SCAPE land and design in the Upper Midwest
A STATEWIDE NATURE TOUR
Visiting the Ecoregions
Art inspires landscape Landscape inspires art INDUSTRY on the WATERFRONT and VEGETATION on the ROOF NEW MASLA WEBSITE Top 5 landscape architectural innovations
a publication of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
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Anchor Paving Stone Shown: Charleston
Contact a dealer near you for your next paving stone project. Customer service: 1.800.410.3223
On the Cover: Robert Dorlac’s “Camden Series No. 61” (2006) is an example of how landscape inspires art and how art can inspire landscape architects. The region depicted is the Prairie Coteau, a high grassy moraie cut with wooded river valleys in southwestern Minnesota. Read more about art and landscape in topic:art Read more about ecoregions (including the Prairie Coteau) in topic: nature image courtesy Groveland Gallery
Green From the Top Down
Inspiration and Influence
What is the status of the green roof movement in Minnesota?
How art improves landscape architects. How landscape improves art.
by Camilla Correll
by Regina M. Flanagan
whips The Forest for the Trees
Valued Places Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Como Park Fellowâ€™s Top 5
The Still Mighty Mississippi
An ecoregional tour of Minnesota
The Saint Anthony industries that built Minneapolis are gone, but the river still works.
by Adam Regn Arvidson and Veronika D. Phillips
by Erin Hanafin Berg
Innovation in landscape architecture with Steven King
In Other Words
:Magazine Fabric Architecture
__SCAPE is published quarterly by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MASLA). __SCAPE is FREE. To subscribe, go to www.masla.org and click on _SCAPE. Then, type your e-mail into the subscription box. Send general MASLA inquiries to: MASLA International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 54 Minneapolis, MN 55405 612-339-0797
MASLA Executive Committee Bruce Chamberlain, president John D. Slack, past president
Ellen Stewart, president-elect
Send general __SCAPE inquiries, letters to the editor,
Jean Garbarini, treasurer
and advertising requests to: Adam Regn Arvidson MASLA Director of Communications 4348 Nokomis Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55406 612-968-9298 email@example.com issue #6
Sonia Walters, secretary Jim Hagstrom, trustee Matthew Rentsch, director of public relations Mike Jischke, director of programs Richard Wiebe, director of academic affairs Bruce Lemke, co-director of awards and banquet Stephanie Grotta, co-director of awards and banquet Adam Regn Arvidson, director of communications
The Forest for the Trees editorâ€™s note
I believe that landscape architects, on the whole, are not
meant to preserve examples of each of our varied ecosys-
digital people. We are not likely to make the next big
tems; like an industrial/recreational waterfront whose
advance in virtual reality, nor is my money on us discov-
existence is owed to geography, geology, and political
ering other theoretical dimensions. There are exceptions,
wrangling; like a cadre of galleries, artists, and designers
of course, but, for the most part, weâ€™re not big bloggers,
who are displaying, making, and using art for inspiration
spammers, or e-zine aficionados.
about the landscape. We have a few examples of those writers and stories right here in these pages.
Which is why _SCAPE is in your hands now. I mean literally in your hands. Normally, itâ€™s digital.: _SCAPE resides
As you read (not scan and scoll, but actually read!) these
in the ether and humbly asks you to print your own copy.
stories, keep in mind everyone who has contributed
But this time we decided to print a copy for you.
to this magazine is a volunteer. Each has given their time, talents, and knowledge to the understanding and
Yes, in large part this is because there are a lot of landscape
communication of land and design in the upper Midwest.
architects in town (who are not going to log on at the
I would like to personally and publicly thank Frank,
convention center just to check us out). And we want to
Regina, Veronika, Erin, and Camilla for their hard work
brag a little. I know: this is very un-Minnesota, where
in getting this issue to press. If you happen to meet them
opinions are best left quietly fumed about, and conflicts
while in Minneapolis, please thank them, too.
are resolved through good solid passive aggressiveness. The upper Midwest, though, has some pretty good art,
science, design, nature, and history writers. We also have
Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA
some pretty good stories: like a system of scientific areas
â„˘ Spacenet Boundary Waters Canoe Climbers Area Wilderness
The difference is In our design text by John D. Slack
Valued Places In 2001, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects published Valued Places: landscape architecture in Minnesota. This glove-box sized guidebook profiles 52 sites in the Land of Lakes, each of which has benefitted from design, care, or stewardship by landscape professionals. Here are a few samples...
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Standing Glass Fish.
them, are the platforms on which the artworks are displayed. The 1992 expansion of the garden begins
Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg (an
Curve. Two-Way Mirror Punched
easily recognizable Minneapolis
Steel Hedge Labyrinth. Sagacious
landmark) and continues north-
Head 6 (and 7). Goddess With
ward away from the Walker. This
The Golden Thighs. Spoonbridge
area, designed by landscape archi-
and Cherry. These are the names
tect Michael Van Valkenburgh,
of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
is more open than the original
The sculpture garden began in
ally, larger, and there is space
Cowles Conservatory, just west
between the Walker Art Center
of the original garden, houses
and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
horticultural displays, tropical
In 1992, the
palms (and climate), and architect
garden was expanded to 11
Frank Gehry’s “Standing Glass
acres. It is now the largest urban
Fish.” The sculpture garden is
sculpture garden in the country. The Park and Recreation Board is responsible for public information and groundskeping, while the Walker Art Center maintains the artworks themselves and coordinates all program-
The works are, gener-
for temporary installations. The
1988 as a unique collaboration
connected to Loring Park and downtown Minneapolis by a pedestrian bridge over I-94 designed by artist and architect Siah Armajani.
ming in the garden.
The garden is open all year and until
The sculpture garden is divided into
opportunity to view artworks in an
three distinct areas. The original 7.5 acre garden lies closest to the Walker and ADAM REGN ARVIDSON, ALL
consists of four rooms enclosed by high arborvitae hedges. These rooms, and the corridors between
midnight daily, offering the unique endless variety of weather and light. Over 40 works are displayed in the significant collection, including: Amaryllis.
Plates, Two Poles. Garden Seating, Reading, Thinking. Ordovican Pore. Without Words. by Adam Regn Arvidson
SCAPE fall 06
Como Park Saint Paul’s Como Park is
changing landscape architectural styles. Visited by over 2 million people per year, Como is the state’s most popular park and second overall in tourist draw to only the Mall of America. CLEVELAND’S INFLUENCE In February, 1872, landscape architect H.W.S. Cleveland urged the acquisition of public lands in Saint Paul in such key scenic areas as the Summit Hill bluffs, land adjacent to the Mississippi River, and lands around Lake Phalen and Lake Como. At a time when most cities still developed parks and individual urban squares, Cleveland set the groundwork for a much larger regional vision where by parkways with Como serving as the hub.
Como is the most “developed” park in the Twin Cities
variety of attractions that continue to draw visitors from
with a rich blending of Cleveland’s lawns, curvilinear parkways, and later cultural improvements by Frederick Nussbaumer, who became superintendent in 1891.
Como Park is a Minnesota landmark because of its wide throghout the state. The Lakeside Pavilion, an elegant outdoor dance and event space, was rebuilt in the early 1990s according to its original plan.
