Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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equestrian parking and staging area. The design of the facilities respect the land and minimized their impact on the site. Extensive site analysis was performed prior to a pen ever touching paper for the design and layout of the new trailhead connection. Analysis included studying the drainage patterns of the native washes, identifying the stands of native vegetation and evaluating the varying terrains to ensure the lightest footprint possible. The extensive analysis determined the ideal area for the new facility would include a burned area with minimal vegetation. Native washes would be preserved. More than 520 plants on site were inventoried and assessed. Only 19 trees required removal, many of which were in serious decline. This "deadfall" went to habitat areas. The project overcame the challenge of no available water by introducing water harvest swales into all the parking lot islands and other low areas. Any collected stormwater goes to the new trees and existing plants. Lack of water meant the use of vault evaporator (no flush) restrooms, a biological system that is noticeably odor free. Two site specific native seed mixes were developed: one is a wide variety of Sonoran Desert wildflowers, desert grasses and low ground covers around the pedestrian areas. The other mix included seed species of larger native trees, shrubs and cacti that will eventually serve as cover and as a natural nursery for wildlife and new vegetation. Top, Right: Native stands of vegetation and natural drainage ways were preserved in place to minimize the footprint of the site development. The steel pedestrian bridge, supported on concrete foundations, spans a natural desert wash. The bridge and exposed aggregate concrete walk connect the northern parking area to the south and places trail users on the path to the restrooms and ramada plaza. The bridge combines various sized steel angle irons that support steel bar grating. The walking surface is perforated metal panels. Bottom, Right: The tilting rusted I-beams of the ramada and placement of the restroom structure frame views of the Sonoran Preserve. A spreading palo verde tree and wildflowers intersperse the pavements to "ground" the structures to the site. January 2018 67

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