RUCKSTUHL PARK MASTER PLAN AUTHOR: ARIANNA NETZKY a senior capstone proposal Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Department of Landscape Architecture College of Agricultural and Life Sciences University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, Wisconsin
MAY 2014 Approved by Eric J. Schuchardt, MLAUD, Associate ASLA Capstone Coordinator & Course Instructor
& Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA Course Instructor
Acknowledgements I would like to express my very great appreciation to: Sandra Stallman, Fairfax County Park Authority Andrea Dorlester, Fairfax County Park Authority Andrew Galusha, Fairfax County Park Authority Eric Schuchardt, Capstone Coordinator Doug Hadley, Professor Shawn Kelly, Professor Sam Dennis, Professor My Classmates My Parents, for always supporting me.
About the Author
When Arianna Netzky was a child, her father owned a book and map store that specifically sold items pertaining to travel. She would spend afternoons after school staring at maps, perusing guide books, and dreaming of far away places. Fortunately, her family shared her youthful desire. With strong memories such as the Kona coffee plantations in Hawaii, the bison in Yellowstone National Park, colonial reenactments in Williamsburg, Virginia, and volunteering in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Arianna’s compassion and wonderment for the earth and its inhabitants grew at a young age.
The curious concept of ethics is that everyone possesses their own set. These sets will a vary from person to person; however, all ethics are developed from the individual’s own knowledge and experience, and serve as daily guidelines. Professions and organizations utilize ethics in order to develop a unified, progressive standard. For example, in order to be considered a certified landscape architect, one must agree and comply with the licensure professional code of ethics. Yet, it is important for the individual to value his or her profession’s ethics in order to develop his or her own ethics code. Therefore, I will establish my own set of ethics.
Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, Arianna has made Madison, Wisconsin her home. After a few years of being lost in undergraduate academia at UW-Madison, she confusingly enrolled in “Landscape Architecture 312: Graphics for Landscape Architects” to fulfill an art degree requirement. However, after the first lecture, Arianna was captivated by the profession, and never looked back. She states, “it was the best mistake I could have ever made.” For Arianna, landscape architecture is the perfect synthesis of art, science, critical thinking, and identity. With her personal experience and interests, Arianna’s main focus within the profession is public health, with a specific concentration on mental health in relation to daily environments. Her ultimate goal is to improve the well-being of individuals, communities, and the environment through landscape architecture.
As a landscape architect, my personal design ethics can be summarized simply: to create spaces that improve and assist the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and the environment. “Health” is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Applying this explanation, my overarching design criteria is to boost our society’s health and quality of life, utilizing as many community-conscious and sustainable practices as possible. In order to accomplish this practice, techniques such as low maintenance and low impact design, conservation, public participation, and universal design principles must be thoroughly implemented throughout the entire development process. Finally, it is critical to understand the user at the individual scale. This understanding, which includes physical, emotional, and social realms, is imperative in order to create a meaningful “place”, rather than an ordinary “space”.
Department of Landscape Architecture Fall 2013
CONTENTS 1 Introduction
2 Location, History, & Present Day
3 Client Goals & Site Limitations
4 Research & Professional Practice
5 Regional Scale
6 Community Scale
7 Site Scale
9 Design Criteria
11 Design Approach
12 Community Plan
13 Master Plan
14 Site Plan
To fulfill the requirements of the Senior Capstone Program in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I will investigate how ideas of public health may inform the design of an urban park. This investigation will be given context and focus by the concerns and goals of Fairfax County Park Authority, which include public participation. Ruckstuhl Park, in Idylwood, Virginia will be the site for this study.
BS in Landscape Architecture
ABSTRACT Figure 1.00: Existing Ruckstuhl Park Landscape
This project involves discovering the effects of an urban park on overall human well-being. The goal is to show that the newly-designed Ruckstuhl Park (located in Falls Church, Virginia) can positively impact the health, safety, and wellness of individuals and the surrounding community. This has been done by thoroughly examining published relevant research, conducting precedent studies, and analyzing the existing conditions at various scales in order to develop a design solution, with a focus on the restorative properties of the environment. Upon investigation, it becomes clear that â€œmodern society is increasingly aware that humans and culture are
components of the natural environment, and that human health is inextricably linked with environmental conditionâ€? (Jackson). Good landscape planning can contribute to creating a less stressful and more restorative everyday environment for inhabitants of cities: interactions with urban green-spaces could help to physically and emotionally restore human beings (Grahn & Stigsdotter). By exhibiting Ruckstuhl Park as an effective preventative health solution, this project highlights the overall importance of green-space in the urban environment.
“Modern society is increasingly aware that humans and culture are components of the natural environment, and that human health is inextricably linked with environmental condition” (Jackson). Locations with a high population density in relation to land-area, specifically urban environments, easily produce negative-health environments. “Urban life exposes people to many stressors, in the form of traffic noise, crowding, fear of crime, and often access to nature and green-space is limited or of poor quality. The type of nature close to where people live and work, in the form of parks, gardens, tree-lined streets, communal squares and allotments, is strategically important for the quality of life of urban dwellers and for the sustainability of towns and cities” (Natural England). As a form of preventative health and an increase to “quality of life”, urban green-space is a vital component to the world’s population. With a multidisciplinary analysis and approach within these spaces, many prevalent global issues, including health care costs, economic instability, and social reform, will be treated sustainably. “Access to good quality urban green-space is essential for good mental and physical health, childhood development, social cohesion, and other important cultural services” (Natural England). “Cities often demand physical activities like walking as a part of everyday life, but parks are also special places where people can escape the stressors of that everyday life and engage in a wide range of preferred leisure activities for the sake of those activities themselves” (Krenichyn). Central Park in New York City, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, has been and is one of the world’s most famous urban-parks. Surprisingly, it was also one of the nation’s first ‘pleasure ground’ parks, meaning that it was created to “preserve nature within the industrialized city and provide opportunities for healthy recreation, socialization, and spiritual elevation of the urban masses” (Krenichyn). Figure 1.01: Built Urban Landscape Characteristics
Central Park can be considered a ‘restorative environment’ because it possesses the four restorative qualities: being away, fascination, extent, and compatibility with human needs (Karmanov & Hamel). By understanding, analyzing, and implementing these qualities, Ruckstuhl Park can be considered a ‘restorative environment’ and an overall benefit to human well-being. “As a gregarious species, people benefit emotionally and physically from interpersonal relationships. Society at large also benefits from the participation of its members in political organizations, charitable activities, parent-teacher associations, and even recreational leagues, as increased familiarity among individuals promotes mutual aid and empathy” (Jackson). This participation is defined as ‘social capital’ and it originates in the neighborhood (Jackson). In order for Ruckstuhl Park to be a useful and meaningful place for individuals and the community, public involvement is needed from the neighborhood.
The products of this capstone will include a set of design documents and recommendations for Ruckstuhl Park, which will be submitted to Fairfax County Park Authority, and a capstone document, which will be submitted to the Department of Landscape Architecture in fulfillment of the degree of Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture.
IDENTIFY SITE LOCATION ACQUIRE BASE MATERIALS & DEVELOP GIS DATABASE INVENTORY AND ANALYZE ALL ASPECTS OF REGIONAL, COMMUNITY, AND SITE SCALE CRITICAL REVIEW OF LITERATURE CRITICAL REVIEW OF PRECEDENTS DEVELOP DESIGN ETHICS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA DEVELOP PRELIMINARY PROGRAM DEFEND PROPOSAL
WORKFLOW DIAGRAM ENGAGE IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN PROCESS FINALIZE DESIGN AND GRAPHICS DEFEND FINAL DESIGN PRODUCE CAPSTONE DOCUMENT
Figure 1.02: Workflow Diagram
LOCATION HISTORY PRESENT DAY
Figure 2.00: Ruckstuhl Park Boundaries Arianna Netzky BS in Landscape Architecture
2.1 Site Location Located in Idlywood, Virginia, the Ruckstuhl Park site is located in a unique and evolving area. The urban density within the surrounding neighborhood is increasing, yet the existing infrastructure is one that resembles “suburban” typography. The park’s close proximity to Washington D.C. and other urban centers is a beneficial aspect to its future development.
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (10 Minutes)
Fairfax, VA (15 Minutes)
WEST SPRINGFIELD 16
LOCATION: DRIVE TIMES
McLean, VA (10 Minutes)
Potomac Overlook Regional Park (15 Minutes)
CITY LIMITS FAIRFAX COUNTY LINE
Theodore Roosevelt Island (15 Minutes)
Annandale, VA (10 Minutes)
Lake Barcroft (15 Minutes)
The White House (20 Minutes) United States Capitol Building (20 Minutes)
Arlington, VA (10 Minutes)
Arlington National Cemetery (15 Minutes)
Ronald Reagan National Airport (20 Minutes)
LINCOLNIA ALEXANDRIA NORTH SPRINGFIELD
Alexandria, VA (20 Minutes) Figure 2.01: Drive Times Map
1937 Figure 2.02: Land Use Change
Figure 2.03: Victorian Farm House
Figure 2.04: Doctor Lily Ruckstuhl
2.2 Site History
2.3 Doctor Lily Ruckstuhl
Ruckstuhl Park sits on land that was originally granted to Catesby Cocke. The site’s history can be dated back to 1766 when Colonel Robert Lindsay purchased a total of 370 acres of land from William Cocke. Lindsay’s family had emigrated from Scotland in the 1600s, and later, he served in the Revolutionary War. Lindsay constructed his dwelling on the property (not particularly on the park site, but adjacent to the site) after the purchase. The land remained within the family through a series of inheritances and wills from 1766 to 1847. However, in 1847, the Lindsay heirs sold 234 acres to Benjamin Klock.
Doctor Lily Ruckstuhl was a very accomplished woman. In 1958, she received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a time when few women were doctors. Even though she had developed a well respected practice, Dr. Ruckstuhl “came to treasure her refuge from her busy professional life - the seven acres of woods and meadows she owned in Fairfax County where she lovingly cared for several generations of sheep, goats, horses, and dogs”
In 1871, Benjamin Klock’s son, Jonathan built a “Victorian Farm House”on 55 acres of property that he received from his parents. This farm house is listed on the Historical Inventory. In 1877, Benjamin Klock’s estate was divided, and his widow Sallie received the land. After Benjamin’s and Sallie’s daughter Sarah Klock’s death in 1938, the house passed out of the Klock family. *Research by Susan Hellman, Department of Planning and Zoning, Fairfax County, 2006
Even though she never owned the historic Lindsey Cemetery next door to her property, she still maintained the parcel. According to NVCT, Dr. Ruckstuhl “grew increasingly concerned that her property would be developed after her passing”, due to the fact that “residential developments were sprouting up all around her little farm”. Therefore, in order for preserve her legacy, Dr. Ruckstuhl contacted the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust. *Information provided by the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust
SITE DEMOLITION, SUMMER 2012 64
Parcel 65: Green House & Pool
59 61A Figure 2.05: Demolition
Parcel 64: Rental House
Parcel 61A & 59: Meadow, Looking North
Parcel 64: Lawn
Parcel 61A: Rental House
2.4 Demolition When Fairfax County Park Authority acquired the property, there were existing structures on site; therefore, the Park Authority proceeded to develop a demolition plan. The project was completed during Summer 2012, and in total, they demolished three single family homes and accessory structures including two detached garages, swimming pool, abandoning all wells, removal of septic tanks, sheds, and driveways. Additionally, it was required that the project fit under the rules of the conservation easement. In turn, because the vegetation on the site could not be disturbed, the vegetation varies throughout, due to private gardens and residential landscape. Furthermore, a great amount of site inventory was collected because of this project.
2.5 Present Day
Reaching the most affluent audience in the Washington D.C. Metro Area. Close Window [x]
(Created: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 7:04 AM EDT)
Figure 2.06: Sun Gazette News Article
The present day condition of the site is a natural “blank-slate”. With proper design and community input, this park has the opportunity to serve a need of an everchanging, local population.
CLIENT GOALS SITE LIMITATIONS
Fairfax County Park Authority: To set aside public spaces for and assist citizens in the protection and enhancement of environmental values, diversity of natural habitat and cultural heritage to guarantee that these resources will be available to both present and future generations. To create and sustain quality facilities and services which offer citizens opportunities for recreation, improvement of their physical and mental well-being, and enhancement of their quality of life.
Fairfax County Park Authority: We strive to inspire and sustain a passion for parks and leisure experiences that enhance our communityâ€™s quality of life.
3.1 Client Goals 3.1.1 Overall Objectives
3.1.2 Jefferson Planning District
Pressures of population growth, changing land use patterns and life styles, and fiscal realities will continue to influence the Countyâ€™s plans and abilities to provide park and recreation services at levels consistent with public needs. The pace of urban development is rapidly foreclosing the availability of land suitable for future parks, while escalating land costs further constrain opportunities for purchase of public park lands. Therefore, park planning and land use decisions should be guided by the County goals cited below:
For planning purposes, the Fairfax County Park Authority organizes the county into fourteen Park Planning Districts, and Ruckstuhl Park is located within the Jefferson Planning District (as seen in Figure 3.00). The Jefferson Planning District is located on the eastern edge of Fairfax County, between the City of Falls Church and Tysons Corner, and it is bounded by the Fairfax, Annandale, and Baileys Planning Districts.
1. Identify and serve current and future park and recreation needs through an integrated park system that provides open space, recreational services and facilities, and stewardship of natural and cultural resources. 2. Protect appropriate land areas in a natural state to ensure preservation of significant and sensitive natural resources. 3. Protect and preserve significant cultural resources on parklands. 4. Provide for current and future park and recreational needs through a combination of development of new and existing sites and the optimal use of all existing facilities. 5. Ensure the long term protection, preservation and sustainability of park resources. 6. Ensure the mitigation of adverse impacts to park and recreation facilities and service levels caused by growth and land development through the provision of proffers, conditions, contributions, commitments, and land dedication.