Other efforts to
restore Como’s historic quality are evident in new light posts, picnic pavilions, and the Ordway Japanese Garden. Just completed is a tropical exhibit and learning center that links the Como Conservatory to the entry of the Como Zoo.
by Andrew Schmidt
ADAM REGN ARVIDSON, TOP; COURTESY FRANK MARTIN, BOTTOM
Saint Paul’s scenic highlights could be linked
Fellow’s Top 5
Steven King can be considered a pioneer in play equipment. His company, Landscape Structures, Inc, is known nationwide for its innovation in recreation. _SCAPE asked him this question:
What are the top 5 innovations for which landscape architects have been responsible?
Regional Planning Ian McHarg’s influential work Design With Nature (1960) set forth a new paradigm in landscape architecture and land planning. McHarg’s method of using landsape overlays to better understand the myriad aspects of a natural landscape is part of many landscape architects’ inherent design processes today. The book led to some of the earliest regional planning
connectivity of the natural environment and the suitability of different landscapes to different uses.
Paul Friedberg’s Wooden Playgrounds Continuous Play
Paul Friedberg’s work in New York City’s parks in the
“Of course I have to mention the one that has occupied the
spaces. “His use of large scale wood timbers,” describes
majority of my professional life,” says King. He is referring to the development of the connected or continuous play concept: integrated systems of play, as opposed to a swingset here a seesaw there, etc. The idea was part of his final project at Iowa State University in 1967. Today, composite play structures still dominate most play environments.
“especially downtown pedestrian
oriented spaces.” He is best known for a sequnce of plazas and fountains in Portland, OR. In Minneapolis, the original Nicollet Mall (redesigned in the 1990s) is a good example of his influence (and one of Minnesota’s
and started a trend that continued until the early 90s.”
“I give a lot of credit to landscape architects who have been developing and promoting the green roof concept,” True enough: Minnesotans of northern European descent are no strangers to the sod roof. Green Roofs have come a long way. To see just how far, check out topic: law. In his position as Chairman of Landscape Structures Inc. (LSI), headquartered in Delano, Minnesota, Steven King, FASLA, has transformed his landscape architecture background into a unique entrepreneurial business. LSI is internationally recognized as one of the premier manufacturers of commercial playground and modular skatepark equipment for parks, schools, churches, and daycares. The company is committed to enhancing the quality of children’s lives through play by providing quality play environments, protecting the environment, and being responsible in the use of our natural resources. Steven originated the continuous play concept which is used in nearly all of today’s play structures. Steven has been honored as Entrepreneur of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, and with the G Mark Award (Japan). In Steven’s view, landscape architects’ understanding of the natural environment enables them to design and develop the built environment to complement or blend with this natural environment, while satisfying human needs.
SCAPE fall 06
“Lawrence Halprin changed the way we look at urban
King, “forever changed the look and feel of playgrounds
says King. “It’s a new adaptation of a very old idea.”
Urban Pedestrian Spaces spaces,” says King,
mid 60s established a new way to look at public play
In Other Words Items of interest in the broader printSCAPE... WEBSITE
www.masla.org OK, yes, you’re right: It is blatantly self serving for _SCAPE (published by MASLA) to be reviewing the brand new www.masla. org. But we’ll do it anyway, because you have to check this new site out. Completely redesigned by New Yorkbased Oviatt Media with a lot of help from MASLA Secretary Sonia Walters, this new site is designed to be useful for landscape architects, allied professionals, and the general public. It shows off our awards, lists member firms and supporting sponsors, and offers job listings. Not a landscape architect? Find out how to find one for your project or team. Find out how to become one. Or, just browse the Valued Places maps to find interesting places to visit in the state. Best of all: the calendar. Soon, you won’t have to rely on hearsay or the static monthly InCommon to know what’s going on. The calendar is active and current, and you can sign up for the free e-newsletter, which will blast a monthly reminder to your inbox. The website is the most obvious manifestation of the transformation of MASLA’s communications and public relations. We are working to streamline how we talk to our members, our allied professionals, the general public, and the press. Making the website more useful and user-friendly is one big step. So yes, this little review is self serving, but MASLA
we’re pretty proud. Take a visit and let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org. issue #6
In Other Words I came to hear about FA roughly ten years ago when its
editor, Bruce Wright, AIA, approached me to work as an
industrial fabrics. Trained as an architect at the University
occasional writer on landscape architectural applications of
review by Frank Edgerton Martin
of Minnesota, Wright is a self-described “magazine lover”
Since its founding in the Twin Cities in the early 20th
was more recently one of the authors of Ralph Rapson:
century, the Industrial Fabrics Association International
Sixty Years of Modern Design.
who has served as editor for Architecture Minnesota and
(IFAI) has grown into the world-wide trade association for more than 2,000 manufacturers of fabric related products
Of the many high-quality American design magazines, FA
for awnings, tensile structures, geo-textiles, boating, and
is one of the least-known to landscape architects, perhaps
tents. With very little fanfare, Minnesota has become
because it has been marketed more heavily to architects.
one of the world’s knowledge hubs for industrial fabric
Yet, its scope of topics, ranging from woven metal mesh to
technology. Who knew?
geosynthetic liners for green roofs, is remarkably relevant for innovative and sustainable projects.
Based in Roseville, IFAI publishes seven professional magazines aimed at diverse industries and markets.
As a bi-monthly magazine, FA covers both high-profile
Written for architects and landscape architects, Fabric
design projects such as the use of sophisticated fabric
Architecture (FA) is IFAI’s design flagship publication
screens integrated with the facades of Jean Nouvel’s
that, according to IFAI, “informs designers, landscape
Cartier Center in Paris and seemingly mundane yet effec-
architects, engineers and other specifiers about architec-
tive uses such as erosion control for horse trails. Recently
tural fabric structures, the fibers and fabrics used to make
redesigned, the magazine is divided into four major
them, their design possibilities, their construction, and
sections including: Features, Expertise, Practice, and
issues regarding their applicability and acceptance.”
Foundation. In the near future, FA will record developments in fabrics that can collect energy, such as the flexible photovoltaic cells that are being laminated into fabric by Iowa Thin Film Technologies, Inc. These energy-generating fabrics will someday be part of military tents, roofs, building walls and parking lot screens. It’s only a question of time before fabrics will also be able to display data and changing images or colors. Wright points out that lightemitting fabrics are already available. Many trade journals are little more than collections
THE STORY OF YOUR LAND
of advertisements and self-serving articles written by
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE LAND PLANNING WRITING FOR HIRE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
magazine clearly guided by the editing of a professional
member companies. FA stands out in this category as a architect with an eye for new tools to help his peers. Like glass and metal wall systems, industrial fabrics are rapidly changing with technology. Landscape architects
an in-house writing-for-hire service customized to any project you have on your plate (and don’t want there...) award submittals cut sheets web copy proposals promotional literature
I come to you flat rates (no matter how long it takes) immediate file transfer full ownership rights
call Adam Arvidson for a free brochure or consultation 612-968-9298 email@example.com www.treeline.biz
should become more acquainted with this industry—and perhaps “encourage” IFAI and its members to support products made of low-impact materials with long-term reuse options. FA is on line at www.fabricarchitecture.info. Subscriptions are available on line and are $44 for one year. SCAPE fall 06
he number of green roofs in the Twin Cities
Extensive green roofs are designed to be lightweight
Metropolitan Area has doubled in the past
(thinner soil profile) and low maintenance while
As of this publication, the Twin
maximizing the benefits to the building. As such, they are
Cities Metropolitan area is home to roughly fifty green
not accessible to the public and are primarily designed to
rooftops that cover 100,000–200,000 square feet of our
extend the life expectancy of the roof, reduce heating and
urban landscape. To put this in perspective, the City
cooling costs, manage stormwater, and reduce the the
of Chicago leads the development of green rooftops in
urban heat island effect. Most green rooftops currently
North America with nearly 3 million square feet of green
being developed in the Twin Cities are extensive. The
rooftops either completed or being installed. In Germany,
Minneapolis Central Library, Lebanon Hills Regional Park
one in eight new buildings includes a green rooftop.
Visitors Center, and Ramsey Washington Metropolitan
Currently, the green roof trend in Minneapolis is catching
Watershed District headquarters are good examples.
up with cities like Chicago and Portland. The question of whether Minneapolis and the surrounding Metro Area
Intensive green roofs are generally designed as a green
will succeed in this endeavor appears to depend on two
space amenity that can support greater loads and as such
things: (1) the policies and incentives adopted to “require”
have public access. These rooftops are generally heavier,
or “promote” this technology, and (2) public demand.
thicker, and can support a wider range of plants. As a result, intensive green roofs require more structural
There are many types of green roofs, or ecoroofs as they are sometimes called, but they
support and maintenance than an extensive green roof. The best example of an intensive green
are generally divided into two
rooftop in the Twin Cities is Brit’s
categories: extensive and
Pub where the roof has been
converted into a field for lawn bowling.
Green From the Top Down
Green Roofs are sprouting up all over the Twin Cities. What’s driving the increase? And what can Minnesota do to get even more? by Camilla Correll
The green roof on the Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center at Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis was designed by landscape architecture firm The Kestrel Design Group. It is an example of a extensive green roof.
Aesthetics – Research has demonstrated that looking out onto green space provides psychological/healing benefits to people. A green roof can also add to the aesthetic appeal of a building thereby increasing the value of the property and the marketability of the building as a whole.
Increased Biodiversity – In communities where open space is scarce, creating and maintaining green space becomes a vital component of urban biodiversity. Biodiversity could increase as green roofs become a larger component of the urban landscape.
Improved Air Quality – Green roofs have the ability to absorb air pollutants and dust. If sufficient urban surfaces are covered, green roofs may have the ability to reduce smog.
Noise Reduction – Noise generated in an urban setting (e.g. machinery, traffic, airplanes) can be absorbed, reflected or deflected by green roofs.
Reduction of the Urban Heat Island Effect – Green roofs have the ability to substantially reduce the surface temperature of the roof.
Energy Savings – The insulating properties of green roofs result in overall energy savings through reduction in heating and cooling costs, because temperature variation is not as extreme as with traditional roofing systems. A 10,000 square foot green rooftop on Chicago’s city hall has reduces energy costs by $0.50 per square foot per year.
Stormwater Management – Green roofs can provide stormwater quantity (rate and volume) and quality benefits by retaining rainfall on the rooftop and allowing it to be taken up by plants before being collected in the drainage system.
Long-Term Cost Savings - The biggest single benefit that a green rooftop can bring to a building is extending the life expectancy of a roof membrane. A membrane with a life span 15–20 years under the conventional gravel ballast material can be extended to 35-50 years under a green rooftop. This is because the aging factors of UV radiation and temperature extremes are greatly reduced.
Public Perception - Promoting a green image as a marketing strategy is becomeing prevalent in corporate culture.
o Ro en
ib oss P nd sa k ac
Installation Costs – There is a wide-range of green roof costs. Currently, installation costs range
from $10 to $25 per square-foot, whereas a conventional roof
ranges from $3 to $20. SOLUTION: It is anticipated that the installation costs for green roofs will decrease as the market develops.
Conventional Design Constraints – The application of green roofs may force both the design
industry and regulatory bodies to re-think tried and true methods. SOLUTION: Increasing numbers of installed examples of increasing ages will help allay concerns. •
Lack of Industry Standards – To date, industry standards for the design and construction of green roofs have not been readily available in North America. In Germany, the FLL (the Landscaping and Landscape Development and Research Society) has developed standards that are used in design, construction, and monitoring. SOLUTION: In October 2001, the American Society for the Testing of Materials (ASTM) established a Green Roof Standards Task Group to develop national standards. A number of standards have been published and more are on the way.
Limited Data – There is a limited amount of local data supporting the economic and environmental benefits of green roofs. SOLUTION: Continued monitoring of case studies such as the Chicago City Hall green roof and the test green roof at Elmhurst, IL, based Conservation Design Forum will provide additional data.
Lack of Awareness and Public Perception – There are a number of “awareness” issues that impede the more wide-spread use of green roofs. SOLUTION: Education, for example: the majority of people don’t realize that green roofs are an old technology that has been used by the building community for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
Fear of Failures – Given the fact that green roofs are less common than traditional roofing systems and are being designed to store water for plant growth, people have a fear that these systems are more prone to failure than traditional systems. SOLUTION: Increasing numbers of built examples will prove quality.
SCAPE fall 06
ocally, the single regulated incentive for green
Green Roof Innovator: Germany
roofs is stormwater management. For example, the City of Minneapolis has adopted a Stormwater
Internationally, Germany has seen the most significant application of
Credit Program that gives property owners the incentive
green roof technology. Germany offers financial incentives for green
to implement effective stormwater management practices
roofs including direct subsidies, ranging from 50 cents to more than $6
on their properties. The program provides stormwater
a square foot, based on the avoided costs of infrastructure maintenance
fee credits to property owners who install stormwater
and replacement. Taxes and use fees are also levied on stormwater
Best Management Practices (BMPs) to manage on-site
management facilities. In some cities, buildings with impervious roofs
stormwater quality and/or quantity. The City encourages
are required to pay a 100% utility surcharge. This can be reduced by
green roof development by offering a 50 percent credit on
up to 80% if the owner installs a green roof. Another type of indirect
stormwater utility fees for developments that include best
subsidy lets developers count green roofs toward meeting open space
management practices designed to address stormwater
requirements. Some land development ordinances in Germany allow
quality. If the green roof is also capable of retaining the
green roofs to compensate for lost open space at a ratio of 0.50 to
stormwater runoff generated for the 10-year 24-hour
0.70. As a result of this approach, the green roof industry in Germany
rainfall event, the project would be eligible for a credit on
has seen a growth rate of approximately 15 to 20 percent per year.
the remaining 50 percent of the stormwater utility fee. In addition to the City of Minneapolis,
water management organizations and regulatory agencies that have adopted standards that promote the application of green roofs. For example, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s NPDES/SDS permits for construction sites, industrial facilities, and municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) allow for the use of green rooftops if labeled an “alternative method.”
methods must satisfy additional conditions as outlined in the General Stormwater Permit for Construction Activity. Another example is the Brown’s Creek Watershed District (BCWD) located on the eastern edge of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The BCWD has a
The Como Park Visitor and Education Resource Center, above, designed by Hammel, Green & Abrahamson (HGA) includes a rooftop plaza and planter boxes with native vegetation.
