Lone Oaks Farm had a master plan as ambitious as they come. Implementation has been rocky.
By Timothy A. Schuler
From the beginning, the idea behind Lone Oaks Farm in Middleton, Tennessee, was ambitious. Acquired by the University of Tennessee (UT) in 2015, the 1,200-acre property was to be a new home for 4-H summer camps; offer hunter education programs and a world-class sporting clays course; host corporate retreats and private events; and serve as a model for ecological restoration and environmental conservation, all while continuing to operate as a working cattle farm. The goal was to connect people of all ages, especially youth, to the Tennessee landscape, which the farm would do through education, sport, hospitality, food, and agricultural science.Continue reading Form Follows Funding→
California repurposes farmland to save its water supply.
By Lisa Owens Viani
Last winter, 31 atmospheric rivers drenched California after an extended drought, filling the state’s reservoirs to the brim for the first time in years and enabling the state’s two main surface water supply systems—which bring fresh water from the mountains to thirsty cities and farms via a complex network of reservoirs, canals, and pipes—to provide all of their promised water allocations. Massive, long-disappeared wetlands such as Tulare Lake in the southern San Joaquin Valley reemerged, and other parts of the valley were still underwater in late spring. But despite the soaking, the state continues to plan for a hotter, drier future, including ways to recharge parched aquifers. “This year was an exception to the rule,” says Andrew Schwartz, the lead scientist and manager of the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. “We’re in an aridifying climate and things will just continue to get drier.”Continue reading Farm To Water Table→
An architecture critic jump-starts real change in Dallas’s memorial landscape.
By Timothy A. Schuler
For the past 20 years, the places where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed have been marked on Dallas’s Elm Street on the north side of Dealey Plaza by two white Xs—not as part of an official commemoration, but at the hands of what Mark Lamster, the architecture critic for the Dallas Morning News, describes as “assassination tourist guides.” “[They] come and spray-paint these really tawdry Xs on the ground, and every time the city tries to erase them, they just get spray-painted back there,” says Lamster, who began thinking about Dealey Plaza and its shortcomings in 2013, during the 50th anniversary of the assassination.Continue reading Creative Writing→
Terrain-NYC turns a bedrock cliff in the Bronx into a garden for all seasons.
By Zach Mortice
Faced with the need for a meditative and richly planted landscape for an affordable and supportive housing project in the Bronx on top of exposed bedrock, Brian Green, a landscape architect at Terrain-NYC, looked to the other geologic formations in Manhattan, particularly in Central Park, and in the Bronx. What he noticed most were the ferns that grew in these places. Typically considered too delicate to take root in rock, they were surprisingly persistent. “They’ll find their way, somehow, into these little crevices,” he says.Continue reading Top of the Rock→
Berger Partnership designs a green infrastructure facility that’s part of the neighborhood.
By Katharine Logan
As climate change and urban growth stress the ability of combined storm and sewer systems to handle the volume of water besieging cities, infrastructure that would once have been relegated to industrial outskirts increasingly needs to fit within mixed-use neighborhoods. In south Seattle, the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station is meant to model replicable solutions while becoming “an integrated part of the community: accepted, acknowledged, actually liked,” says Michael Popiwny, the architectural design and mitigation manager for the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, who served as the senior project manager during the design phase of the facility.Continue reading Resilience Theater→
Can large landscape infrastructure projects deliver ecological transformation better than their industrial predecessors?
By Robert Levinthal and Richard Weller
For nearly a century,a new breed of megaproject has gone unrecognized, and it is now proliferating. These projects, which we have named “mega-eco projects,” are different from old-school megaprojects in important ways: They seek to address biodiversity loss, land degradation, and climate change while simultaneously improving the living conditions of the planet’s now eight billion inhabitants. We have documented nearly 250 of these mega-eco projects currently under construction and believe there is a big opportunity for the profession of landscape architecture to participate in them and better fulfill its mandate to steward the land.Continue reading The Mega-Eco Age→
Historic funding for Utah’s Great Salt Lake will support water use reductions within agriculture and the urban landscape.
By Brian Fryer
The drought conditions affecting western states, along with increased water demands from a growing population and industrialized agriculture, have drained Utah’s Great Salt Lake to its lowest levels on record. A study conducted last year by a team of experts from Utah’s research universities, known as the Great Salt Lake Strike Team, concluded that if current conditions persist, and without interventions, the lake will disappear in five years.Continue reading A Lake at Its Limit→
The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects