Category Archives: Parks

Explorers at Home

Plant-hunting is always in season at the Leach Botanical Garden in Portland, Oregon, the storybook base of the botanist Lilla Leach, where Land Morphology has begun a next-century upgrade to the grounds.

By Bradford McKee / Photography by Sahar Coston-Hardy, Affiliate ASLA

Man standing with his back to the camera on a trail through the garden.
A path leads through a grove of camellias in the Woodland Garden, down to the Leach House next to Johnson Creek.

Leach Botanical Garden

“We wanted that project so badly,” a friend told me when I mentioned my upcoming visit in May to the Leach Botanical Garden in Portland, Oregon. The Leach Garden is a former private property, about 90 years old as a garden and about 40 years old as a Portland public park.

Continue reading Explorers at Home

A Park in Progress

Marsha P. Johnson was a hero in the Black trans community. Will the park designed in her honor earn the same admiration?

By Stephen Zacks

A tree-lined, cobblestone-paved path.
The park’s cobblestone-paved entrance references the site’s early days as a freight terminal. Photo by Zen Beattie.

A subtle shift has taken place in the park at the end of North 7th Street in Brooklyn, New York’s Williamsburg neighborhood. Recently renamed for the late Black trans LGBTQ+ civil rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, the redesigned park has retained the relatively ad hoc feeling of its previous iteration as East River State Park. It still has swaths of concrete embankments scattered around the site, remnants of the place’s industrial history as a rail and marine terminal. The main entrance has been repaved with cobblestones, mirroring the crumbling remains of the original entry. New seating is fabricated from rough-cut logs. Continue reading A Park in Progress

Pocket Ecologies

Offshoots, Inc., designs a place for people, bikes, and plants in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

By Karolina Hac

Aerial photo showing ramp, green roof, and trees shielding parkgoers from the freeway.
The park uses trees and topography to screen the adjacent elevated freeway. Image courtesy Peter Vanderwarker Photography.

Traveling into Boston on the elevated section of Interstate 93, a small pop of green is visible among the swath of industry in Charlestown’s Hood Park. Designed by Offshoots, Inc., in conjunction with Elkus Manfredi Architects, that green dot is known as Hood Bike Park. Continue reading Pocket Ecologies

Windbloom Maps the Breeze

Falon Mihalic’s sculpture charts the atmospheric forces that bind us.

By Zach Mortice

Plan view of sculpture on triangular site.
The color palette used in Windbloom was determined by the average wind direction for the entire year. Image by Falon Land Studio.

Windbloom, a 12-foot-high sculpture and pavilion under construction near Houston by the artist and landscape architect Falon Mihalic, will give physical form to ephemeral weather processes—specifically, which way the wind blows. The site-specific piece will map the direction of local wind, and its biomorphic qualities will reflect the vitality and energy of the Gulf Coast skies it surveys. Continue reading Windbloom Maps the Breeze

The Team on Tops

By any count, Presidio Tunnel Tops had an unusual number of women in construction and project leadership. They say there are good reasons for that.

By Anne C Godfrey

Three women sitting on the ground at the park.
The Meadows, sitting directly on top of the Highway 101 tunnels, is a place to gather and enjoy the views. Photo by Rachel Styer.

An unexpected amount of rain fell on the Presidio Tunnel Tops construction site this past October. The rain was a mixed blessing; though welcomed by parched San Francisco Bay Area residents, it had damaged parts of the job site. Kerry Huang, ASLA, a senior associate at James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the project’s design partner and landscape architect, said that layers of soil and plants were torn out of one of the embankments, despite the recent installation of erosion control blankets. Huang is a construction manager for Tunnel Tops, one of an unusual number of women who are project managers on this high-profile project. Continue reading The Team on Tops

Destination Hemp Farm

A Virginia landscape architect thinks cannabis farms could be the state’s next tourist attraction.

By Kim O’Connell

A concept by Kirk Bereuter, ASLA, shows how working hemp farms could incorporate the amenities of wineries or breweries. Photo by Kirk Bereuter Landscape Architecture.

On a farm in Loudoun County, Virginia, the first thing you might notice is the smell. Some say it’s citrusy, others say it’s piney, and still others say it’s skunky. Most visitors find it pleasantly earthy. This is the Cannabreeze Hemp Farm, nestled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Continue reading Destination Hemp Farm

How to Grow a Greenway

For New Orleans’s popular Lafitte Greenway, the plan was just the beginning.

By Jane Margolies

Man planting trees near "Greenway GROW!" sign
Volunteers help plant cypress trees on the Lafitte Greenway in April during an event that sprang from the park’s new Greenway GROW! management strategy. Photo courtesy Spackman Mossop Michaels.

On a recent morning in New Orleans, church parishioners, employees on loan from local businesses, and sailors in town for Navy Week were among the 130 volunteers who showed up to plant 100 cypress trees in a bioswale on the Lafitte Greenway. The city’s Department of Parks and Parkways had already cleared the site bordering the Tremé neighborhood, and staff from the New Orleans office of the landscape architecture firm Spackman Mossop Michaels (SMM) and a tree-planting nonprofit group had marked off where the 15-gallon, one-inch-caliper pond and bald cypress were to go. So the volunteers dug holes, dropped in the trees, backfilled them with soil, staked, and mulched. With everyone pitching in, the job was done in three hours. Continue reading How to Grow a Greenway