stormwater management rule that requires new development and redevelopment to meet pre-development rates and volume for the 1.5-year 24-hour rainfall event (2.6 inches). One of the best management practices that can be used to meet this standard is green roofs. While it is difficult to quantify the number of green roofs designed and constructed as a result of these regulations and incentives, it appears that, locally, stormwater management is not the main driver of green roof implementation. issue #6
To date, not a single green roof has been constructed in the City of Minneapolis as a result of the stormwater utility. According to Paul Chellsen, an engineer with Minneapolis Public Works, the reduction in stormwater utility fees is too small compared to the cost of designing and constructing a green roof to make this an incentive to homeowners or developers at this point. Similarly, no green roofs have been designed and constructed as a result of the NPDES stormwater regulations or the Water
Green Roof Innovator: Chicago
Management Organizations regulations. Again, the cost
According to the first North American green roof industry survey
of constructing a green roof is higher than the cost of designing a stormwater management facility that can be constructed on the ground or under the ground. The other communities presented in this article (see Green Roof Innovator sidebars) demonstrate that mandates stimulate green roof construction more than regulated incentives. The federal environmental laws in Germany requiring mitigation or compensation for loss of natural open space caused by development, coupled with the high urban density and real estate values, make green roofs a more viable option for new development and redevelopment. Similarly, the requirements for green roofs on new development and redevelopment in Chicago and Portland have put these cities on the map for green roof installation. While incentives are appealing and provide the regulatory flexibility some communities prefer, there may be too many obstacles in North America at this time to make green roofs an automatic choice from a financial standpoint.
performed by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (April 2006), Chicago, Illinois, was ranked the number one city for green roof square footage planted in 2005. This is not surprising considering the vision of Mayor Richard Daley, Hon. ASLA, to make Chicago the greenest City in the country. To achieve this goal, the City of Chicago has implemented a number of mandates and regulatory incentives designed to increase the application of green roofs by addressing a variety of environmental protection goals. For example, the Chicago Energy Conservation Code allows that portion of any roof covered by a rooftop garden or a green roof to be exempted from the roof reflectance requirements of the Building Code. This code was established to help accomplish Chicago’s Urban Heat Island Reduction Initiative. In addition, the City of Chicago increases development square footage, known as floor area premiums, when these developments include public amenities such as plazas, pocket parks, block connections, transit improvements, wider sidewalks, and green roofs. The Chicago
Department of Zoning states, “A floor area premium shall be granted
ingly demonstrating both the economic and environmental
o what is to be concluded from this discussion of the regulatory drivers to green roof installation? Clearly, the mandates are working better than the
incentives due to some of the barriers we are experiencing in North America today. Research, however, is increas-
for a roof that is covered with plants that reduce the “urban heat island” effect and stormwater runoff from buildings in the central business district. To qualify for a floor area premium, a minimum of 50% of the roof area at the level of the green roof, or a minimum of 2,000 square feet (whichever is greater), must be covered by vegetation that meets
benefits of this technology. If the City of Minneapolis, and the Metropolitan Area as a whole, are seeing growth in the green roof market that is not a direct result of mandates or regulatory incentives, what is it about our community that is spurring this trend in green roof construction? I would suggest that public demand for green design, coupled with the regulatory community’s efforts to promote green roofs, is resulting in a greener roofscape throughout the Metropolitan Area. Green roofs provide so many environmental and economic benefits that it just makes sense to apply this technology in an urban setting. Unfortunately, a significant number of the green roofs being designed end up on the cutting floor as project budgets reach their limits. Until we can demonstrate a direct cost savings to the development community, it might take stronger regulations to resurrect the green roofs being designed
Resources The Fifth Annual International Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards & Trade Show will be held from April 29 – May 2, 2007 in Minneapolis. The conference is organized by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) a non-profit industry association working to promote the green roof industry in North America. Learn more at greenroofs.org GRHC is also in the process of developing an accredited green roof professional designation, and currently offers the following design courses at major cities throughout the United States: Design 101 – Green Roof Introductory Course and Design 201 – Green Roof Infrastructure: Design and Installation. Visit greenroofs.org to see where the next classes are being held.
and actually get them constructed.
The Twin Cities Green Roofs Council (TCGRC) hosts quarterly tours and infor-
Camilla Correll, P.E. is a water resources engineer with Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) a local multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm. Ms. Correll specializes in sustainable development and the application of alternative stormwater management techniques. She is actively involved in the Twin Cities Green Roof Council and is interested in seeing the application of this technology become more wide-spread in the Metropolitan Area.
the TCGRC or to participate in upcoming events please contact Corrie Zoll at
mational sessions about green rooftops in the Twin Cities. To learn more about the Green Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (612) 278-7119. These events will also be posted on the MASLA website at www.masla.org
SCAPE fall 06
Green Roof Innovator: Portland, Oregon Since 2001, the City of Portland has been recognized as a leader in promoting sustainability and green building initiatives, and has striven to expand market demand and make green building practices, such as green roofs, easier to implement. As a result of this effort, the City’s Green Building Policy requires “design and construction of all new City-owned facilities and roof replacement projects to include an ecoroof (green roof) with at least 70% coverage AND high reflectance, Energy StarTM-rated roof material on any remaining non-ecoroof surface area; OR, Energy StarTM-rated roof when an integrated ecoroof/Energy StarTM-rated roof is impractical.” In addition, the City of Portland requires that all (public and private) building projects in the City that will result in at least 500 square feet of impervious surface must implement stormwater
Twin Cities Green Roof Council organized a tour of the extensive green roof on the Edgewater Condominium Suites on Lake Calhoun, designed by The Kestrel Design Group, Inc.
pollution reduction and flow control measures, as which ecoroofs qualify. The City has also developed a floor area ratio (FAR) bonus in which buildings can receive bonus FAR based on three ranges of ecoroof coverage in relation to the building’s footprint: 10-30%, 30-60%, and 60% or greater earns one, two, and three square feet of additional floor area per square foot of ecoroof respectively. Basically, this gives a developer more building to sell if they implement an ecoroof: a powerful incentive.
Several Municipal legal documents include language on green roof mandates and incentives, including: •
City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance can be found at www.chicago.org
“Portland’s Green Building Policy: A Status Report
of Portland, OR. Office of Sustainable Development. April 2005. www.portlandonline.com •
City of Portland Stormwater Management Manual. Portland, OR. Adopted July 1, 1999; revised September 1, 2004. www.portlandonline.com
City of Portland “Zoning Code for the Central City Plan District.” Planning and Zoning, Chapter 33.510. 4/22/06. www.opdr.ci.portland.or.us
The Minneapolis Stormwater Fee website is www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/stormwater/what-we-do/StormwaterRate.asp For a more detailed overview, see “The Stick and the Carrot, an Effective Approach to Green Roof Policy.” Chellsen, P. and Robertson, K. 2006 Conference Proceedings Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities. Boston, May 11-12, 2006. issue #6
Mary Sallstrom, Minneapolis Sales Office 800.480.3636 | 952.898.3230 | 952.898.3293 fax | email@example.com
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Inspiration and Influence
How art improves landscape architects. How landscape improves art. by Regina M. Flanagan, Associate ASLA
here do you find inspiration for your work?