Most of the planning district is developed with single-family residential homes, and many local parks are accessible from their surrounding communities by bicycle and foot. However, pedestrian and cyclist access to other local parks, community parks, and district parks is much more difficult because of the need to cross major highways with high volumes of traffic. Additionally, Jefferson District parks have only a few community building types of facilities. Overall, the Jefferson District is highly under served by local parks and not well served by larger parks. In particular, there are no parks in the district that provide significant groupings of athletic facilities. Jefferson District Park provides a golf course and mini golf, but no playing fields. It may be possible to establish more of the smaller, local parks, especially if some older areas redevelop. Within the Countywide Comprehensive Plan, there are main themes, followed by issues and possible strategies listed for each planning district. For the Jefferson Planning Distirct, there are a variety of planning strategies; however, not all pertain to Ruckstuhl Park. Therefore, the following details the strategies that best align with the development of the Ruckstuhl Park Master Plan:
Figure 3.00: Jefferson Planning District, Fairfax County Park Authority
JEFFERSON DISTRICT PLANNING STRATEGIES
FOR RUCKSTUHL PARK THEME: CONNECTIVITY
J-C-1. Use criteria provided in the Park Authorityâ€™s Trail Strategy Plan to evaluate potential new trails, connections and improvements. J-C-4. Support the construction of neighborhood connections to park resources in the district.
THEME: COMMUNITY BUILDING
J-CB-5. Add recreational facilities and amenities, where appropriate, to parks in the district that are co-located with other civic uses.
THEME: FACILITY REINVESTMENT
J-FR-3. Move the chess tables at Roundtree Park to a location where they will get more use J-FR-6. Consider expanding the parking at Idylwood and Roundtree Parks to accommodate facility use needs.
THEME: LAND AQUISITION
J-LA-2. Make it a high priority to seek opportunities to acquire land suitable for recreation uses in this district. J-LA-7. Encourage owners of large private parcels to place conservation easements on their property to protect natural resources. J-LA-9. Encourage utility corridors and other easements to be managed consistent with natural resource goals not just utility goals.
THEME: CULTURAL RESOURCE STEWARDSHIP
J-CR-2. For any site subject to proposed construction activity, a preliminary assessment of the property will be carried out using GIS and pedestrian reconnaissance. Should potential resources be present, a cultural resource survey will be conducted and mitigation measures will be developed, as necessary.
THEME: NATURAL RESOURCE STEWARDSHIP
J-NR-1. Seek to acquire and protect remaining natural areas in the district especially those connecting to other natural areas and those containing unique or significant natural resources. J-NR-3. Provide new linkages between remaining public and private natural areas. J-NR-6. Work with the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) and private land owners to capture and treat storm water. This could take the form of incorporating Low Impact Development (LID) methods. Properties could be renovated to provide new or enhanced storm water facilities. J-NR-11. Ensure that natural resources are assessed prior to any park development. Use design principles that minimize natural resource impacts and include monitoring and restoration of impacted natural areas as part of development plans J-NR-12. Conduct natural resource inventories, develop, and implement natural resource management plans for natural areas. J-NR-13. Educate citizens on the problems associated with invasive plant species. Work with them to eliminate or limit invasive plants on private property near parks and to prevent new introductions of invasive species J-NR-14. Expand non-native invasive plant management and habitat restoration on parkland by implementing the Non-Native Invasive Plant Prioritization Plan and Assessment. J-NR-15. Ensure sustainability of tree canopy on parkland by developing and implementing management plans and controlling threats such as non-native invasive plants and deer herbivory. J-NR-17. Incorporate natural landscaping techniques on parkland, avoid tree loss from development and where possible increase tree canopy. J-NR-18. Designate permanent resource protection zones on parkland that define appropriate uses and development.
NEEDS ASSESSMENT: JEFFERSON PLANNING DISTRICT 2010 POPULATION: 53,818 (EXPECTED) 2020 POPULATION: 60,249 facility
service level standard (facility to people)
2010 existing facilities
2020 needed facilities
RECTANGLE FIELDS ADULT BASEBALL FIELDS ADULT SOFTBALL FIELDS YOUTH BASEBALL FIELDS YOUTH SOFTBALL FIELDS BASKETBALL COURTS PLAYGROUNDS NEIGHBORHOOD DOG PARKS NEIGHBORHOOD SKATE PARKS
1 : 2,700 1 : 24,000 1 : 22,000 1 : 7,200 1 : 8,800 1 : 2,100 1 : 2,800 1 : 86,000 1 : 106,000
14.2 2.0 1.5 7.5 6.0 13.5 18.5 0.0 0.0
22.3 2.5 2.7 8.4 6.8 28.7 21.5 0.7 0.6
(8.1) (0.5) (1.2) (0.9) (0.8) (15.2) (3.0) (0.7) (0.6)
3.1.3 Needs Assessment According the Fairfax County Park Authority’s “need assessment” report for the Jefferson Planning District, there are a variety of recreational elements that will be required in the future. However, due to the conservation easement stipulations, many of these amenities can not be implemented at Ruckstuhl Park (due to lighting, grading requirements, conservation management, and a variety of other regulations). However, one of facilities mentioned, “playgrounds”, can be introduced to the design of Ruckstuhl Park.
3.1.4 Park Classification: Local Fairfax County Park Authority has generated a park classification system, which includes five categories: local, district, countywide, resource-based, and regional. Because of the park’s size and location, the park authority has classified Ruckstuhl Park as a “Local Park”. According to the Comprehensive Plan, the purpose of a local park is as follows: “This general classification of parks includes parks that serve neighborhoods and mixed use centers in suburban and urban areas of the County. Local parks primarily offer a variety of active or passive recreation opportunities, or a combination of both, in close proximity to County residents and employment centers. Areas designated for natural and/or cultural resource protection may also be included within these parks.”
3.2 Site Limitations 3.2.1 Conservation Easement Before her passing, Dr. Lily Ruckstuhl bequested her seven acre property to the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT). However, in 2011, the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) purchased the land from NVCT, and with that purchase came a conservation easement for the proposed park. According to the deed, which lists the detailed terms of the conservation easement, the following are site limitations that relate to the future of the park’s implimentation: 1. The Property may be used in perpetuity solely for public outdoor recreation purposes. Permissible uses on the Property shall be limited to those uses which are associated with public outdoor recreation and which do not permanently impair the conservation values of the Property. 2. Large sport fields/facilities are NOT permitted, as they would interfere with natural, scenic and open space conservation values of the Property. 3. New non-residential structures or improvements that promote the use of the Property for public outdoor recreation may be built and maintained on the Property. 4. The removal, destruction, and cutting of living trees is prohibited where the location of the trees would not prevent construction and maintenance of park-related structures. 5. Lighting on the Property shall be limited to that necessary for security and public safety, and that which otherwise facilitates or enhances the public’s outdoor recreation use. 6. There shall be no mining, excavating, dredging, or removing from the Property of soil, loam, peat, gravel, sand, hydrocarbons, rock, or other mineral resource or natural deposit and no changing of the topography through the placement of soil or other substance or material such as land fill or dredging spoils, except for: (1) activities on the Property otherwise permitted by this Conservation Easement, including permitted construction and activities consistent with the use of the Property for public outdoor recreation, but not for large sport fields/facilities; (2) combating erosion or flooding or to enhance wildlife habitat; and (3) excavating archeologically significant deposits, sites or features, provided that such excavation is conducted under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist and the plans receive prior approval by Grantor. 7. All permitted structures and improvements should be built, insofar as practicable, to blend with the natural landscape and in a manner that minimizes soil erosion and damage to living vegetation.
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RESEARCH PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
well-being dscape architecture
environmental health psychological restoration
education case study prospect park
urban health worry
green space work performance
attention restoration theo
stress recovery theory
Figure 4.00: Research word map graphic
4.1 Research 4.1.1 Public Health The United States’ population is currently experiencing increased illness from dispersed and synergistic causes, such as asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness (Jackson). “Modern lifestyles, rising noise levels, and social isolation are significant contributors to increasing levels of stress, anxiety, and depression” (Natural England). Additionally, people have more frequently reported illnesses caused by stress, and they often report experiencing lingering periods in which they cannot control their everyday life (Grahn & Stigsdotter). However, most of these health problems can be prevented with additional physical exercise and easier access to the outdoors, explicitly within urban parks. “Regular contact with and access to local natural green-space can help provide long term and sustainable solutions for increasing social interaction, improving local living environments, and quality of life” (Natural England). Parks and gardens have long been cited for their restorative effects on both mental and physical health (Jackson). Biologist Edward Osborne Wilson coined the term “biophilia” to express the innate human attraction to nature, citing a widely-shared evolutionary explanation that relates to pleasing, park-like settings to prehistoric cues for water and shelter (Jackson). Additionally, In the nineteenth century, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted observed that experiencing and simply viewing nature reduces the stress of daily urban life (Jackson).
4.1.2 Everyday Life “Humans can generally manage moderate stress levels well and can also manage considerable stress for a limited period of time” (Grahn & Stigsdotter). However, there must be opportunities for recovery. “Sustained stress over a long period, often several years, in which time for recovery has been scarce or absent, may have seFigure 4.01: Landscape Architecture and Health
A FORMULA FOR WELL-BEING:
+ [ PHYSICAL HEALTH ]
[ MENTAL HEALTH ]
SOCIAL [ HEALTH ]
[ ENVIRONMENTAL ] HEALTH Figure 4.02: Formula for Well-being
vere harmful effects. Stress may be deleterious to, for instance, the cardiovascular system and central parts of the hormonal system, and depression due to exhaustion may occur” (Grahn & Stigsdotter). Everyday life requires huge demands on attentional resources, and may lead to “attention fatigue”. However, nature and design have the capacity to provide an alternative mode of attending, which is called involuntary attention. Involuntary attention requires no effort, and allowed directed attention to rest. The term usually used to substitute for involuntary attention is “fascination”. Fascination is inherent to natural settings, and such settings provide an opportunity for reflection, thereby enhancing the process of recovery from attention fatigue even more (Karmanov & Hamel). Therefore, with research and critical analysis, the specific area of focus for Ruckstuhl Park is explained as “the designed, restorative urban-park in relation to proximity, community involvement, socioeconomic status, personal health, and overall well-being of the population and environment”.
LIFE IS FULL OF STRESSORS DENSITY
LACK OF SLEEP
Figure 4.03: Life is Full of Stressors
4.1.3 Urban Park Design “Cities often demand physical activities like walking as a part of everyday life, but parks are also special places where people can escape the stressors of that everyday life and engage in a wide range of preferred leisure activities for the sake of those activities themselves” (Krenichyn). Central Park in New York City, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, has been and is one of the world’s most famous urban-parks. Surprisingly, it was also one of the nation’s first ‘pleasure ground’ parks, meaning that it was created to “preserve nature within the industrialized city and provide opportunities for healthy recreation, socialization, and spiritual elevation of the urban masses” (Krenichyn). Central Park can be considered a ‘restorative environment’ because it possesses four vital qualities: being away, fascination, extent, and compatibility with human needs (Karmanov & Hamel). By understanding, analyzing, and implementing these qualities, Ruckstuhl Park can be considered a ‘restorative environment’ and an overall benefit to human well-being.
KAPLAN & KAPLAN’S
ATTENTION RESTORATION THEORY The four components required for a RESTORATIVE ENVIRONMENT:
1. BEING AWAY 2. EXTENT 3. FASCINATION 4. COMPATIBILITY
4.1.4 Attention Restoration Theory The four components of Attention Restoration Theory (ART) all contribute to the amount of restoration provided by an environment. It must be noted that, however, the level of each component will vary across both natural and built environments. Additionally, not every component is necessary for the occurrence of restoration; for example, physically being away from one’s work environment would ultimately cause restoration. However, Attention Restoration Theory suggests that greater restoration would be yielded in an environment comprising all four components (Bagot).
Furthermore, “because these components are considered to be products of person-environment interactions”, the presence and amount of restoration of an environment can vary from person to person and day to day (Bagot). In relation to landscape architecture, it is argued that a natural environment will provide more restorative opportunities than a built environment.
4.2 Professional Practice 4.2.1 Public Participation
“As a gregarious species, people benefit emotionally and physically from interpersonal relationships. Society at large also benefits from the participation of its members in political organizations, charitable activities, parent-teacher associations, and even recreational leagues, as increased familiarity among individuals promotes mutual aid and empathy” (Jackson). This participation is defined as ‘social capital’ and it originates in the neighborhood (Jackson). In order for Ruckstuhl Park to be a useful and meaningful place for individuals and the community, public involvement is needed from the neighborhood.
• • • • • • •
It is required to conduct two public meetings for the local neighborhood: one public input meeting (pre-design) and one public comment meeting (post-design). Transparency throughout the design process is exceptionally important to the vitality of Ruckstuhl Park. Utilizing public participation, mentors, and research, Ruckstuhl Park can be transformed into a landmark for the Falls Church Area.
Fairfax County Park Authority Northern Virginia Conservation Trust Linda Smyth, District Supervisor Ken Quincy, Park Authority Board Member Fairfax County Interagency Development Team Fairfax County Park Authority, Department of Planning and Zoning All Potential Park Users
5 REGIONAL SCALE 36
FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA scale: nts
Washington, D.C. Arlington
Alexandria Prince Georgeâ€™s County
Fauquier County Prince William County Charles County
Stafford County Figure 5.00: Location Map: Fairfax County, Virginia
5.1 Location and Character Fairfax County, Virginia has a variety of population densities. The west side of the county is rural, with the density increasing heading east. The county borders the Washington D.C. area on the east side, and is home to people working for the national government. The county can be described as the middle-ground between rural and urban.
FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA
DEMOGRAPHICS [county population]
TOTAL: 1,118,602 [county population]
WHITE: 67.7% BLACK: 9.7% AMERICAN INDIAN: 0.7% ASIAN: 18.4% HISPANIC: 16.1%
BELOW POVERTY LEVEL: 5.5% FOREIGN BORN: 29.0% OTHER LANGUAGE AT HOME: 36.4%
[state population ]
71.1% 19.7% 0.5% 6.0% 8.4%
-3.4% -10.0% +0.2% +12.4% +7.7%
10.7% 11.0% 14.4%
-5.2% +18.0% +22.0%
Figure 5.01: Demographics Chart: Fairfax County, Virginia
5.2 Population Trends Overall, the population of Fairfax County is forecasted to increase over the next five years, but at a decelerated rate. Between 2010 and 2015, it is expected that there will be approximately 37,000 new residents, as compared to the five-year span between 2000 and 2005, when the County experienced an increase of 64,000 new residents. However, it is the composition of County residents that is consistently changing.
