed in lawn basins, rain gardens, and collection areas, which allow the sediment to collect and remain on-site before the water is “given up” to the city.


 – Jury Comment: “Nice continuity of forms in design with use of benches and paver borders”

DMACC’s new Student Activities, Trail Point Aquatics and Wellness Center, located on the Ankeny campus, retrofits an underused and dated pedestrian building entry and plaza and courtyard. The newly designed plaza creates a functional and beautiful place for students, faculty, staff, and other community members to linger and move through on the way to other campus destinations. The courtyard also connects people to nature by preserving several mature Thornless Honey Locust trees surrounding the existing plaza.  The resulting plaza and courtyard combines a unique blend of hardy and native plants, resilient materials, and open spaces to create a campus destination and a living laboratory that allows horticulture students to care for and study plants without leaving the campus.



Jury Comment: “Strong case for permeability with bikes and pedestrian circulation + Grey to Green was an impressive theme throughout the project”

The Gray’s Station Conceptual Plan, envisions a new neighborhood that extends Des Moines’ downtown by 84 acres through careful planning of a greyfield site; creates an opportunity for multiple generations, including the Echo Boom/Millennial Generation, to remain working and living in urban densities while providing a high quality of life, wellness opportunities, and living spaces that are adaptable to a variety of abilities; defines land use, open space, and transportation systems that are diverse and forward thinking; and transforms the site’s role in the regional watershed from a current utilitarian baseline into a model for the urban stormwater.


Jury Comment: “Great in-depth analysis of watershed + Strong communication used through entire presentation”

The Walnut Creek Watershed Plan focuses on developing a highly-effective, well-communicates, science-based plan for improving water quality across the watershed. It’s purpose is to interpret very technical information in a way that can be understood by implementer, policy makers and the general public, to develop consensus among potentially conflicting interests and lead directly to on-the-ground, measurable results.


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