Press for many years before she studied landscape archi-
What keeps your ideas moving forward?
tecture. Hellekson says that art does inspire her practice,
When I seek inspiration, I either leave town to
but that she thinks it’s more a matter of influence: the
photograph one of my landscape haunts or stay in the city
subtle way that many kinds of art -- not just landscape-
and visit an art museum or gallery. Recently, exploring
related works – affect her visual preferences and how she
the new Target Wing at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts,
understands the world. Some works by Robert Smithson
I was moved by a display of 19th and 20th century Native
and Christo have nurtured her fondness for large, unmis-
American bags. The finely beaded patterns adorning bags
takably human gestures in the landscape. But on a day-
by Woodland tribes like the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) use the
to-day basis, Hellekson is more indebted to painters for
twining floral motifs of the North’s lush forests, while the
their use of color (for example Pierre Bonnard or Howard
Apsaalooka (Crow) people of the Great Plains decorate
Hodgkin) and their attitude and sense of composition
their bags with motifs of the spare geometry of the prairie.
(say Giorgio Morandi or Jean Miro). She hopes that on a
Shouldn’t the objects we surround ourselves with and the
subconscious level some of what she admires about these
places we design have a more profound connection to our
artists seeps into her design work.
COURTESY THE SUBURBAN DOCUMENTATION PROJECT
physical environment and a similar vitality? While designing or selecting site furnishings, Hellekson Curious to see whether other design professionals feel
sometimes thinks of artist-made furniture. She refer-
the way I do, I asked three landscape architects and one
ences work in local sculpture gardens including Kinji
writer (all of whom I know have a strong interest in art)
Akagawa’s stone bench with reading podium, Jenny
to talk about how art and artists inspire their practice of
Holzer’s granite benches with carved aphorisms at the
design. Diane Hellekson, now at HNTB Corporation in
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, or Scott Burton’s granite
Minneapolis, was an art critic at the Saint Paul Pioneer
chairs in the General Mills corporate collection. Hellekson
“Bringing in the Trees,” by Chris Faust (1990), above, is part of the Suburban Documentation Project, a collaboration between Faust and planner and historian Frank Martin. issue #6
certain points or did Martin reach his conclusions after
interpreting Faust’s images? Martin explains that he would do the field research but then Faust would choose says that she has probably imitated works like these a
the final aspects, and after he made enough photos, they
few times when employing found or imported slabs of
would get a cross-section that Martin could interpret. The
stone and wood. Though she does not feel her furniture
photos took tangents that showed the social and environ-
and structural elements have reached the level of art, they
mental costs that are not factored into traditional devel-
are, she says, better because she was aware of the higher
opment analyses. Martin and Faust have received grants
possibilities of the materials.
to examine similar suburban development in Portland,
Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Denver, Colorado; and
riter and landscape historian Frank Edgerton
Omaha, Nebraska. Martin says while copycat photogra-
Martin has collaborated with photographer
phers have arisen to document suburbia and emphasize
Chris Faust since they met in 1990 at a local
the clichés, Faust is unique because he approaches this
Dunn Brothers coffee shop in Saint Paul, where Faust was
displaying his panoramic photos. Having driven through the rapidly developing suburbs of Apple Valley and
subject with a mix of empathy and understanding.
Chris Faust’s “The Edge of Infrastructure” (1990), along with other images of the Suburban Documentation Project, examines developing suburbia in stark but objective terms.
Woodbury, Martin had been thinking about why the design landscapes. He realized that Faust’s photographs could
Faust went on to work with Joan Iverson Nassauer,
provide a public forum to discuss these issues. Art could
FASLA, and others on the book Placing Nature, Culture and
function to make the familiar, strange. Martin approached
Landscape Ecology; with Kathleen Dickhut of the Chicago
Faust who was intrigued by the idea and the Suburban
Parks Department on the Master Plan for the Calumet
Documentation Project (SDP) was born. SDP’s purpose
River; with Cultural Landscapes Foundation founder
is to gather data about popular tastes and development
Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, on a survey of Samual Parsons
patterns in new suburbs so that future historians might
work in New York City; and with landscape historian
understand how late-20th century suburbs looked when
Arnold Alanen to examine the Morgan Park neighborhood
they were new. SDP also strives to spark a discussion
in Duluth, Minnesota. Faust’s images documenting the
about the consequences of this rapid growth. Housed at
suburban fringe have made an impact on many landscape
the Hennepin History Museum, the project now includes
architects, including Hellekson, who says they are lasting
over 1,000 images and is available to designers, journalists
reminders of how critical our design choices can be and
and the public online (see Resources).
what a huge responsibility we often have. After studying many built landscapes through the lens, Faust has become
Faust has been a catalyst for some of Martin’s best work
more critical of what he sees and concludes that the best
and I asked Martin about the nature of their collabora-
projects make the landscape look like it was always that
tion. Did he dispatch Faust to photographically illustrate
SCAPE fall 06
COURTESY THE SUBURBAN DOCUMNETATION PROJECT
community has so little say in these emerging vernacular
homas Oslund, founder of Minneapolis-based
his office recently moved downstairs to a different space
oslund.and.assoc., saw an exhibition at the Walker
within the Wyman Building, Coen and his team designed
Art Center during the 1970s featuring earthwork
the new office and the gallery so that they could operate
artists Richard Long, Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer,
independently but be an integral part of each other. He
and others, and became motivated to study landscape
says landscape architecture is frequently deadline driven,
architecture. “These artists see landscapes as points in
and, as a result, stressful, and the quiet gallery space
time,” describes Oslund, “in geological, phenomeno-
becomes a place to escape, relax, and contemplate. The
logical, or social terms – and their work defines a ‘place’
changing exhibitions help keep him and his staff feeling
that allows us to form memories and experiences, some
fresh, renewed, and inspired. The gallery has also fostered
positive and others negative.” His practice continues to be
many relationships that cross back and forth: clients for
influenced by this genre of artwork. Oslund approaches
his landscape architectural work often become gallery
projects by first developing an understanding of the larger
patrons and a significant amount of artwork is sold to
landscape in these terms and then, by using metaphor
or by abstracting that understanding using the simplest means possible, creates places that he hopes have a similar
Photographer JoAnn Verburg’s work can be seen along the Hiawatha Light Rail line, including tree images at the Bloomington Central Station.
effect. While most landscape architecture firms paper their walls with images of their past and current projects, Oslund’s office displays only two large works of art: a wall piece by Jackie Ferrara of wood panels incised with subtle geometric patterns and, on the floor, a modular granite work of undulating forms by Toshi Katayama. When Oslund was in graduate school at Harvard University, he
Landscape architecture is frequently deadline driven.... coen+partners’ quiet gallery space becomes a place to escape, relax, and contemplate. The changing exhibitions help keep the staff feeling fresh, renewed, and inspired. met Katayama, who is director of the school’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Displayed in Oslund’s office is Katayama’s maquette for a forty by forty foot vertical wall created for the Sebu Museum outside Tokyo. They have collaborated on almost a dozen projects: most recently
ll of the landscape architects and designers with whom I spoke collect artwork. Coen’s response to art is initially instinctual; he typically knows
immediately whether or not he is attracted to a work. His favorite pieces are often minimal with a multi-dimen-
they were one of four finalists for the Flight 583 Memorial
sional quality and continue to grow on him over time.