According to the 1990 U.S. Decennial Census, less than one quarter of the Countyâ€™s population was comprised of racial and ethnic minorities. In 2010, the Decennial Census reports an increase to almost 40% of the population. Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders represent the two fastest growing demographic groups, and this trend is expected to continue in the future. Additionally, the age of the Countyâ€™s population continues to transform. In the 1980s, nearly 33% of the total population was under the age of 20 and about 60% was under 35 years of age. However by 2007, half of the population was between the ages of 20 and 54, and the over-65 age group increased to almost 10% of the population. This aging pattern reflects national demographic trends.
Figure 5.02: Location Map: Tysons Corner, Virginia
5.3 Employment Growth Fairfax County has transformed in a major employment center within the Washington D.C. metropolitan region. By 2040, it is anticipated that about 220,000 new jobs will be created within the area. Of those new jobs, about 40% (roughly 90,000) will be added between 2010 and 2020. Furthermore, many of the jobs are expected to be concentrated in employment centers, such as Tysons Corner, Springfield, Reston, and along the Dulles Corridor.
5 e 49 Inte rsta t
LEGEND national freeway county freeway local freeway Figure 5.03: Freeway Map: Fairfax County, Virginia
5.4 Vehicular Transportation and Access Because of the land area, Ruckstuhl Park has a “local park” designation. Therefore, vehicular planning is not a major priority, due to the fact that the park is not necessarily a vehicular destination. Additionally, in 2013, Allstate Insurance Company released its “200 Cities with the Worst Drivers” list, and Washington D.C. (1), Alexandria, VA (7), and Arlington, VA (10) were in the top 10. It is apparent that personal vehicular traffic should be discouraged as to alleviate traffic congestion and accidents, and therefore, prevent “road rage”. As a solution for potential users that live too far away to walk or bike to Ruckstuhl Park, local parks within their neighborhoods should be encouraged for use. For example, the park authority could start a new campaign promoting to “support your local park”. Measures such as this would discourage automobile traffic for park visitation purposes and establish local community. “At the Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, held in London in 1999, researchers presented results from a study on the health effects of air pollutants from traffic in Austria, France, and Switzerland and their related costs, and later republished the findings in a WHO report. They found that vehicle-related pollution caused more deaths than traffic accidents. Driving is also a major factor in global warming, causing 26 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Greenhouse gases from vehicles increased 18 percent during the 1990s, mostly because people traveled more miles. Global warming is expected to threaten human health with more frequent and more intense heat waves and increased prevalence of infectious diseases” (Trust for Public Land).
2013 WORST DRIVERS
by Allstate Insurance Company
Figure 5.04: 2013 Allstate Worst Drivers Map
5.5 Regional Connection: Washington & Old Dominion Trail History: Owned and operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) is one of the skinniest parks in Virginia, at 100 feet wide and 45 miles long. The name of the trail originates from the railroad that used to run along the right-of-way, from 1859 to 1968. The original creators of the railroad imagined bringing coal and other natural resources from the Appalachian Mountains to the Port of Alexandria. However, 10 years later during the Civil War, the railroad was almost destroyed completely. During the early 19th century, after the railroad was rebuilt, it served as a commuter line from Alexandria to Falls Church, Leesburg, and Purcellville, with stops at such hamlets as Dunn Loring, Hunter Station and Paeonian Springs. In 1968, when the W&OD ceased operations, the Virginia Electric and Power Company (now Dominion Power) bought the right-of-way for its electric power transmission lines. After years of attempting to acquire the use of the railroad right-of-way, in 1977, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and the power company reached an agreement. The right-of-way was purchased in stages, and was completed in 1982. Ruckstuhl Park and the Trail: As mentioned previously, Ruckstuhl Park is a small, local park, and therefore is not a regional destination. However, the option for Ruckstuhl Park to be a regionally accessed location should be an option, specifically a non-vehicular route. The park may serve as an alternative picnic spot, a bicycle-break-area, along with many other uses, from Idylwood Park. Traversing Idylwood Road westbound, traveling left on Hurst Street, and taking another left on to Virginia Lane is only a half-mile in distance (a 4-minute bicycle ride or an 11-minute walk). With Hurst Street already considered a â€œBicycle Friendly Roadâ€?, transforming both the small sections of Virginia Lane and Idylwood Road should not prove to be too difficult. Figure 5.05: Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail Character
WASHINGTON & OLD DOMINION REGIONAL TRAIL:
FAIRFAX COUNTY SECTION purcellville
washington & old dominion regional park
eudora park northside park
RUCKSTUHL PARK falls church
Figure 5.06: Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail: Fairfax County Map
Figure 5.07: Bicyclist on the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail
REGIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS • Make safe, non-vehicular connection to Washington &Old Dominion Trail and Idylwood Park to
further develop a regional greenway.
With implementation of a safe, non-vehicular connection to Washington & Old Dominion Trail and Idylwood Park, Ruckstuhl Park can be accessed regionally, without the use of a personal automobile. This addition would help to further expand an existing regional greenway and promote more physical activity. The Trust for Public Land states, “Greenways in a community have been shown in several studies to increase regular physical activity, particularly among people who live nearby. In a survey of trail users in southeastern Missouri, 55 percent of respondents said they were exercising more since the trail was built.” Additionally, the new connection could promote regional bicycling popularity and allow Ruckstuhl Park to serve as a W&OD Trail stop. For example, a family decided to partake in a bicycling day trip on the W&OD Trail. Because of the proposed trail connection, the family is able to easily access Ruckstuhl Park for a picnic and more intimate park experience, compared to Idylwood Park, which contains large sports fields.
• Develop integrated, web-based Washington & Old Dominion Trail map with more information
regarding locations along the trail.
To allow for maximum possible recreational usage, an integrated (and possibly interactive) web-based trail map should be created and made available to the public. It should be noted that this information exists and is available online, but is not user-friendly. Fairfax County Park Authority has an online trail database named “Trail Buddy”, however the information doesn’t necessarily relate to park accessibility. The citizendriven group “Friends of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail” has an online map, yet it is hardly interactive and difficult to use for planning. Therefore, both of these groups should work together to develop an easy-to-use trail map that includes nearby parks and activities. This will only increase the usage of the W&OD Trail and promote more physical activity along the greenway.
• Encourage local park visitations and local community involvement with informational campaign,
and/or encourage non-vehicular transportation to and from parks.
In order to prevent unnecessary vehicular traffic and minimize pollution, an informational campaign should be developed to promote local parks for all Fairfax County residents. These parks should be within bicycling or even walking distance from a resident’s home. This will provide an increased interest in park visitation and advocate daily access, rather than park visitation being considered a special event. In addition, programming at local parks should be implemented and advertised strongly at a community scale, in order to maximize local involvement. With this proposed campaign, communities will grow physically, mentally, and socially stronger. One possible solution would be to update Fairfax County Park Authority’s online Parks Map. An interactive map that integrates general locations, trails, bike-friendly roads, sidewalks, landmarks, directions, and parks would greatly benefit the entire park system. The map should also allow the user to “click” on a particular park and a general description, event information, and amenities would be provided. By developing a user-friendly parks map, potential park users can easily access information for their local park.
6 COMMUNITY SCALE 46
2M ILE S
McLEAN PLANNING DISTRICT
VIENNA PLANNING DISTRICT
1 MILE Arlington County
JEFFERSON PLANNING DISTRICT 6.1 Scale
FAIRFAX PLANNING DISTRICT
With Ruckstuhl Park at 7.2 acres and a “local park” classification, the community scale is determined by distances of walking and bicycling. These scales are calculated at one-mile and two-miles, respectively. Due to the location of the park within the Jefferson Planning District, it was decided to develop these above mentioned buffer zones.
BAILEY’S PLANNING DISTRICT
Figure 6.00: Community Scale Map
Figure 6.01: Community Property Type
6.2 Property Type The majority of the property located within the community scale of Ruckstuhl Park is residential. Many of these residences are singlefamily homes on individual lots; however, there are also a few largescale apartment buildings within the area. For example, across the street from Ruckstuhl Park is the Idylwood Towers, which is a 21-acre complex with 484 residential units. These residents, along with the residents of the surrounding single-family homes, will most likely be the primary users of Ruckstuhl Park. As for the commercial property within the scale, there are a few auto-oriented shopping centers, with large parking-lots.
There are a few parks within the community scale. The nearest to Ruckstuhl Park is Idylwood Park, which is located about a halfmile away in the southwest direction. Idylwood Park offers two little-league baseball fields, a soccer field, three tennis courts, and one multi-use court, along with a picnic area and a tot lot. Because Ruckstuhl Park cannot contain a sports field due to the stipulations under the conservation easement, a safe, non-vehicular connection between the two parks should be established. This could, essentially, create one large park. For example, if a family wanted to spend the day at the park, but wanted to participate in different activities, such as hitting the baseball and a nature walk (proposed), Ruckstuhl and Idylwood Park would be a great destination. This recommendation also pertains to the regional scale, because Idylwood Park is along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.
MAP LEGEND RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL PARKS SCHOOLS OTHER
OLD DOMINION REG
6.3 The Bicyclist “One key way to incorporate exercise into daily activity is to walk or bike for errands near home. A 1997 study found that 83 percent of all trips are taken for short, nonwork purposes. National data find that 14 percent of these trips are within one-half mile and 27 percent are within one mile of home—both considered walkable distances—and 63 percent were within five miles, considered reachable by bicycle” (TPL). As mentioned within the regional analysis, bicycling is becoming more popular as a form of transportation and physical activity. To increase accessibility to Ruckstuhl Park, the bicycle network needs to be expanded, specifically on main roads around the site. Currently, there are very few bicycle friendly routes within the 2-mile proximity of the park, and besides the OW&D Trail, there is only one dedicated bike lane, and it doesn’t connect with the park. Therefore, in order for Ruckstuhl Park to be sustainable, it is important that bicycle accessibility increases within this area.
MAP LEGEND EXISTING BICYCLE LANE/TRAIL EXISTING “BICYCLE FRIENDLY” ROUTE
Figure 6.02: Community Bicycle Access Map
6.4 The Pedestrian “A group of studies reviewed in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that creation of or enhanced access to places for physical activity combined with informational outreach” produced a 48.4 percent increase in the frequency of physical activity. The same studies showed that easy access to a place to exercise results in a 5.1 percent median increase in aerobic capacity, along with weight loss, a reduction in body fat, improvements in flexibility, and an increase in perceived energy” (TPL). Accessibility to and from Ruckstuhl Park is of major concern. Because of its “local park” designation, walkability is key for the success of the park, as a majority of the park users will be within walking distance. Shown on the map to the left, the sidewalk network, within the one-mile buffer, is lacking. This is especially true around Ruckstuhl Park. Therefore, it is for the park’s best interest that the sidewalk network be completed, beginning with the areas near Ruckstuhl Park.
MAP LEGEND EXISTING SIDEWALKS
Figure 6.03: Community Sidewalk Access Map
6.5 The Highway Barrier “Social–ecological models posit that physical activity participation is influenced by multiple personal, social and physical environmental factors. Intrapersonal influences shown to positively affect physical activity include enjoyment of activity, self-efficacy, behavioural intentions and LOW PERCEIVED BARRIERS TO BEING ACTIVE; social influences include social support from family and friends and being a member of a sporting or exercise club; and environmental influences include a safe neighbourhood, urban design features such as STREET CONNECTIVITY, sprawl and land use mix, and ACCESS TO PLEASANT AND CONVENIENT PLACES FOR RECREATION” (Ball, 108). Because the chosen community scale is based on a proximity buffer of the park, it is critical to note a predominant physical barrier that strongly affects bicycle and pedestrian accessibility to Ruckstuhl Park: the highway. The map to the left displays the census tract 471300, in which the site presides. There are major highways and wide, busy surface streets that surround and bisect the area and limit local access to the park. In order to mediate the situation, it is imperative to consider safe, non-vehicular highway crossings. This includes both bike lanes and sidewalks. In return, more available non-vehicular access to the park will allow for increased local access, which could result in a physically and socially stronger community.
Figure 6.04: Census Tract 471300
[community inventory] “THE MOUNT” CEMETERY
6.6 The Mount Cemetery Located adjacent to the site, on the northeast side, is “The Mount” cemetery. This historic site contains 14 headstones, including a few dating back to the mid-1800s. Doctor Lily Ruckstuhl is the most recent person to be buried in this cemete
Figure 6.05: The Mount Cemetery
Figure 6.06: Community Involvement: Fairfax County for Better Bicycling
COMMUNITY RECOMMENDATIONS • Further develop the community sidewalk and bicycle lane network. Due to the location and the size of Ruckstuhl Park, further development is critical of both the sidewalk and bicycle lane network infrastructures. A majority of park users will be accessing the park by way of walking or bicycling, and this behavior should be encouraged. This suggestion has previously been mentioned in the regional analysis; however, at the community level, bicycle boulevard implementation should be considered. This reasoning is due to the fact that the area in which Ruckstuhl Park is located is very well established. Much of the existing infrastructure would not allow for full bicycle lane installation.
• Create cultural connection to the Mount Cemetery and the surrounding community. History is a vital component to understanding and navigating the future. Connecting people with history and the history of the local community aids in the development and conservation of the social, mental, physical, and environmental health of that said community. Allowing people to physically access information about the Mount Cemetery can benefit education for all community members, young and old.
• Establish community advocacy group, such as “Friends of Ruckstuhl Park”. Besides the physical benefits that advocacy groups provide, social benefits of advocacy groups are not often noticed. First, advocacy groups help establish social capital. “Society at large benefits from the participation of its members in political organizations, charitable activities, parent-teacher associations, and even recreational leagues, as increased familiarity among individuals promotes mutual aid and empathy” (Jackson). By uniting a local community around something such as park development, relationships can develop and the entire community will benefit. Second, a park advocacy group can aid in quicker and more organized establishment of the park. Volunteer groups can be more locally focused, along with public participation within the design process. Third, an advocacy group can help monitor and maintain the park. This can help promote a sense of pride within the surrounding community.
