Category Archives: Water

A Deep Dive Into the Archive

Albert Kahn Associates mines original drawings for the restoration of the historic Ford House.

By Jeff Link

1929 plan the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
The design team consulted Jens Jensen’s original drawings for the restoration, including this 1929 plan for the pool and lagoon. FOE31 Jens Jensen Drawings and Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

The restoration of the 87-acre grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, may be among the most historically faithful re-creations of the work of Jens Jensen and Albert Kahn to date. Pieced together from Jensen’s original drawings, detailed construction logs, archival photographs, and digitized film reels, the restored landscape just outside Detroit features a 185,000-gallon clamshell-shaped pool, a lagoon, a meadow, and a wagon-wheel-shaped rose garden. 

Continue reading A Deep Dive Into the Archive

Together for the Terroir

In California’s wine country, a landscape architect helps farmers and residents prepare for wildfires.

By Jennifer Reut

Plan view of residence with garden and trees planted around it.
Working with homeowners on design templates was a way to support those who had lost homes to wildfires. Courtesy Christie Jarvis/Ann Baker Landscape Architecture.

Having grown up in Northern California, Ann Baker remembers the region’s wine country before it was dotted with tasting rooms and destination spas. Baker often visited her grandparents, the Solaris, at Larkmead Vineyards, the historic winery and vineyards that have been in her family since the mid-20th century. “As a kid, I always was going out to Larkmead because that was their home, and we always had big family gatherings there and played games on the lawn and had ravioli for Thanksgiving, and then the turkey and everything else,” she says. Continue reading Together for the Terroir

Tier Drops

Water out West is disappearing. Seven states, 30 tribes, and millions of people will need to adjust.

By Lisa Owens Viani

The Central Arizona Project carries Colorado River water across a stretch of desert north of Bouse, Arizona. Photo © Ted Wood/The Water Desk.

In early August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation declared the first ever Tier 1 shortage for the Colorado River, based on the agency’s projection that Lake Mead would drop below a threshold of 1,075 feet above sea level in January. Water levels in the river’s two main reservoirs—Lake Powell (behind Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona) and Lake Mead (behind Hoover Dam on the Arizona–Nevada border)—are now at their lowest since they were filled and flows in the river have declined. Continue reading Tier Drops

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

Park Diplomacy Across the U.S.–Mexico Border

This article is also available in Spanish

At Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, “two countries, two cities, one culture, one river, one park.”

By Jane Margolies

Zacate Creek, which feeds into the Rio Grande, creates an arroyo with a natural waterfall. Photo by Overland Partners.

Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas, Mexico—known colloquially as Los Dos Laredos—were a single city divided by the Rio Grande River until 1848, when a treaty established the international border in the river, leaving one half in the United States and the other in Mexico. Continue reading Park Diplomacy Across the U.S.–Mexico Border

Bog Wild

Guarded by isolated landscapes and rough ocean waters, Argentina’s remote peatlands are among the world’s most effective and fragile carbon sinks.

By Jimena Martignoni / Photography by Joel Reyero

Peatlands appear in the landscape as extensive, soft surfaces slightly undulated and dotted by small pools of water.

At the southern tip of South America, between the Strait of Magellan to the north and west and Beagle Channel to the south, the Tierra del Fuego archipelago may hold one of the keys to global carbon sequestration: nearly pristine peatlands. Continue reading Bog Wild