in Rockaway, Long Island. Oslund seeks out opportuni-
Similar to his own practice, he is also attracted to work
ties to work with artists and this has become one of his
that addresses social and political issues. Coen finds the
firm’s niches. He has also collaborated with Ferrara, Mary
color landscape photography of Minneapolis artist JoAnn
Miss, Siah Armajani, Andrew Leicester, Andrea Blum,
Verburg especially compelling. Her images have a layered
Rita McBride and Matthew Geller.
quality that is achieved through selective focus within the
frame and it’s easy to get lost inside her photographs, When Shane Coen, of Minneapolis-based coen+partners,
says Coen. Gallery Co collaborated with Verburg on her
took over the space of the old Jon Oulman Gallery on the
solo show this summer that was visited by curatorial staff
sixth floor of the Wyman Building, he retained the gallery
from New York’s Museum of Modern Art where she will
component. With his wife Kat Day-Coen, who is an artist,
have a retrospective in 2007 (Verburg’s permanent work
they opened Gallery Co in 2003. Coen sees his firm in part
can be seen on Minneapolis’ Hiawatha Light Rail line, see
as a place where art is created with earth and structure, and
_SCAPE Summer 05).
the gallery is a logical extension of their practice. When issue #6
Robert Dorlac, from Marshall, Minnesota, has spent time in a variety of ecosystems. Recently, he has been painting at Camden State Park near Marshall, which lies in an
Collecting photography monographs is another way to
area called Prairie Coteau or “highland of the prairies.”
have inspiration close at hand. I find myself frequently
During the last Ice Age, glaciers ended their advance here,
reaching for books by Chicago photographer Terry Evans
forming long, high ridges, and Camden State Park lies on
including Prairie: Images of Ground and Sky about the
the plateau of the second highest ridge, 900 feet above
Konza Prairie in Kansas. One of the most compelling pair
the surrounding countryside. While on location, Dorlac
of images in the book contrasts a close-up of a buffalo’s
carries, in addition to his art materials, guides to local
wooly fur with the bird’s eye view of treetops raked by late
flora, fauna, and geography. He says that research into
afternoon light silhouetted against a dark ground plane.
the natural history of a place combined with information
The color and textures mimic each other – reminders
about the land passed to him by local people results in a
that these organisms share the same ecosystem. Recently
deeper understanding, a richer art-making process, and
Evans trained her eye on urban and suburban settings
ultimately a better artwork. Dorlac aims to capture what
and the result is the insightful Revealing Chicago, An Aerial
is unique about a place and sets it apart, but also what
Portrait. The book is a graphic primer of human effects on
someone who is familiar with that place might find evoca-
the land, and the images were also displayed in Chicago’s
tive (read more about the Prairie Coteau in topic:nature).
Millennium Park in 2005.
Research into the natural history of a place combined with information about the land passed on by local people results in a deeper understanding, a richer artmaking process, and ultimately a better artwork. Painter Robert Dorlac aims to capture what is unique about a place and sets it apart, but also what someone who is familiar with that place might find evocative Joyce Lyon of Minneapolis was inspired by the Minnesota Terry Evans’ work “Revealing Chicago: An Aerial Portrait,” which looks and urban and suburban settings, was on display in Chicago’s Millennium Park
River National Wildlife Refuge and Roberts Bird Sanctuary in Bloomington, Minnesota; and between 2000-2004, produced a series of oil pastel drawings. This
body of work focuses upon movement and stillness
Johnson, the gallery’s director, has sought out the work
essential revelations. For Lyon, the reality of this place
of artists whose passion is landscape in all its diverse
hovers somewhere between her experience of its outward
manifestations. Artists handled by the gallery such as
circumstances, and her coming to understand her own
Robert Dorlac and Joyce Lyon typically paint on site and
present place in the world.
he Midwest has a strong tradition of landscape
and light joining sky to water, and bears titles like Drift,
painting and drawing, in addition to photography,
Flow, Current, Tangle, and Shimmer. Lyon says she was
and a visit to Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis is
finding in the landscape – or applying to the landscape
always worthwhile. For the past twenty-five years, Sally
– a sense of the emblematic, hoping to reenact some small
their working process for uncovering what is unique used by landscape architects and designers.
SCAPE fall 06
about a landscape or a place is not very different from that
How artists look at environmentally significant landscapes
and respond to, interpret, and transform what they see provides new ways to understand the world: occasionally, by making the familiar strange. The landscape architects
The Suburban Documentation Project (SDP) is available on line at www.hhmuseum.org/ex/ex_sdp.htm
and writer that I spoke with emphasize that working with artists, visiting galleries and museums, and living with original art in their workplaces and homes not only positively contributes to their lives, but in many ways also inspires them to be better designers.
Regina M. Flanagan, MLA, Associate ASLA, is an artist and landscape designer in St. Paul who writes about art, artists, and landscape architecture. Her profile of sculptor Brad Goldberg appearaed in the August 2006 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.
The Walker Art Center is located on Hennepin Avenue south of downtown Minneapolis, and on line at www.walkerart.org. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is adjacent to the Walker, and at garden.walkerart.org The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is on 3rd Avenue south of the Minneapolis Convention Center, and at www.artsmia.org Gallery Co is in the Wyman Building at 400 First Avenue North in Minneapolis, and at www.galleryco.net
COURTESY GROVELAND GALLERY, TOP; REGINA FLANAGAN, RIGHT AND LEFT
The Groveland Gallery is at 25 Groveland Terrace in Minneapolis, and at www.grovelandgallery.com
Art can be inspiring to landscape architects and other design professionals in many ways. In a literal sense, Jenny Holzer’s “Selections from the Living Series” (1989) at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, right and above, show a Minimalist treatment of space and furniture, while Joyce Lyon’s “Flow” (2005), top, demonstrates a reality hovering between the actual landscape and one’s experience of it. issue #6
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SCAPE fall 06
Regional Differences The upper Midwest is home to a unique mix of natural landscapes. The EPA and Minnesota DNR help describe them, while an avid traveler makes recommendations for visits by Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA, and Veronika D. Phillips, ASLA
uick: What ecoregion are you in? Loess Prairies?
“Capacities of the landscape vary from one region to the
Boundary Lakes and Hills?
next,” says James Omernik, when asked how designers
Ecoregions (in addition to having evocative
might use his classification system. “If you’re managing
names) say a lot about landscape: what it looks like, how
for highways or their effects on ecosystems, you need to
it functions, what you can expect while driving through
consider the qualities of the ecoregion. If you’re making
it – or designing within it. Ecoregions are one of many
cities, you need to understand the qualities and tolerances
methods of ecological classification: ways of describing,
of the region to be affected.” Omernik, a geographer now
in relatively simple terms, the science of why a particular
semi-retired from the EPA and originator of that agency’s
patch of land differs from another. Ecological classifica-
ecoregions, could likely bring any project back to ecore-
tions answer questions like “What kind of plants thrive
gions, but are these descriptions and maps enough? Yes,
here?” “How is soil type affecting surface waters here?”
if your desire is to get a feel for a particular area. No, if
or “What is the overall natural character of the landscape
your desire is to zero in on its unique aspects. The key
here?” Because they answer such questions, often with
thing to remember about the national and state-by-state
both maps and narrative descriptions, ecological classi-
EPA map is that they are holistic. When Omernik began
fications are powerful inventory and analysis tools for
delineating ecoregions on a national level, he considered
not just the aquatic systems he happened to be studying at the time, but all systems. This makes it understandable
They come in two basic types: general purpose and special
-- less a scientific document than an inventory/analysis
purpose. The former looks at a variety of landscape factors
graphic (though it is, of course, backed by science).