SITE SCALE Section Title
state: VIRGINIA county: FAIRFAX city: IDYLWOOD address: 7545 IDYLWOOD ROAD planning district: JEFFERSON supervisory district: PROVIDENCE owner: FAIRFAX COUNTY PARK AUTHORITY Figure 7.00: Established Tree on Site
7.1 Existing Conditions
18 1 9 4 14 16 10 3 19 8 13 15 12 5 17 2 7
The graphic to the left displays particular site locations in relation to the corresponding number. The below corresponding picture descriptions include the cardinal direction in which the scene is taking place.
1. Park Entry, looking Northwest to Idlywood Road 2. Structure Demolition Area, looking South 3. Adjacent Housing Development Barrier, looking Northeast 4. The Mount Cemetery, looking South 5. Invasive Species: Kudzu, looking East 6. Entrance to The Mount Cemetery, looking Southeast 7. Power Easement, looking Northeast 8. Dunford Drive, looking Northwest 9. Fallen Tree Near Demolition Area, looking Southwest 10. Preserved Trees, looking West 11. Park Entry, looking Southeast to site 12. Upslope Invasive Species, looking Northwest 13. Structure Demolition Area, looking South 14. Cemetery Fence, looking Northeast 15. Downslope Invasive Species, looking Southeast 16. Structure Demolition Area, looking Northwest 17. Meadow Species, looking Southeast 18. Adjacent Cul-de-sac, looking Southwest 19. Residential Landscaping, looking Southwest
Figure 7.01: Existing Conditions
LEGEND preserved species existing tree canopy invasive species management area
Figure 7.02: Existing Vegetation
KUDZU VINE ON SITE:
The vegetation on site varies immensely. Over the years, the site has gone from native forest to agriculture to residence. The site, having a diversity of housing structures, has been introduced to a range of landscaping plants, including a Japanese maple. Also located on site is a number of established oak trees and other hardwood forest species. However, due to the proximity of the freeway, the site has a large invasive problem. In the 1970s, the department of transportation used the Kudzu vine to strengthen infrastructure and establish vegetation. Also known as the â€œmile-a-minuteâ€? vine, this species has taken over much of the southern portion of the site. Management of the tree canopy and the invasive species must be addressed within the design.
Figure 7.03: Kudzu Vine on Site
7.3 Topography: 2 foot contour The above map displays the topography on site, and each contour line represents two feet. The site obviously has a fairly steep slope progressing downward toward the freeway (southeast). With minimal slope alterations allowed on site, due to the easement, this can prove to be a challenging site design limitation. Figure 7.04: Existing Topography
7.4 Soils: 68B: Kingstowne-Danripple complex, 2 to 7 percent slopes 38C: Fairfax loam, 7 to 15 percent slopes 104C: Wheaton-Fairfax complex, 7 to 15 percent slopes
Due to the slope of the site, runoff and infiltration are of primary concern. Further analysis of the siteâ€™s soil composition will be very crucial in order to determine correct design solutions for the future of Ruckstuhl Park. Figure 7.05: Existing Soils
7.5 Storm water Runoff Due to the steep existing grade on site, storm water runoff is a concern. There is a fairly centrally located high point, with about two-thirds of runoff heading southeast and the other third heading northwest. It is important to understand the directional flow of water throughout the design process.
Figure 7.06: Vector Analysis
There is an existing curb-cut which will dictate the location of the entrance of the park.
At the present time, there is no sidewalk along the front (Northwest) of the park. Because of the “local” designation, it is detrimental to implement sidewalks for park access.
Neighbors are concerned that there will be too much noise and unwanted visitors within their subdivision.
This area abutts the already existing curb-cut, and can be used as the entry and parking area.
This unusually shaped parcel has been known to be used as a “trash” dump, even though it contains the entrance to the cemetery. It is adajacent to the park site and the use should be addressed.
THE “MOUNT” CEMETERY
Even though a physical connection is unlikely, due to the cemetery parcel being privately owned, a cultural connection to the park is a great design opportunity.
PRIVATE vs. PUBLIC
Dunford Drive is a gravel road that runs the length of the park on the Southwest side. This road is to be used for residental access and not public park access. It is important to apply some sort of treatment in order to limit the use of the road.
Residents that live on Dunford Drive are concerned with the noise that the park could generate and unwanted visitors. Buffering treatment along the road should aid this potential conflict.
The proximity of the park to Highway 66 and the Metroline creates obvious noise pollution for future park users. Implementation of a buffer is quite important for the future enjoyment of the park.
7.6 Opportunities and Constraints It is important to understand the existing site in order to create the best suitable design. The map on the left displays the variety of opportunities and constraints that can be found on the site. Many of these will be utilized and/or understood within the design process.
MAP LEGEND OPPORTUNITY CONSTRAINT POSSIBLE VIEW
OPEN AREA NOISE INVASIVE VEGETATION AREA OTHER EASEMENTS Figure 7.07: Opportunities and Constraints
8 PRECEDENTS Section Title
“Nothing is more contagious than example, and no man does any exceeding good or exceeding ill but it spawns new deeds of the same kind.” -- François Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)
Location: Brooklyn, New York Landscape Architects: Frederick Olmsted + Calvert Vaux
DESIGN ELEMENTS • meandering paths • vegetation variety • scenic views • topography • rolling meadows ABOUT THE PROJECT Prospect Park, one of the nation’s first ‘pleasure ground’ parks, was created to preserve nature within the industrialized city and provide opportunities for healthy recreation, socialization, and spiritual elevation of the urban masses. The 526-acre park was built in the 1860s, and continues to serve as a model example of an urban park. Many design aspects of this site will be analyzed and incorporated into Ruckstuhl Park, including topography, conservation, native species, and connections.
Figure 8.00: Prospect Park Character
Figure 8.01: Original Site Plan
Figure 8.02: Olmsted and Vaux
Figure 8.03: Historical Grazing
BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
Location: Brooklyn, New York Landscape Architects:
DESIGN ELEMENTS • pocket parks/playgrounds • sound buffering techniques • elevation change • organic forms • vegetation variety ABOUT THE PROJECT The Brooklyn Bridge Park site is long and narrow, extending 1.3 miles along the shore of the East River, from Jay Street to Atlantic Avenue. What used to be a defunct bulk cargo shipping and storage complex, is currently being transformed into thriving 85-acre civic landscape. Specific areas of focus relating to Ruckstuhl Park include using topography as sound barriers, incorporation of natural environments with new technology, and developing outdoor “rooms” and destinations.
Figure 8.04: Brooklyn Bridge Park Character
Figure 8.05: Brooklyn Bridge Park Site Plan and Other Graphics
DUMBARTON OAKS PARK
Location: Washington D.C. Landscape Architects:
DESIGN ELEMENTS • organic forms • natural materials • pocket parks/gardens • vegetation variety • multi-use spaces ABOUT THE PROJECT Nicknamed “America’s Sercet Garden”, Dumbarton Oaks Park is rooted in over 400 years of local history. It is considered the finest work of Beatrix Farrand, America’s first female professional landscape architect, one of eleven founding members of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and one of America’s foremost landscape practitioners of the 20th century. As a “naturalistic,” but intensely designed landscape of meadows, woodlands, bulbs and wildflowers, paths and ponds and constructed waterfalls, the Park offers recreation as well as restorative quiet, beauty, and inspiration for visitors from Washington, DC and beyond. The site’s strong connections to history and its restorative qualities for human well-being are the main focus for this study.
Figure 8.06: Dumbarton Oaks Park Character
Figure 8.07: Dumbarton Oaks Park Site Plan
Figure 8.08: Sculpture
Figure 8.09: Formal Gardens
SIDWELL FRIENDS SCHOOL
Location: Washington D.C. Landscape Architects: Andropogon Associates
DESIGN ELEMENTS • meandering paths • topography • stormwater management • natural vegetation • multi-use spaces ABOUT THE PROJECT The design for the Sidwell Friends School includes a central courtyard with a constructed wetland design to utilize storm and wastewater for both ecological and educational purposes. Additionally, the wetland becomes a “working landscape” that uses biological processes to clean water while providing students with a vivid example of how such systems work in nature. By researching this project’s storm water management design, future elements can be influenced by this existing project.
Figure 8.10: Sidwell Friends School Design Character
Figure 8.11: Sidwell Friends School Design Technical Graphics
9 DESIGN CRITERIA Section Title
The overarching goal for the design of Ruckstuhl Park is to fulfill Fairfax County Park Authorityâ€™s mission, while abiding by personal design ethics. Developing a natural, restorative, and social environment for local residents is the main focus for the parkâ€™s master plan. In order to accomplish this, a set of design criteria has been established for the project.
1. Create a restorative environment.
• utilize the “Attention Restoration Theory” for design guidance • reduce traffic noise through buffer design • implement organic “form” throughout the design, such as meandering paths
2. Be environmentally conscious.
• • • •
maintain at least 95% of the existing (non-invasive) vegetation develop a site-specific invasive species management plan require all new site vegetation to be native species equally balance ground “cut-and-fill”, or “cut” additional ground as to not require offsite “fill”
3. Enforce sustainable practices.
• reduce stormwater runoff, with an ultimate goal of maintaining 90% of runoff on site • harvest and reuse stormwater by designing a Best Management Practices system • reuse materials, when possible, on site including plant material
4. Establish accessibility for everyone.
• develop community bicycle network for safe access to-and-from the park • identify future sidewalk locations for pedestrian access • utilize universal design principles to accommodate all types of potential park users
5. Develop a stronger community.
• create spaces that afford comfortable, social gathering • design communication techniques, such as “community announcement boards” • encourage the development of a park support network
6. Educate the public.
• provide various educational opportunities throughout the design • address historical significance of the site • implement importance of nature and exercise with design
7. Design a memorable place.
• create an atmosphere that encourages repeated visits by park users • utilize universal design principles to allow visitors of all ages enjoyment • design a sustainable park that generations of people can visit in the near and distant future
10 CONCEPT Section Title
HEALTHY INFRASTRUCTURE Figure 10.00: Concept Basis
PRECEDENTS • BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK • DUMBARTON OAKS PARK • SIDWELL FRIENDS SCHOOL • PROSPECT PARK
DESIGN CONCEPT DRIVERS
DESIGN CRITERIA • be environmentally concious • create a restorative environment • enforce sustainable practices • establish accessibility for everyone • develop a stronger community • design a memorable place • educate the public
SITE, COMMUNITY, & REGIONAL INVENTORY
• integrated park system • protect appropriate land areas • preserve cultural resources • ensure long term protection, preservation, and sustainability • ensure mitigation of various adverse impacts • provide for current and future park needs
• conservation easement • automobile dependent community • aggressive invasive species • lack of accessibility • interstate noise
RESEARCH • understand “well-being” • combatting “attention fatigue” • utilize attention restoration theory • address “nature deficit disorder” • understand “biophilia” concepts • preventative health care
• boost society’s health and quality of life (well-being) • individual “user” comprehension • community-consciousness • utilize sustainable practices
Figure 10.01: Concept Drivers
DESIGN STRATEGY Section Title
WASHINGTON & OLD DOMINION REGIONAL TRAIL Figure 11.00: Strategy Map
2 3 1
Figure 11.00: Strategy Infographic
COMMUNITY PLAN The overarching approach for the community plan is to develop an integrated and safe bicycle transportation network. By locating the parks and schools within the area, the goal is to connect these with accessible, non-vehicular routes. This will in turn create a connected “greenway” and a “safe routes to school” network. In specific relation to Ruckstuhl Park, a further detailed bicycle boulevard plan will be addressed, in order to connect the park to the Washington and Old Dominion Regional Trail, there by adding connectivity to the greenway.
MASTER PLAN The ultimate goal for the master plan is to implement constructed features within a naturalized park. With heavy concentration on existing and proposed vegetation, stormwater management, and park circulation, the Ruckstuhl Park master plan incorporates both attention restoration theory elements along with a healthy park infrastructure.
SITE PLAN The site plan will focus on a naturalized playground, located near the entrance of Ruckstuhl Park. Utilizing literature produced by the Natural Learning Initiative, a research and extension program of the College of Design of North Carolina State University, an integrated site design will be presented. Using topography, carefully selected plant species, and purposefully chosen manufactured playground equipment, the design addresses the well-being of both children and adults.
12 COMMUNITY PLAN Section Title
Figure 12.00: Community Strategy Infographic
THE VALUE OF AN INTEGRATED TRAIL NETWORK • Fast moving, dense traffic has become a major deterrent to independent mobility and neighborhood play (TPL). • Greenways in a community have been shown in several studies to increase regular physical activity, particularly among people who live nearby (TPL).
• Fear of traffic is a primary reason why parents will not let their children roam outdoors (TPL).
• As part of the new walking and biking infrastructures of cities and suburbs, pathways offer children independent mobility, playful exploration, discovery, learning, and enjoyment (TPL).
[ MENTAL HEALTH ]
• Because they provide for routine, direct experience of nature close to home, greenways enhance connectivity between people and nature. This can have a profound significance because bringing nature to people’s daily lives influences how they think about and experience their home environment (TPL).
• A growing body of research shows that mere contact with the natural world improves physical and psychological health (TPL).
• Society is at a point in history where new thinking about the connection between neighborhood development and healthy child development is imperative (TPL). • In a survey of trail users in southeastern Missouri, 55 percent of respondents said they were exercising more since the trail was built (TPL). • Study after study shows that when people can’t reach parks, they often go without exercise. This is especially true of low-income people who can’t afford gym memberships. And exercise is a key determinant in avoiding obesity and maintaining health (TPL).
• Local pathways such as greenways, waterfront esplanades, and rail-to-trail facilities may provide an important aspect of local identity (TPL).
+ SOCIAL [ HEALTH ]
• Growing community social capital can be stimulated when pathways connect neighborhoods to local destinations, such as parks that attract a mix of residents who can hang out and get to know each other (TPL).
• Parks and greenways can mitigate air pollution and increased temperatures. Mature tree canopies can reduce air temperature five to ten degrees, helping to counteract the urban heat island effect, according to the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture (TPL).
• Independent mobility, away from traffic danger, is an essential factor in middles childhood, supporting a sense of autonomy and self-efficacy, enabling children to fully engage with their friends and community (TPL).
• According to American Forests, trees in Atlanta remove 19 million pounds of pollutants annually, a service worth $47 million (TPL).
• The over-riding criterion [for pathway networks] is connectivity, which can ensure safe pathways for spontaneous outdoor play, integrated with a network of places that are both compelling and meaningful to children and families (TPL).
• One indicator that commuting is affecting people’s peace of mind is the increase in road rage, when an angry driver tries to injure or kill another driver over a traffic dispute. From 1990 to 1996, 10,000 incidents of road rage were documented, including 12,610 injuries and 218 deaths (TPL).
• By choosing to move around more on foot and bicycle, [people] have more time for each other because less time is spent driving (TPL).
• Walkable/bikeable neighborhoods provide environments where families can grow in place, where children have friends close by, where adolescents do not have to rely on parents to drive them to “cool places” to hang out with their friends (TPL). • To the extent that greenways can reduce automobile miles traveled, they help mitigate health problems associated with fossil-fuel consumption (TPL).
• As in a health club, people on a community trail can see and interact with others who are also exercising, adding a key ingredient of social support that encourages participation in physical activity (TPL). • By creating pedestrian routes separated from traffic, greenways also help reduce vehicle–pedestrian accidents, which now result in 6,000 deaths and 110,000 injuries each year in the United States (TPL).
• Driving is also a major factor in global warming, causing 26 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States (TPL).
[ ENVIRONMENTAL ] HEALTH 93
OLD DOMINION REG
GREENWAY DEVELOPMENT “The better connected parks are, the more a park system can provide healthful recreation and transportation. Interconnected trails, greenways, and parks support bicycling, running, walking, skating, skiing, and even wheelchair travel. And several small parks can be connected to create a “large-park experience,” with a tennis court in one park, a basketball court in another, a swimming pool in a third. Connections can be a system of sidewalks or bike lanes, complemented by outstanding signage” (TPL). The map to the left highlights the existing and proposed bicycle routes along with the parks in the area. The proposed routes address bicycle access to every park within this radius, except for those located within Arlington County. Existing bicycle routes and park locations were first addressed, and then logical connections were made between these existing elements. Speed limits and traffic counts were considered as much as possible. Suggested treatments are located on pages 98-99.
LEGEND EXISTING “BICYCLE FRIENDLY” ROAD EXISTING TRAIL PROPOSED “BICYCLE FRIENDLY” ROAD PROPOSED TRAIL PARK Figure 12.01: Greenway Development Map
AIL WASHINGTON &
OLD DOMINION REG
SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL “Starting a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is an opportunity to make walking and bicycling to school safer and more accessible for children, including those with disabilities, and to increase the number of children who choose to walk and bicycle” (SRTS). “Trails figure prominently in the Safe Route to School programs created by many communities over the last several years. These programs provide children with walking and biking zones completely separate from auto traffic and teach them good attitudes toward exercise while they are young and impressionable” (TPL). The map to the left highlights the existing and proposed bicycle routes along with the public schools in the area. The proposed routes address bicycle access to every school within this radius, except for those located within Arlington County. Existing bicycle routes and school locations were first addressed, and then logical connections were made between these existing elements. Speed limits and traffic counts were considered as much as possible. Suggested treatments are located on pages 98-99.
LEGEND EXISTING “BICYCLE FRIENDLY” ROAD EXISTING TRAIL PROPOSED “BICYCLE FRIENDLY” ROAD PROPOSED TRAIL SCHOOL Figure 12.02: Safe Routes to School Development Map
BICYCLE BOULEVARD IMPLEMENTATION Due the development and age of this area, the existing vehicular infrastructure is already quite established. Therefore, it is recommended that Fairfax County look to improve bicycle infrastructure by way of bicycle boulevard implementation. A bicycle boulevard is defined as low-volume and lowspeed streets that have been optimized for bicycle travel through treatments such as traffic calming and traffic reduction, signage and pavement markings, and intersection crossing treatments. It is important to understand, however, that one sporadically placed treatment will not suffice for bicycle boulevard design. In order for a treatment to be successful, it is required to understand the individual context of the specific location along with the implementation of various treatments that work together. The image below displays a bicycle boulevard development that includes multiple treatment options such as painted pavement, curb extensions, and bicycle boxes. The following page displays images of examples of suggested bicycle boulevard design elements.
DESIGN ELEMENTS SIGNAGE
Identification Signs Wayfinding Signs Warning Signs
PRIORITIZE BICYCLE TRAVEL ON BICYCLE BOULEVARD Pavement Markings Stop/Yield Signs
Bicycle Boxes/Advanced Stop Bar Bicycle Activated Signals Bicycle Activated Signals - Scramble Bicycle Activated Signals - Other Signals High Visibility Raised Crosswalk/Crossbike Crossing Islands Crossing at Off-Set Intersections
Traffic Circles Speed Tables Painted and Patterned Surfaces Chicanes Curb Extensions Residential Speed Limit Advisory Bicycle Lane Contraflow Bicycle Lane
Non-Motorized Only Crossings Partial Non-Motorized Only Crossings Figure 12.03: Integrated Bicycle Boulevard Design
EXAMPLES IDENTIFICATION SIGN
BICYCLE ACTIVATED SIGNAL
RESIDENTIAL SPEED LIMIT
Figure 12.04: Bicycle Boulevard Design Elements
LEGEND PROPOSED BICYCLE BOULEVARD EXISTING W&OD TRAIL
Figure 12.05: Bicycle Boulevard Ruckstuhl Park Connection
CONNECTING RUCKSTUHL PARK In order to connect Ruckstuhl Park to the Washington and Old Dominion Regional Trail, a bicycle boulevard design is suggested for the greenway development. Using the integrated design idea, four bicycle boulevard elements are utilized in order to create a fairly inexpensive, easily implemented treatment for the park connection.
WAYFINDING AND IDENTIFICATION SIGNAGE Signage is important for both the bicyclist and the automobile driver. Identification signage helps to identify the location of the boulevard and notify drivers that bicycles are in the area, sharing the roadways. Wayfinding signage aids bicyclists in navigating safe routes for continued journeys. Example signage is found on the right of this page.
PAVEMENT MARKING Pavement marking further identifies the existence of a bicycle boulevard. Additionally, it offers direction for both the bicyclists and automobile drivers. Pavement marking, usually a bicycle symbol, and white to contrast with existing pavement, provides an additional safety measure by notifying drivers of bicyclists.
RAISED CROSSWALK Raised crosswalks serve as a more immediate traffic-calming solution, in addition to a safe street-crossing method. Due to the higher volume of traffic and the existing crooked roads, raised crosswalk will help remind drivers to slow down and take caution to bicyclists on the road.
RESIDENTIAL SPEED LIMIT
BICYCLE BOULEVARD FAIRFAX COUNTY
Residential speed limit signs serve as an additional traffic-calming solution. Reminding automobile drivers that they are in a residential area and that speed limits are lower will help the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Figure 12.06: Bicycle Boulevard Example Signage
13 MASTER PLAN Section Title
Figure 13.00: Master Plan Strategy Infographic
THE VALUE OF NATURALIZATION • When children are outdoors, they are more likely to be engaged in higher levels of physical activity. They are more fit than those who spend the majority of their time inside (TPL).
[ PHYSICAL HEALTH ]
• Children who play in natural areas exhibit a statistically significant improvement in motor fitness with better coordination, balance, and agility (TPL).
• A recent study from Canada demonstrated that children living within a kilometer of parks containing playgrounds were five times more likely to have a healthy weight than children without a playground nearby (TPL). • Studies have shown that parks with paved trails are more likely to be used for physical activity by adults (TPL).
• Time spent in green spaces, including parks, play areas, and gardens reduces stress and mental fatigue (TPL).
• Children’s experience of green spaces outside the home can increase concentration, inhibit impulses, and improve selfdiscipline (TPL).
[ MENTAL HEALTH ]
• The “richness and novelty” of being outdoors stimulates brain development (TPL).
• Spending time outdoors increases “involuntary attention”, which may be why time outdoors can also reduce the severity of ADHD symptoms in children. (TPL). • Even a green view through a window reduces stress, increases level of interest and attention, and decreases feelings of fear and anger or aggression (TPL. • Research demonstrates that early experiences of nature provide long term memories and a positive disposition towards the natural world (TPL).
• Naturalization adds visual interest, shade, and comfort - resulting in sustained repeat visits, a relaxed and playful social atmosphere, and growth of community social capital (NLI).
+ SOCIAL [ HEALTH ]
• Curvy pathways weaving around and connecting equipment and natural components provide attractive, accessible, active settings for children, and social strolling by adults (NLI).
• Combinations of playgrounds and paved pathways are more likely to create healthy, fun filled, family-friendly active environments that will increase social interaction and therefore social capital, as well as provide destinations that connect people to nature (TPL). • Inclusion is a distinct function of pathways, which can be designed to attract a broad range of users: individuals with special needs, older family members, children of all ages (strollers included), and users from diverse cultural backgrounds - all able to enjoy adjacent nature (TPL).
• Research indicates that when a child explores nature outdoors with an enthusiastic parent, grandparent, or other trusted guardian, the child is more likely to take action to benefit the environment as an adult (NLI).
+ [ ENVIRONMENTAL ] HEALTH
• Naturalization can contribute to reducing the heat island effect in cities by increasing the tree cover, which at the same time contributes to reducing the carbon load and improves air quality (NLI).
• Access to sticks, stones, and a multitude of other natural loose parts amplify play opportunities (TPL). • When employing hardy, native plants, naturalization can dramatically improve wildlife habitat conditions for local flora and fauna (NLI). • Well-designed stormwater drainage systems, such as rain gardens and naturalized swales improve local ecosystem quality by increasing plant and animal diversity (NLI). • Childhood contact with nature contributes to shaping a lasting environmental ethic and an interest in environmental professions (TPL).
• Research shows that residents of neighborhoods with greenery in common spaces are more likely to enjoy stronger social ties than those who live surrounded by barren concrete (TPL).
E AN LL IDY
D OA R D
AY COU R
OO LW Y ID
“THE MOUNT” CEMETERY
IVE 19 18
I RU DY AR
6 TE TA
Figure 13.01: Ruckstuhl Park Master Plan
Y WA K R
RUCKSTUHL PARK MASTER PLAN 1. BICYCLE PARKING & SERVICE STATION
13. PICNIC HILL
2. DEMONSTRATION RAIN GARDEN
14. FITNESS ZONE
3. RESTROOM FACILITIES & MAINTENANCE CLOSET
15. NATIVE HARDWOOD FOREST
4. SITTING MOUNDS
16. “THE MOUNT” HISTORICAL MARKER
5. COMMUNITY COUNCIL RING
17. SOUTHERN RED OAK PLATFORM
6. GROUP SHELTER
18. DUNFORD DRIVE ENTRANCE
7. NEIGHBORHOOD CONNECTION
19. GROUP MEADOW OVERLOOK
8. PLAYGROUND OVERLOOK
20. “BREAK-LINE” RETAINING WALL
9. PARK INFORMATION KIOSK
21. NATIVE MEADOW
10. FAMILY MEETING CIRCLE
22. SMALL GROUP MEADOW LOOKOUT
11. COUPLE’S MEETING CIRCLE
23. NOISE CONTROL BARRIER
*Descriptions are located on the following pages.
1. BICYCLE PARKING & SERVICE STATION Bicycle parking is conveniently located in the Northwest corner of the park, utilizing easy access from the proposed Idylwood Park “bicycle boulevard” connection.
2. DEMONSTRATION RAIN GARDEN
6. GROUP SHELTER The group shelter can serve as a stage back-drop and a defense against the weather. It is constructed in an organic form and meant to have a “tent” type feel, with the use of a natural looking material, such as canvas.
7. NEIGHBORHOOD CONNECTION
Located near the entrance of the park, the demonstration rain garden serves both an educational element, and a stormwater run-off treatment element.
Because the park has a “local park” designation, accessibility is important for neighboring communities. This connection will provide easier/ simpler access for the adjacent housing development, and will most likely encourage more visits to the park.
3. RESTROOM FACILITIES & MAINTENANCE CLOSET
8. PLAYGROUND OVERLOOK
This building holds the park’s restroom facilities and a maintenance closet. The building water run-off is directed toward the adjacent vegetated swale, which serves as a rain garden demonstration.
4. SITTING MOUNDS These mounds, located at the entrance of the park, serve as a shaded place for people to sit. This topography change also creates an interesting view into the park and implies mystery and fascination.
5. COMMUNITY COUNCIL RING This is a multi-use area for the individual, small-group, and large-group. The stadium type seating is inspired by the Swarthmore Amphitheater, but scaled down for a more intimate experience. There is a sunken circle as the focal point that serves as a seat wall, with a raised fire-pit in the center.
The Playground Overlook serves many purposes. First, it is an exciting entry feature that provides fascination, encouraging users to “climb” to the top in order to see what is on the other side. Second, the structure allows for children to view their entire play area from an interesting perspective. This aids in cognitive and navigation development. Last, the drop-off serves as a climbing wall for the playground.
9. PARK INFORMATION KIOSK This kiosk structure serves as the primary location for park information including a park map, “wellness path” distances, and a community events board.
10. FAMILY MEETING CIRCLE This area can serve many purposes such as formal and informal group meeting spaces, small outdoor classes, or self-meditation.
11. COUPLE’S MEETING CIRCLE This smaller meeting circle provides a more intimate setting for one to three people to gather.
18. DUNFORD DRIVE ENTRANCE
Centrally located, this naturalized playground is the focus of the site plan (see page 126).
This entrance serves both as an easily accessible community connection along with an emergency entrance for paramedics and officers.
13. PICNIC HILL
19. GROUP MEADOW OVERLOOK
Picnic Hill is a large mound, with shade trees, that provides an excellent setting for a small, informal gathering. The shape of the mound allows easier supervision of the younger children play area.
This larger meeting area provides an overlook of the meadow and affords larger, informal group meetings.
14. FITNESS ZONE This area contains outdoor fitness equipment and machines. Its proximity to the playground allows users to supervise children. However, there is a “vine screen” that does provide some privacy from the playground.
15. NATIVE HARDWOOD FOREST One of the vegetation goals for the park is to develop a healthy canopy (see page 118).
16. “THE MOUNT” HISTORICAL MARKER This area provides a location close to the cemetery for people to learn about the adjacent property. Informational signs provide an educational opportunity. Additionally, there are three planters, that provide seating, that each represent a different historical plant arrangement.