(vegetation, geology, hydrology) to establish the above-
Today, for every known ecoregion, there are beautiful
mentioned ecoregions: large-ish contiguous land areas
color-coded maps depicting its extent, GIS data that
that can be described in a specific and consistent way. Special purpose classifications rely primarily on a single factor to achieve a particular goal. Soil surveys, geologic VERONIKA PHILLIPS
maps, and vegetative cover maps are common examples. The focus here is on one general purpose methodology:
Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area, above, is a public site managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. SNAs like this one, because they have limited facilities and are left open for walking, research, and other passive pursuits, are the best places to get a sense of the character of an ecoregion. Iona’s Beach sits in a landscape called the North Shore Highlands, which is part of the Northern Lakes and Forests.
the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ecoregions. issue #6
EDITOR’S NOTE: Portions of this article were published originally by Landscape Architecture Magazine, and are used by permission of the author.
f you are interested in experiencing first hand the landscapes defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Level III and Level IV
displays its boundary, and (most useful of all) charts and descriptions of its general character. Ecoregions consider
Ecoregions, visit a Scientific and Natural Area (SNA). The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR)
vegetation, geology, soil type, hydrology, fauna, land use
developed the Scientific and Natural Areas Program in
(often controversial in the scientific community), eleva-
the mid-1960s to preserve and perpetuate the ecological
tion, precipitation, and any other factors that might affect
diversity of Minnesota’s natural heritage, including
overall ecosystem character. In so doing, they give a broad
landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities,
overview of a particular spot in the world: something
rare and endangered species, or other biotic features and
landscape architects certainly crave.
geological formations. The goal of the SNA program is to ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region
The EPA’s ecoregional mapping will give a designer key
of the state. Protecting multiple sites in each landscape
facts – what is the bedrock, what is the likely vegetation,
region is a vital means of capturing the genetic diversity
what are the general soil types, what kind of animals are
and preventing the loss of important species, communi-
there, what is the basic character – about a site’s larger
ties, and features. The MNDNR estimates that in order
ecological envelope. It will not pick up the interesting
to reach their goal, 500 natural areas will be needed in the
anomalies that often drive designers’ choices: both ecolog-
next 100 years throughout the state to adequately protect
ical and aesthetic. That is what special purpose maps are
for. But ecoregions can still say a lot – sometimes even just with their names.
The EPA’s ecoregions for Minnesota, according to the website, are still in draft form, but they do draw from an older system devised by the DNR called, simply, the ecological classification system (ECS).
The latter is a
hierarchical system that establishes six different levels in
An Ecological Buffet
Minnesota: Provinces, Sections, Subsections, Land Type
The division of North America into ecoregions by the EPA and the CEC has resulted in 4 levels of hierarchy. These levels are nested one into the next, with Level I being the broadest (largest land area and most generalized description) and Level IV being the most detailed. Imagine having dinner at one of those large buffet chain restaurants. As you browse the culinary offerings, consider how they are arranged: one section is reserved for the salad bar, one for meats and hot entrees, one for desserts, etc. These might be considered Level I buffet regions. You move into the Level I region called “salad bar” and notice some big tubs of lettuce, an array of dressings, and little circular containers of toppings. These are Level II regions, distinguishing between types of salad fixings. You load up on the lettuce and toppings and enter the Level II region called “dressings,” which are roughly grouped into vinaigrettes, thick dressings, and low fat options. These are the Level III buffet regions: the types of salad dressing. Finally, you decide on a basic Italian, thereby selecting the equivalent of a Level IV ecoregion (the most specific choice in the buffet). Italian dressing, however, is not uniform: any particular teaspoon of the stuff will yeild a slightly different landscape of herbs and oils and seasonings. To classify these new landscapes, you need a special purpose classification system.
ECS, Provinces roughly correspond to the EPA’s Level I
Associations, Land Types and Land Type Phases. In the and Level II (which happen to be the same in Minnesota), and describe the three major landscapes in the state: the northern mixed conifer/deciduous forest, the deciduous forest, and the prairie. ECS Sections and the EPA’s Level III are generally the same, though there are variations between them, as are Subsections and Level IV. The ECS Land Type Associations, Land Types, and Land Type Phases offer more detailed information than the EPA maps. On the following pages are recommendations for visiting several of the ecoregions of Minnesota. They are categorized by the EPA’s Level I. For more SNAs, of course, visit the DNR website (see Resources).
The EPA’s Level III and IV ecoregion map of Minnesota, right, describes the differences in landscape throughout the state. The numbers refer to the travel recommendations on the following pages. These ecoregions are useful to designers wanting to understand the generalities of landscape, or those who are working at very large scales.
SCAPE fall 06
MINNESOTA LEVEL III AND IV ECOREGIONS Lake of the Woods Hallock
Thief River Falls
Upper Red Lake
ake R iver
Lower Red Lake
r of Rive
Red Lake Falls
48d Red L
r k Riv er
er ing Riv Cr o w W
Two Harbors St. Louis Riv e
r rio pe
51j Elbow Lake
Chipp e w a
51h pi R
Mi ssis sip
Madison Montevideo Granite Falls ed Yellow M
i v er e R icin
Bluestem Prairie SNA
47c Albert Lea
R o ot R i v er
Ri v er
Saint James v Eart h Ri Blue
Rock Ridge Prairie SNA
i v er
R i v er
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
sR oine sM De
120 km Zumbro Falls Woods SNA
s o ta
Cot ton wo
Mi nn e
Albers equal area projection Standard 29.5 N and 45.5 N 5 parallels Prairie Coteau SNA
Falls Creek SNA
Ionaâ€™s Beach SNA SCALE 1:2 250 000
Red Lake Peatlands SNA
r R i ve
Mora Pine City
e Ri v
S t. C roi
Riv e r
er T a
Mille Lacs Lake
46 Northern Glaciated Plains
49 Northern Minnesota Wetlands
51 North Central Hardwoods
46e Tewaukon/Big Stone Stagnation Moraine
51a St. Croix Outwash Plain and Stagnation Plains
46k Prairie Coteau
49b Forested Lake Plains
51h Anoka Sand Plain and Mississippi Valley Outwash
46l Prairie Coteau Escarpment 46m Big Sioux Basin 46o Minnesota River Prairie
50 Northern Lakes and Forests
51i Big Woods 51j Alexandria Moraines and Detroit Lakes Outwash Plain
50a Lake Superior Lacustrine Clay Plain
51k McGrath Till Plain and Drumlins
50b Minnesota/Wisconsin Upland Till Plain
51l Wadena/Todd Drumlins and Osakis Till Plain
47 Western Corn Belt Plains
50m Mesabi Range
47a Loess Prairies
50n Boundary Lakes and Hills
52 Driftless Area
47b Des Moines Lobe
50o Glacial Lakes Upham and Aitken
52b Blufflands and Coulees
47c Eastern Iowa and Minnesota Drift Plains
50p North Shore Highlands and Toimi Drumlins
52c Rochester/Paleozoic Plateau Upland
47g Lower St. Croix and Vermillion Valleys
50q Itasca and St. Louis Moraines 50r Chippewa Plains
48 Lake Agassiz Plain