17. SOUTHERN RED OAK PLATFORM Utilizing an existing, established Southern red oak on site, this elevated platform provides a different view of the park. Educational opportunities are also provided with signage explaining Virginia Oak Forests.
20. “BREAK-LINE” RETAINING WALL The “Break-Line” retaining wall serves as a form of vegetation management on site (see page 114).
21. NATIVE MEADOW An additional goal for the park’s vegetation is to develop a meadow (see page 116).
22. SMALL GROUP MEADOW LOOKOUT Off of the raised boardwalk, these small areas provide additional views of the meadow and the canopy of the park.
23. NOISE CONTROL BARRIER Due to the proximity of the park, a noise control barrier serves as buffer between the park and freeway traffic. It adds to the restorative properties of the park’s atmosphere.
GRADING GRADING ZONES: ENTRY ZONE MEADOW ZONE
PLAN LEGEND: MAP SCALE: NTS
1’-0” contour 2’-0” contour 2’-0” existing contour grading zone boundary Figure 13.02: Ruckstuhl Park Grading Plan
EXISTING TREE CANOPY
CUT & FILL CALCULATIONS:
CUT = 177,610 cubic feet FILL = 14,300 cubic feet TOTAL CUT = 163,310 cubic feet
PROPOSED TREE CANOPY
In order to preserve as many existing species on site, a specific grading strategy was developed. It involves two grading zones, the “entry zone” and the “meadow zone”, in addition to working with the existing topography. The “entry zone” is where many of the programmed elements are to be constructed, with the ultimate goal of run-off being directed to the parking lot (see the following page for stormwater management). The “meadow zone” addresses a few onsite issues including invasive management and rapid runoff. Because of the overwhelming Kudzu invasion, this zone, developed from existing topography, will be transformed into a meadow with a large vegetated swale to handle the stormwater run-off. The figure to the left displays the existing natural canopy and the proposed canopy. With the proposed change, which includes various constructed elements, the canopy will be strong and healthy. This carefully determined grading plan, coupled with a vegetation plan, will aid in developing a naturalized park. In determining the various components of the park, it is required to “cut” more ground than it is to “fill” ground. The most sustainable practice is to attempt to balance the “cut & fill”, however, there is good news for Ruckstuhl. Due to the proximity of the park to the newly developing Tysons Corner Urban Center, much of the excavated ground can be used less than a mile away.
Figure 13.03: Tree Canopy Comparison
STORM WATER MANAGEMENT
As mentioned in the site analysis, runoff is a major concern for the site. However, as also mentioned in the grading design, two zones were determined in order to prevent unnecessary canopy removal. Therefore, understanding the high-point location and the direction of grade, a “storm water treatment train” has been developed (Figure 13.04) . Once water falls and moves from the high point, it is forced to choose a direction: either to the “entry zone” or the “meadow zone”. The water is then deposited into a vegetated swale, located within the zone. It is estimated that about two-thirds of water on site will travel to the “meadow zone”, with the other one-third traveling toward the “entry zone”. The size and capacity of the swales attempt to match that proportion. Once the water is in the swale, the water will infiltrate the soil and saturate within the level spreaders, located under the swales. The figure to the right displays the “before and after” vector analysis of water flow on site. This “treatment train” is designed to store the runoff of a twenty-four hour, one hundred year storm event (Figure 13.06).
Figure 13.04: Storm Water Management “Treatment Train”
STORMWATER CALCULATIONS VECTOR ANALYSIS: EXISTING
“100-year storm” multiplier
(cubic feet per second)
(inches per hour)
5.7 total: 9.7
“100-year storm” event delta-Q total = 9.7 - 7.2 = 2.5 cubic feet per second or 216,000 cubic feet per day
VECTOR ANALYSIS: PROPOSED
meadow swale contour 1 contour 2 contour 3 contour 4 contour 5
5700 5000 3800 1900 1200
1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
1 2 3 4 5
5700 10000 14400 7600 6000 total capacity: 40700
“entry zone” spreader level 1 level 2
“meadow zone” spreader level 1 level 2
3150 4410 total capacity:
7560 7200 10080
total capacity: 17280 TOTAL KNOWN STORAGE: 65540
“Level 3” must store 150,460 cubic feet [ 216000 - 65540 = 150460 ]
“Level 3” of the level spreaders must be 9.2 feet deep to store delta-Q for a “100-year storm event for 24 hours
Figure 13.05: Vector Analysis
Figure 13.06: Storm Water Calculations Table
VEGETATION: MANAGEMENT VEGETATION ZONES Canopy Zone ‘BREAK-LINE’ RETAINING WALL Meadow Zone
As previously mentioned in the site analysis, there is a large kudzu vine invasion on the southeastern portion of the site. In order to combat this problem, a “break-line” was established to divide the site into zones. These two zones, the “canopy” zone and the “meadow” zone, are separated by a “break-line” retaining wall. The “line” was established by topography, the existing condition of other species, and predicting where the kudzu might spread next. The zones aid in vegetation management by mapping a specific location of where particular species should “go” and “not go”. Using a stone retaining wall helps direct water to the meadow swale and also adds to the historical character of the park. More information about the two zones is located on the next three pages.
Figure 13.07: Vegetation Zones: “Break-Line” Retaining Wall Figure 13.08: Handwritten Notes on the Kudzu Vine
‘KEYSTONE’ WALL UNIT, ‘CENTURY WALL’ LARGE AND ‘HALF CENTURY WALL’ LARGE, ANTIQUED FACE, NATURAL
1 : 1.28
SUBGRADE, COMPACT TO 95% PROCTOR
PVC PIPE, SEE DRAINAGE PLAN
#6 CRUSHED, CLEAN STONE, COMPACTED TO 95%
‘TYPAR’ #3601-G, 1’-0” MIN. LAP JOINTS, CONTINUOUS
SUBGRADE, COMPACT TO 95% PROCTOR
“BREAK-LINE” RETAINING WALL NTS
Figure 13.09: “Break-Line” Retaining Wall Construction Detail
Figure 13.10: “Break-Line” Retaining Wall Inspiration
VEGETATION: MEADOW ZONE VEGETATION ZONES Canopy Zone ‘Break-Line’ Retaining Wall
MEADOW PLANTING ZONES
ZONE MIXING AREAS Figure 13.11: Vegetation Zones: Meadow Zone
Figure 13.12: Meadow Zone Plant Species
PLANTING SELECTIONS: ZONE ONE:
DRY MEADOW 25%: Sorgastrum nutans 20%: Dichanthelium clandestinum 15%: Elymus virgincus 10%: Schizachyrium scoparium 5%: Asclepias syriaca Eupatorium fistulosum Vemonia noveboracensis 3%: Asclepias incarnata 2%: Aster pilosus Chamaecrista fasciculata Eupatorium purpureum Solidago juncea Rudbeckia hirta Pycnanthemum tenuifolium
INTERMEDIATE MEADOW 20%: Elymus virgincus Dichanthelium clandestinum 15%: Sorgastrum nutans 10%: Cinna arundinacea 5%: Schizachyrium scoparium Asclepias syriaca 3%: Solidago caesia Aster pilosus Carex vulpinoidea Vernonia noveboracensis Tridens flavus Eupatorium purpureum
2%: Carex lurida
WET MEADOW 20%: Elymus virgincus 15%: Sorgastrum nutans Dichanthelium clandestinum 10%: Cinna arundinacea 5%: Tridens flavus Carex vulpinoidea Carex lurida Carex frankii
3%: Asclepias incarnata Symphyotrichum pilosum Symphyotrichum lateriflorum Eupatorium fistulosum Solidago caesia Euthamia graminifolia 2%: Vernonia noveboracensis
In order to eradicate the invasive kudzu vine from the park, removal of the species should begin immediately. Cutting and removal of the plant from the site can be run by the Park Authority and/or volunteers. After about four years of this process, control of the invasive should be under control. By planting a meadow, healthy vegetation can flourish and aid in the kudzu removal process. Because the meadow serves additionally as a swale for run-off, there are smaller planting zones that have been developed in order to take care of the water. Zone three, or the wet meadow, contains the swale, while zone one serves as the high point for water to drain off. The species selection was determined by the recommended list of meadow species developed by Fairfax County Park Authority. However, there is no specific list for an intermediate meadow. Therefore, the list was created by utilizing the various species of the dry and wet zones to create a median selection.
VEGETATION: CANOPY ZONE VEGETATION ZONES CANOPY ZONE ‘Break-Line’ Retaining Wall Meadow Zone
The ultimate long-term goal for the canopy zone is to establish a healthy forest. From research and existing species analysis, it has been determined that the ecological community group for this zone is a “Basic Oak-Hickory Forest”, according to the Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. The principle habitats are stated as “submesic to subxeric uplands over basic rocks such as diabase, gabbro, amphibolite, and metabasalt, [and the] soils range from moderately acidic to circumneutral” (VDCR). Additionally, ‘communities in this group are scattered to locally extensive throughout the Virginia Piedmont and on lower-elevation slopes of the northern Blue Ridge” (VDCR). The figure to the right displays the tree species within this community. “With a distribution in the Piedmont already restricted by limited available habitat, Basic Oak-Hickory Forests have also been reduced considerably by a long history of agriculture, conversion of hardwood forests to intensively managed pine stands, and urban development” (VDCR). Therefore, due to the wishes of Dr. Lily Ruckstuhl and the stipulations of the conservation easement, the local community (ecologically and socially) would benefit this implementation. Figure 13.13: Vegetation Zones: Canopy Zone Figure 13.14: Canopy Zone Plant Species
TREE PALETTE UNDERSTORY CANOPY OVERSTORY CANOPY
CERCIS CANADENSIS (EASTERN REDBUD)
OSTRYA VIRGINIANA (EASTERN HOP-HORNBEAM)
CORNUS FLORIDA (FLOWERING DOGWOOD)
QUERCUS ALBA (WHITE OAK)
QUERCUS RUBRA (RED OAK)
QUERCUS VELUTINA (BLACK OAK)
QUERCUS PRINUS (CHESTNUT OAK)
QUERCUS STELLATA (POST OAK)
CARYA GLABRA (PIGNUT HICKORY)
CARYA OVALIS (RED HICKORY)
CARYA OVATA (SHAGBARK HICKORY)
CARYA TOMENTOSA (MOCKERNUT HICKORY)
LIRIODENDRON TULIPFERA (TULIP-TREE)
WELLNESS PATHS WELLNESS
PATH DISTANCES 1/8 MILE 1/4 MILE 3/8 MILE
Figure 13.15: “Wellness Path” Distances
‘NICOLOCK’ HOLLAND STONE, SEE PAVEMENT CONTROL PLAN FOR COLOR
‘STABILIZER SOLUTIONS’ MIX PER MFG. SPECIFICATIONS WITH 3/8” CRUSHED, CLEAN AGGREGATE BLEND, AVAILABLE AT ‘KAFKA GRANITE’, KAFKAGRANITE.COM
‘TYPAR’ FILTER FABRIC, 3201-G, SEE NOTES, 1’-0” MIN. LAP JOINTS TYP.
#6 CLEAN, CRUSHED STONE, MIN. 80% ANGULAR, COMPACT TO 95% IN 3” LIFTS ‘TYPAR’ FILTER FABRIC, 3401-G, SEE ABOVE
1” TO 3” CLEAN, ANGULAR STONE, COMPACT TO 95% IN 6” LIFTS ‘TYPAR’ FILTER FABRIC, 3401-G, SEE ABOVE 8” TO 1’-0” CLEAN, ANGULAR STONE, GRAVITY COMPACT ‘TYPAR’ FILTER FABRIC, 3801-G, SEE ABOVE SUBGRADE, COMPACT TO 95% PROCTOR
WELLNESS PATH PAVEMENT NTS
NOTES: ALL MATERIALS ARE CONTINUOUS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
In order to promote and nurture exercise, paths were specifically designed to have particular distance and have no beginning or end (in other wards, a track). Park users are more likely to participate in aerobic activity if there is an ability to measure accomplishments. Due to the area available on site, the tracks are in increments of 1/8 mile to 3/8 mile. The shortest path circles the playground and encourages children to participate in exercise. Additionally, the distances are short enough to encourage any exercise beginner, both young and old, to feel rewarded.
Figure 13.16: “Wellness Path” Construction Detail
14 SITE PLAN Section Title
Figure 14.00: Site Plan Strategy Infographic
THE VALUE OF INTEGRATING NATURE WITH PLAY • Plants increase the diversity of social, construction, symbolic, dramatic, and physical play and related learning opportunities by encouraging children to explore and discover the wonder of the world around them (NLI).
• Diverse play settings meet individual needs according to stages of development, learning styles, personality types, friendship patterns, and culture (NLI).
• Increased levels of physical activity result from hide-and-go-seek games stimulated by topographical variety, curvy pathways, shrubs, and shade trees located around manufactured equipment (NLI). • Exposure to nature motivates children to be more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another, and more creative by experiencing diverse, natural school playgrounds (NLI). • Exposure to nature provides sun protection and skin cancer prevention (NLI). • Studies showed that easy access to a place to exercise results in a 5.1 percent median increase in aerobic capacity, along with weight loss, a reduction in body fat, improvements in flexibility, and an increase in perceived energy (TPL).
• Plants offer sensory stimulation by providing sounds, textures, tactile interaction, fragrance, and visual interest (NLI).
• Children in nature are engaged in more creative and cooperative play (NLI).
[ MENTAL HEALTH ]
• Naturalized playgrounds are aligned with education philosophies that consider child development as a holistic psychological, social, and cognitive process (NLI).
• Heightened sensory stimulation, exploration, and discovery of natural objects and phenomena stimulate active learning, creativity, and imagination (NLI). • Educators see nature play as a key strategy for engaging children in urban communities with the experiential richness of the natural world (NLI). • Exposure to nature reduces attention deficit disorder symptoms in children as young as five years old (NLI). • Exposure to nature reduces stress in children through contact with plants, green views, and access to natural play areas (NLI). • Exposure to nature produces feelings of peace, self-control, and self-discipline within inner city youth, particularly girls (NLI).
• Exposure to nature enhances self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, autonomy, and initiative in teens (NLI).
• Increased play value is a primary measure of community benefit for public funds invested in naturalized playgrounds (NLI).
• Researchers have recently discovered that children with ADD can concentrate on schoolwork and similar tasks better than usual after taking part in activities in green settings, such as walking through or playing in a park. And the greener a child’s play area, the less severe the symptoms (TPL).
• Naturalization provides broader inclusion of children of various abilities and increases social interaction between children with different socioeconomic and ethnic/racial backgrounds (NLI).
• Exposure to nature increases children’s ability to focus and enhances their cognitive abilities (NLI). • Exposure to nature develops capacities for creative problem solving, as well as intellectual and emotional development (NLI). • Naturalization adds visual interest, shade, and comfort - resulting in sustained repeat visits, a relaxed and playful social atmosphere, and growth of community social capital (NLI).
• “Mixed” play environments of equipment and natural components are more attractive and comfortable to adults. As a result, caregivers may spend more time
• Quality natural play spaces are generally unavailable to today’s urban and suburban children and youth (NLI).
• Plants improve natural habitat conditions for wildlife species the fascinate children such as butterflies, caterpillars, ladybird beetles, and salamanders (NLI).
[ ENVIRONMENTAL ] HEALTH
• Selected plants can attract songbirds to add sensory appeal to the playground (NLI).
• Changing seasons and daily natural environment dynamics contribute to novel play experience for children (NLI). • Deeper emotional attachment to nature and increased understanding of the natural world by children can increase long-term environmental stewardship as adults (NLI).
outdoors with their children (NLI). • Trees, shrubs, and flowering perennials increase playground aesthetic appeal, which stimulates higher levels of use, a greater variety of play behavior, increased social interaction, an diverse habitat for wildlife (NLI).
5 3 4
6 12 8 7
Figure 14.01: “Natural Play”ground Plan
“NATURAL PLAY”GROUND 1. PLAYGROUND OVERLOOK
9. OPEN LAWN
2. CLIMBING WALL
10. SOLITARY SWINGING
3. ALL AGES SWINGING ZONE
11. SPINNING ZONE
4. YELLOW TWIG WAY
12. RED TWIG BARRIER
5. CLIMBING BOULDER
13. AGES 2-5 PLAY ZONE
6. AGES 5 & OLDER PLAY ZONE
14. PICNIC HILL
7. CERCIS RUN
15. VINE SCREEN
8. WEEPING HIDE-OUT
16. FITNESS ZONE
PLANTING PLAN: OVERSTORY CANOPY The primary focus for the “Natural Play”ground is tree species selection. Utilizing research conducted by the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) of North Carolina State University, species were carefully selected and placed accordingly. All of the species can be found within the NLI Plant Database, which provides species selection specifically for encouraging children to interact with nature. All of the trees selected mostly vary in size, form, bloom color, and leaf structure, and are almost all categorized as “low maintenance” by the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Species Database. The species are placed within the site for specific purposes such as shade potential, child interaction, and barrier development. For example, seven “Chinese redbuds” are grouped together to provide a potential “play area”. The upright form of the species, in combination with particular spacing, allows children the potential to run through the area and touch the plants. It can also serve as a “cone exercise game” that children would run around. Another example of specific plant selection and placement is the “weeping European beech”. Once established, this amazing tree can serve as the ultimate hiding place for children. The figure to the right is the planting plan, and the following pages provide a profile of each of the selected tree species.
Acer rubrum 'Franksred' RED SUNSET
Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance'
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'
Cercis chinensis 'Don Egolf'
Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'
weeping European Beech
Ginkgo biloba 'The President'
ginkgo, maidenhair tree
Liquidambar stryaciflua 'Rotundiloba'
Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star'
Nyssa sylvatica 'Wildfire'
Figure 14.02: Site Plan Canopy Planting Schedule Table
Ac Ma Ag
Gi Ce As As Ma Ag
Figure 14.03: Site Plan Canopy Planting Plan
PLANT PROFILES: OVERSTORY CANOPY ACER GRISEUM
PAPERBARK MAPLE Family: Sapindaceae Zone: 4 to 8 Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet Bloom Time: April Bloom Description: Green Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Flower: Insignificant Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - exfoliating bark provides winter interest - bark encourages children to touch - excellent shade trade - great fall color
ACER RUBRUM ‘FRANKSRED’ RED SUNSET RED MAPLE
Family: Sapindaceae Zone: 3 to 9 Height: 40.00 to 50.00 feet Spread: 30.00 to 40.00 feet Bloom Time: March Bloom Description: Red (male flower yellowish) Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium to wet Maintenance: Low Flower: Showy Leaf: Good Fall Figure 14.04: Canopy Plant Profiles
SELECTION NOTES: - excellent shade tree - bright fall color - adaptable to most areas - easy to establish
AMELANCHIER × GRANDIFLORA ‘AUTUMN BRILLIANCE’ APPLE SERVICEBERRY
Family: Rosaceae Zone: 4 to 9 Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet Bloom Time: April Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Flower: Showy Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - multi-leader species provides interesting form - bright fall color - white, fragrant blooms - possible play props and flower collecting - attracts birds
ASIMINA TRILOBA PAWPAW
Family: Annonaceae Zone: 5 to 9 Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet Spread: 15.00 to 30.00 feet Bloom Time: April to May Bloom Description: Purple Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium to wet Maintenance: Low Flower: Fragrant, Insignificant Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - edible fruit - large leaves can become play props - educational opportunity: make yellow dye from pulp - fragrant, dark purple flower - attracts small mammals
CERCIS CANDENSIS ‘FOREST PANSY’ EASTERN REDBUD
Family: Fabaceae Zone: 5 to 9 Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet Spread: 25.00 to 35.00 feet Bloom Time: April Bloom Description: Rosy pink Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Flower: Showy, Good Cut Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - purple foliage all year-round - leaves can become play props - bright, rosy pink blooms for flower collecting - good shade tree - attracts hummingbirds
CERCIS CHINENSIS ‘DON EGOLF’ CHINESE REDBUD
Family: Fabaceae Zone: 6 to 9 Height: 8.00 to 15.00 feet Spread: 6.00 to 12.00 feet Bloom Time: March to April Bloom Description: Rosy purple Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Medium Flower: Showy
SELECTION NOTES: - upright form creates play area - bright, rosy pink blooms for flower collecting - smaller species allows for smaller child interaction - stems can be used for cuttings and play props
FAGUS SYLVATICA ‘PENDULA’ WEEPING EUROPEAN BEECH
Family: Fagaceae Zone: 4 to 7 Height: 35.00 to 50.00 feet Spread: 20.00 to 40.00 feet Bloom Time: April to May Bloom Description: Yellowish-green Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Flower: Insignificant Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - weeping form creates fun hiding place - ridged, glossy leaves as play props - good fall color - specimen tree
GINKGO BILOBA ‘THE PRESIDENT’ GINKGO, MAIDENHAIR TREE Family: Ginkgoaceae Zone: 3 to 8 Height: 40.00 to 50.00 feet Spread: 25.00 to 30.00 feet Bloom Time: April Bloom Description: Green (male) Sun: Full sun Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Flower: N/A Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - distinct leaf is interesting to collect and play with - bright yellow fall color in unmatched - educational opportunity: ginkgo history - easily adaptable
LIQUIDAMBAR STYRACIFLUA ‘ROTUNDILOBA’ SWEET GUM
Family: Altingiaceae Zone: 5 to 9 Height: 60.00 to 70.00 feet Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet Bloom Time: April to May Bloom Description: Greenish Sun: Full sun Water: Medium Maintenance: Low Flower: Insignificant Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - large, dense form provides variety - great shade tree - deep green foliage with rounded lobes - excellent fall color
MAGNOLIA STELLATA ‘ROYAL STAR’ STAR MAGNOLIA
Family: Magnoliaceae Zone: 4 to 8 Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet Spread: 8.00 to 15.00 feet Bloom Time: March Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Medium Flower: Fragrant Leaf: Okay Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - unique flower provides child interaction - fragrant, white bloom - specimen tree
NYSSA SYLVATICA ‘WILDFIRE’ BLACK GUM
Family: Cornaceae Zone: 3 to 9 Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet Bloom Time: May to June Bloom Description: Greenish white Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium to wet Maintenance: Low Flower: Insignificant Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - great shade tree - excellent fall color - attracts birds
PLANTING PLAN: UNDERSTORY CANOPY
Figure 14.05: Understory Planting Plan
As seen from the planting plan above, the understory species selection and placement is not extensive; however, the reasoning does serve a purpose. With the main goal being to establish a healthy tree canopy, understory species will most likely change with tree growth. This plan allows for an easier change over time. For now, two species of dogwood are selected: red twig and yellow twig. The yellow twig dogwoods run the length of the central path, guiding park visitors through the playground and creating perceived buffers between different play areas. However, the spacing between the plants is large enough for children (and adults) to pass through, providing interaction with the plants. The red twig dogwoods serve as barrier for the younger children play area. The dense spacing requires the park visitor to choose a direction and does not allow immediate entry to the play zone. The decision to place the particular species next to each other serves an additional purpose. The bunching of the same colors helps to develop color association with nature for children. Additionally, people tend to associate the color red with “stop” and the color yellow with “slow down”.
PLANT SCHEDULE CODE
Cornus sericea 'Baileyi'
red twig dogwood
Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea'
yellow twig dogwood
Figure 14.06: Understory Planting Schedule Table
PLANT PROFILES CORNUS SERICEA ‘FLAVIRAMEA’ YELLOW TWIG DOGWOOD Family: Cornaceae Zone: 3 to 8 Height: 5.00 to 6.00 feet Spread: 5.00 to 6.00 feet Bloom Time: May to June Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium to wet Maintenance: Medium Flower: Showy Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - year round interest - bright yellow twigs can be play props - deep green foliage with white fruit provides contrast - attracts birds and butterflies
CORNUS SERICEA ‘BAILEYI’ RED TWIG DOGWOOD
Family: Cornaceae Zone: 3 to 8 Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet Bloom Time: May to June Bloom Description: White Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium to wet Maintenance: Medium Flower: Showy Leaf: Good Fall
SELECTION NOTES: - year round interest - bright red twigs can be play props - deep green foliage with white fruit provides contrast - attracts birds and butterflies
Figure 14.07: Understory Plant Profiles
SPRING COLOR MARCH - MAY
SUMMER COLOR JUNE - AUGUST
SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER
DECEMBER - FEBRUARY
Figure 14.08: Seasonal Color
PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT CLIMBING WALL AGES 5 & OLDER PLAY AREA ALL AGES SWINGING
AGES 2-5 PLAY AREA
AGES 5 & OLDER PLAY AREA
SINGLE & GROUP SPINNING
PICNIC HILL (OBSERVATION) Figure 14.09: Play Equipment Zones
According to the Natural Learning Initiative, “a mix of manufactured and natural play components creates an inclusive, friendly atmosphere where all ages feel comfortable and welcomed” (NLI). In addition, it is important to particularly locate and program the various types of equipment into logical groups. The figure to the left displays the play zones located within the play ground. Located in the southwest corner is the younger children’s area. With Picnic Hill and additional shady benches, adults will feel comfortable watching their children. Additionally, there is a vegetated barrier (designated with a red “x”) that diverts older children from directly entering the younger children’s area, and vice versa. However, as children get older or feel more comfortable with their peers, they can migrate to the other zones that are for all ages. Furthermore, there is a “solitary swinging area”, divided by an open lawn, for children who need to take a break from there peers. Swinging can serve as a form of relaxation and meditation.
Figure 14.10: Playground Equipment Examples
Figure 14.11: Fitness Zone Location
Figure 14.12: Fitness Zone Inspiration
Figure 14.13: Vine Screen Section
In budding economic countries, such as China and Thailand, it is not uncommon to find outdoor exercise equipment in public parks. Exercise equipment, examples to the left, provide free access to for working-out and establishing healthy life styles, and serve as an alternative to a gym membership, which many people can’t afford. Additionally, because the equipment does not require computers or electricity, the fitness zone is also a sustainable option. A future opportunity for the fitness zone could be to implement energy monitors in order for equipment users to create energy that can be used elsewhere. This would encourage more potential users to utilize the fitness equipment. Located in between the playground and the fitness zone is a vine screen (Figure 14.13). Using ‘Green Screen’ customizable green walls, these 6’ x 4’ structures aid in creating privacy from the fitness zone. Additionally, with a different species of vine for each wall, the screen serves as another form of plant species interaction for children and adults alike.
Figure 14.14: Fitness Zone Equipment Examples
15 CONCLUSION Section Title
To the best of my knowledge, the information and data used for this project is both complete and accurate. During the Summer 2013, while completing my internship at Fairfax County Park Authority, I personally collected the data and conducted a site visit (with help, of course). The variety of data collected for this research does reflect the complexity of the project.
To the best of my knowledge, I have utilized all of the data, information, and sources available for this project. With this basis, the proposed design reflects appropriate context, fulfills the clients wishes, and will aid in developing a healthier community.
The process of the project was quite overwhelming. To begin, determining the scales at which to work at were not easily defined. Due to the size of the site, the time frame given, and the amount of detail required, the master plan and site plan scales were finalized later in the design process. Additionally, the first intention was to not focus on the playground as a site scale, but rather the entire park. However, with the research topic focusing on the specifics of public health, the detail required was extensive, and the playground was chosen as the site focus. After the design scale were finally determined, the process fell into place.
The overall process for this project was more complicated than initially thought. First, the distance between the site location and my work location created communication and visitation complications. I now understand the importance of site accessibility for design. Second, Wisconsin and Virginia have different climates and vegetation hardiness zones. Additionally, with the site plan focused mainly on human and plant interaction, I had to research plant species more thoroughly and extensively than originally predicted. Third, I (finally) learned the importance of organization and time-management (this booklet itself contains about 275 image links alone). Even though I have yet to perfect my time-management, Iâ€™m better able to predict the time is requires to complete certain tasks.
16 APPENDIX Section Title
FIGURES & IMAGES Cover
5 Regional Scale
Pictures of existing vegetation (9) at Ruckstuhl Park, Arianna Netzky
Figure 5.00: Location Map: Fairfax County, Virginia, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 5.01: Demographics Chart: Fairfax County, Virginia, information: Fairfax County Park Authority Figure 5.02: Location Map: Tysons Corner, Virginia, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 5.03: Freeway Map: Fairfax County, Virginia, base image: ArcGIS, editinig: Arianna Netzky Figure 5.04: 2013 Allstate Worst Drivers Map, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 5.05: Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail Character, Google Image Figure 5.06: Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail: Fairfax County Map, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 5.07: Bicyclist on the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail, Google Image
Preface Acknowledgements background image, Arianna Netzky Self Portrait, Arianna Netzky
1 Introduction Figure 1.00 Exisitng Ruckstuhl Park Landscape, Arianna Netzky Figure 1.01 Built Urban Landscape Characteristics, Google Image (6) Figure 1.02 Workflow Diagram, Arianna Netzky
2 Location, History, & Present Day Figure 2.00 Ruckstuhl Park Boundaries, GIS Base Map, Arianna Netzky Figure 2.01 Land Use Change, Fairfax County Park Authority Figure 2.02 Victorian Farm House, Fairfax County Park Authority Figure 2.03 Doctor Lily Ruckstuhl, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust Figure 2.04 Demolition, Images: Fairfax County Park Authority, Parcel Map: Arianna Netzky Figure 2.05 Sun Gazette News Article, Sun Gazette (Screen Image)
3 Client Goals & Site Limitations 3.00 Jefferson Planning District, Fairfax County Park Authority
4 Research, Professional Practice Figure 4.00: Research word map graphic, Arianna Netzky Figure 4.01: Landscape Architecture and Health, Google Image Figure 4.02: Formula for Well-being, Arianna Netzky Figure 4.03: Life is Full of Stressors, Arianna Netzky
6 Community Scale Figure 6.00: Community Scale Map, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 6.01: Community Property Type, information: Fairfax County Park Authority, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 6.02: Community Bicycle Access Map, information: Google Maps, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 6.03: Community Sidewalk Access Map, information: Fairfax County Park Authority, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 6.04: Census Tract 471300, information: Fairfax County Park Authority, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 6.05: The Mount Cemetery, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky, photos (4): Arianna Netzky Figure 6.06: Community Involvement: Fairfax County for Better Bicycling, Google Image
7 Site Scale
10 Design Concept
Figure 7.00: Established Tree on Site, Arianna Netzky Figure 7.01: Existing Conditions; photos (19), Arianna Netzky, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 7.02: Existing Vegetation, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 7.03: Kudzu Vine on Site, photos (3): Arianna Netzky Figure 7.04: Existing Topography, ArcGIS Figure 7.05: Existing Soils, information: Natural Resources Conservation Service, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 7.06: Vector Analysis, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 7.07: Opportunities and Constraints, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky
Figure 10.00: Concept Basis, Arianna Netzky Figure 10.01: Concept Drivers, Arianna Netzky
8 Precedents Figure 8.00: Prospect Park Character, photos (8), Google Image Figure 8.01: Original Site Plan, Google Image Figure 8.02: Olmsted and Vaux, Google Image Figure 8.03: Historical Grazing, Google Image Figure 8.04: Brooklyn Bridge Park Character, photos (8), Michael Van Valkenburg Associates & Google Image Figure 8.05: Brooklyn Bridge Park Site Plan and Other Graphics, Michael Van Valkenburg Associates & Google Image Figure 8.06: Dumbarton Oaks Park Character, photos (8): Google Image Figure 8.07: Dumbarton Oaks Park Site Plan, Google Image Figure 8.08: Sculpture, Google Image Figure 8.09: Formal Gardens, Google Image Figure 8.10: Sidwell Friends School Design Character, photos (8): Andropogon Associates & Google Image Figure 8.11: Sidwell Friends School Design Technical Graphics: Andropogon Associates & Google Image
11 Design Approach Figure 11.00: Strategy Map, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 11.00: Strategy Infographic, Arianna Netzky
12 Community Plan Figure 12.00: Community Strategy Infographic, Arianna Netzky Figure 12.01: Greenway Development Map, information: Fairfax County Park Authority & Google Maps, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 12.02: Safe Routes to School Development Map, information: Fairfax County Park Authority & Google Maps, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 12.03: Integrated Bicycle Boulevard Design, Google Image Figure 12.04: Bicycle Boulevard Design Elements, photos (15): Google Image Figure 12.05: Bicycle Boulevard Ruckstuhl Park Connection, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 12.06: Bicycle Boulevard Example Signage, Arianna Netzky
13 Master Plan Figure 13.00: Master Plan Strategy Infographic, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.01: Ruckstuhl Park Master Plan, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 13.02: Ruckstuhl Park Grading Plan, information: ArcGIS, design and editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 13.03: Tree Canopy Comparison, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.04: Storm Water Management â€œTreatment Trainâ€?, Arianna Netzky
Figure 13.05: Vector Analysis, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.06: Storm Water Calculations Table, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.07: Vegetation Zones: “Break-Line” Retaining Wall, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.08: Handwritten Notes on the Kudzu Vine, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.09: “Break-Line” Retaining Wall Construction Detail, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.10: “Break-Line” Retaining Wall Inspiration, photos (4): Google Image Figure 13.11: Vegetation Zones: Meadow Zone, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.12: Meadow Zone Plant Species, photos (46): Google Image Figure 13.13: Vegetation Zones: Canopy Zone, Arianna Netzky Figure 13.14: Canopy Zone Plant Species, photos (13): Google Image Figure 13.15: “Wellness Path” Distances, base image: ArcGIS, editing: Arianna Netzky Figure 13.16: “Wellness Path” Construction Detail, Arianna Netzky
14 Site Plan Figure 14.00: Site Plan Strategy Infographic, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.01: “Natural Play”ground Plan, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.02: Site Plan Canopy Planting Schedule Table, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.03: Site Plan Canopy Planting Plan, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.04: Canopy Plant Profiles, photos (13): Google Image Figure 14.05: Understory Planting Plan, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.06: Understory Planting Schedule Table, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.07: Understory Plant Profiles, photos (2): Google Image Figure 14.08: Seasonal Color, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.09: Play Equipment Zones, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.10: Playground Equipment Examples, photos (6): Kompan Playground Equipment Figure 14.11: Fitness Zone Location, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.12: Fitness Zone Inspiration, photos (4): Google Image Figure 14.13: Vine Screen Section, Arianna Netzky Figure 14.14: Fitness Zone Equipment Examples, photos (5): Kompan Playground Equipment
15 Conclusion Background Image (pg. 143), Arianna Netzky Background Image (pg. 144-145), Arianna Netzky
LITERATURE REVIEW Gies, Erica. “The Health Benefits of Parks: How Parks Help Keep Americans and Their Communities Fit and Healthy.” The Trust for Public Land (2006). Web. “Parks, playgrounds, greenways, trails, and community open spaces help keep Americans and their communities fit and healthy. All people need physical activity to maintain fitness and health. Physical activity increases strength, flexibility, and endurance; relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety; improves mood; and enhances psychological well-being. [...] Exposure to nature in parks, gardens, and natural areas can improve psychological and social health. Surgical patients recover faster with windows that look out on trees. horticultural therapy has evolved as a form of mental health treatment based on the therapeutic effects of gardening. Children who suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) can concentrate on schoolwork better after taking part in activities in green settings. Residents in housing projects with views of trees or grass experienced reduced mental fatigue and report that they are better able to cope with life’s problems. [...] Parks increase “social capital” that is when people work together in a community garden or to create a park from a vacant lot, they get to know one another, trust one another, and look out for one another. The accomplishment of creating a new park helps people to believe that they can effect change” (5-6).
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a non-profit, highly involved with urban park development and the numerous benefits that are associated with green space. The group launched an initiative named “Parks for People”, in which their mission is to put a park within easy reach of every family - particularly in cities and metropolitan areas. Through the analysis of a wide range of studies, this document provides extensive, relevant information that encompasses a comprehensive overview of the “public health and the built environment” relationship. Additionally, it provides many other resources related to this topic. The document is separated into three sections: (1) Parks Support Physical Activity for Health, (2) Parks and Greenways Increase Health in Newer Communities, and (3) Benefits of Parks and Greenways to Psychological and Social Health. Each of these topics are addressed within this Capstone project; however, topic three (Benefits of Parks and Greenways to Psychological and Social Health) is of special interest. Examples of issues discussed in this topic include nature-deficit disorder, spatial learning, community stability,
mental restoration, and so cial capital development. Because of the focus of the Capstone project, this comprehensive literature provides data relevant to the entirety of the project. Keywords: parks, physical activity, health, greenways, “Parks for People”, psychological health, social health, nature-deficit disorder, mental restoration, social capital
Grahn, Patrik, Stigsdotter, Ulrika A. “Landscape Planning and Stress.” Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Volume 2, Issue 1, (2003): 1-18. ISSN 1618-8667. Web. “Stress and stress-related illnesses, as reflected in medical records, have increased dramatically among adults and children in Western societies. […] In this paper, we present results from a study in which 953 randomly selected individuals in nine Swedish cities answered a questionnaire about their health and their use of different urban open green spaces in and close to the city. The results indicate that city landscape planning may affect the health of town-dwellers. […] The results suggest that the more often a person visits urban open green spaces, the less often he or she will report stressrelated illnesses. The same pattern is shown when time spent per week in urban open green spaces is measured. […] Outdoor areas that provide environments free from demands and stress, and that are available as part of everyday life, could have significant positive effects on the health of towndwellers in Sweden. This may also apply to other Western societies” (1).
After conducting a questionnaire and analyzing the collected data, this research provides a fascinating insight on the relationship between an individual’s stress-level and their use of urban green spaces. The results display that “the more often a person visits urban open green spaces, the less often he or she will report stress-related illnesses.” With the ultimate goal of transforming Ruckstuhl Park into a restorative environment, this document provides great statistical data that can be translated within the entirety of the project. Because “the distance to public urban open green spaces seems to be of decisive importance” (1), connectivity and access to Ruckstuhl Park is of major concern. This will be thoroughly addressed while conducting the regional, neighborhood, and site analysis. Additionally, because the amount of time spent in open urban green space is also a determining factor, creating Ruckstuhl Park into a stimulating and communal envi ronment will be strongly implemented within the design plan.
Keywords: urban green space, stress-level, stress-related illness, connectivity, restorative environment
Krenichyn, Kira. “The only place to go and be in the city: women talk about exercise, being outdoors, and the meanings of a large urban park.” Health & Place, Volume 12, Issue 4 (2006): 631-643. ISSN 1353-8292. Web. “Physical inactivity is a growing health concern, and research has begun to address the physical environment, a subset of which looks particularly at the role of the environment for women. These qualitative interviews cited physical features, such as hills, a continuous loop, and trails, but safety was a concern due to traffic or wooded areas. The park provided support for bodily needs, such as rest rooms and freedom to wear comfortable clothes. Nature was described as stimulating the senses and restoring mental capacities, and the park was an important nearby outdoor resource (631). My interviews suggest that one’s surroundings might provide more than the visual enhancement of scenery. Outdoor environments containing elements of nature might also offer psychological benefits, as indicated in comments about the therapeutic and spiritual qualities of exercising in Prospect Park” (638).
Besides the physical activity that occurs inside of a park, these places can also relax and restore individuals. Parks can provide an escape from the hectic, automobile-dependent current culture, and the ultimate goal for Ruckstuhl Park is to serve as a restorative and communal location. Therefore, this article serves as a rich source of qualitative data for this Capstone project. Through extensive interviews of Prospect Park users, this research provides a more personal outlook on the importance of parks. The women interviewees’ collective description of the park is explained as “not rural, but more restorative than most places. With this insight, Prospect Park is a tremendous precedent location for the Ruckstuhl Park project. Researching the park’s details such as topography, due to the women stating that that feature made them feel like “being away”, would allow for its strong incorporation within the design stage. Keywords: qualitative interview, Prospect Park, park physical features, topography, safety, nature, psychological benefits, restoration, freedom
ADDITIONAL SOURCES Cohen, Alison K., Schuchter, Joseph W. “Revitalizing Communities Together: The Shared Values, Goals, and Work of Education, Urban Planning, and Public Health.” Journal of Urban Health, Volume 90, Number 2 (2012): 187-196. Web. Dannenberg, Andrew L., Jackson, Richard J., Frumkin, Howard, Schieber, Richard A., Pratt, Michael, Kochtitzky, Chris, Tilson, Hugh H. “The Impact of Community Design And Land-Use Choices On Public Health: A Scientific Research Agenda.” American Journal Of Public Health 93.9 (2003): 15001508. Professional Development Collection. Web. Han, Ke-Tsung. “A reliable and valid self-rating measure of the restorative quality of natural environments.” Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 64, Issue 4 (2003): 209-232. ISSN 0169-2046. Web. Jackson, Laura E. “The relationship of urban design to human health and condition.” Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 64, Issue 4 (2003):191-200. ISSN 0169-2046. Web. Joye, Yannick, van den Berg, Agnes. “Is love for green in our genes? A critical analysis of evolutionary assumptions in restorative environments research.” Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Volume 10, Issue 4 (2011): 261-268. ISSN 1618-8667. Web. Karmanov, Dmitri, Hamel, Ronald. “Assessing the restorative potential of contemporary urban environment(s): Beyond the nature versus urban dichotomy.” Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 86, Issue 2 (2008): 115-125. ISSN 0169-2046. Web. Malizia, Emil E. “Planning and Public Health: Research Options for an Emerging Field.” Journal of Planning Education and Research, Volume 25, Issue 4 (2006): 428-432. Web. Moore, Robin, Cox, Adina, Bieber, Brad, Cosco, Nilda, Murphy, Julia. “Pathways for Play: Best Practice Guidelines.” Natural Learning Initiative: College of Design, North Carolina State University (2010). Booklet. Moore, Robin, Cosco, Nilda, Sherk, Julie, Bieber, Brad, Varela, Shirley. “Creating & Retrofitting Play Environments: Best Practice Guidelines.” Natural Learning Initiative: College of Design, North Carolina State University (2009). Booklet. Taylor, Andrea F., Kuo, Frances E. “Could Exposure to Everyday Green Spaces Help Treat ADHD? Evidence from Children’s Play Settings.” Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, Volume 3, Issue 3 (2011): 281-303. Web.