50s Nashwauk/Marcell Moraines and Uplands
48a Glacial Lake Basin
50t North Shore Highlands
48b Beach Ridges and Sand Deltas 48d Lake Agassiz Plains
Seven SNA’s Showing Minnesota’s Natural Diversity Ecoregion 5: Northern Forests 1: Red Lake Peatland SNA
Level III Ecoregion: Northern Minnesota Wetlands Level IV Ecoregion: Peatlands ECS Section: Northern Minnesota and Ontario Peatlands Acres: 87,580 Website: www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/sna02009/index.html This SNA is located in Beltrami, Koochiching, and Lake of the Woods Counties. It lies in an area once covered by Glacial Lake Agassiz were peatland formation took place due to the slow drainage of its waters through the glacial till. The Red Lake Peatland SNA contains the largest and most diversely patterned peatland in the United States. Visitors to this SNA can still see trails last used in the 1930s by caribou migrating to Canada. 2: Iona’s Beach SNA
Level III Ecoregion: Northern Lakes and Forests Level IV Ecoregion: North Shore Highlands ECS Section: Northern Superior Uplands Acres: 20 Website: www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/sna02029/index.html A visitor can experience a unique landscape by taking a walk along a rare Lake Superior beach at this small SNA located in Lake County. It provides an opportunity to experience the beauty of a 300 foot long beach of salmon pink rhyolite: an igneous rock formed 1.1 billion years ago from granitic magma that reached the surface and cooled quickly when North America tried to split in half right down the middle of the lake. Ecoregion 8: Temperate Forests 3: Falls Creek SNA
Level III Ecoregion: North Central Hardwoods Level IV Ecoregion: St. Croix Outwash Plain and Stagnation Plains ECS Section: Minnesota and NE Iowa Moraines Acres: 136 Website: www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/sna01057/index.html This SNA is considered one of the most diverse natural areas remaining in Washington County, and hosts a rare stand of virgin hardwood and white pine forest, a rarity along the St. Croix River. A spring visit will display a woodland groundlayer covered by spring ephemerals such as trillium, rue anemone, and bellwort. This SNA also provides an opportunity to view several types of Paleozoic geology including the lime- and sandstone Decorah, Platteville, Glenwood and St. Peter formations.
SCAPE fall 06
VERONIKA PHILLIPS, ALL
4: Zumbro Falls Woods SNA Seven of the best SNAâ€™s, as recommended by landscape ecologist Veronika Phillips, include Zumbro Falls Woods, left, where floodplain deciduous forests provide shade for spring ephemeral wildflowers; and Rock Ridge Prairie, below and bottom, where native prairie plants, such as the downy gentian (Gentiana puberulenta), opposite bottom, thrive amongst evocative rock outcroppings.
Level III Ecoregion: Driftless Area Level IV Ecoregion: Blufflands and Coulees ECS Section: Paleozoic Plateau Acres: 300 Website: www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/sna01099/index.html This SNA sits in an area that was untouched by the most recent glacial activity. It provides a chance for the visitor to explore the uplands, narrow valleys, and floodplains that occur along the Zumbro River, along with their coinciding plant communities. Stars of the spring show include the bluebells that grow under the basswood found along the riverâ€™s floodplain, the jeweled shooting star growing on the cliff faces, and the wild ginger, trilliums and hepatica that carpet the woodland floor. Ecoregion 9 Great Plains 5: Prairie Coteau SNA
Level III Ecoregion: Northern Glaciated Plains Level IV Ecoregion: Prairie Coteau / Big Sioux Basin ECS Section: North Central Glaciated Plains Acres: 329 Website: www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/sna01026/index.html This SNA is unique in that it lies on terrain consisting of a series of plateau, steep slope, and valley formations resulting from the erosion of a glacial formation called an end moraine. The varied topography of this SNA provides conditions appropriate for two rare plant communities: southwestern dry hill prairie and dry sand gravel prairie.
6: Rock Ridge Prairie SNA
Level III Ecoregion: Western Corn Belt Plains Level IV Ecoregion: Des Moines Lobe ECS Section: North Central Glaciated Plains Acres: 200 Website: www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/
Located in Cottonwood County, this SNA is worth a visit for its interesting geology. It has one of the highest quality black soil prairies remaining in the area, and comprises one of a series of Red Rock Ridge Prairie Preserves that lie along a ridge of Sioux quartzite outcrops. The Rock Ridge SNA is host to the federally threatened Lespedeza leptostachya or Prairie Bush Clover.
7: Bluestem Prairie SNA
Level III Ecoregion: Lake Agassiz Plain Level IV Ecoregion: Glacial Lake Basin
How the EPA Ecoregions Came To Be
ECS Section: Red River Valley James Omernik, the man behind the EPA’s ecoregions, is a geogra-
pher by training who has been poring over maps for about 25 years
trying to describe the vast and varied United States. Omernik began
Farther north in the Red River Valley in Clay County, this SNA lies in a
his national map in the 1980s by pasting special purpose maps of the
flat glacial lake plain, which once provided the conditions for tallgrass
USA (vegetation maps, soil maps, etc.) all over his office walls and
and wet prairies to dominate what is now an agricultural landscape.
examining them, somewhat intuitively, for months. Then he laid out a
This SNA is one of the highest quality prairies in the United States
blank national map and began to sketch. “I tried to find spaces where
and is one of the few places were the spring courtship of the Prairie
there seemed to be coincidence in geographic phenomena” he says,
Chicken can be observed. The large acreage of this SNA lets the visitor
“and made a scribbly kind of map.” Once he had a recognizable area
experience what this landscape once was when the infinite expanse of
on his blank map that he felt had some consistency across the board,
prairie grassland covered this entire valley.
he would name it, then return to the specialized maps on the walls to discover why that area was different than all others. Omernik soon
realized that the factors that gave a particular ecoregion its identity could vary from ecoregion to ecoregion. This was a major departure
EPA Ecoregions Website: To access Level III and IV information, go to
from earlier studies, which had defined regions based on their differing
www.epa.gov/wed/pages/ecoregions/ecoregions.htm and click “Level
potential vegetation, say, or physiography. Omernik instead was
IV Ecoregions.” This will bring up a status map. Clicking on a red state
saying that one region might be best defined by its geology, another
brings up a menu of available downloads.
by soils, another by elevational banding, etc. He mapped the entire lower 48 -- the current Level III ecoregions (See sidebar: An Ecological
Ecoregion Contact Information: To obtain draft level information or
Buffet) -- published the map in 1987, and set off to test the theory.
poster sized maps and descriptions, contact James Omernik at (541) 754-4458 or firstname.lastname@example.org: or Glenn Griffith (541) 754-4465
Ohio was the lucky guinea pig. Omernik and a team of scientists of
or Griffith.email@example.com. All maps are public domain and are usually
various types looked at about 100 reference sites scattered throughout
free for individual requests. Larger quantities of the map/posters are
Ohio’s 5 proposed ecoregions, determining that the boundaries (with
for sale by the U.S. Geological Survey, P.O. Box 25286, Denver, CO
some minor tweaking) and descriptions were accurate.
thereafter, the National Interagency Technical Team (NITT) was formed, with a mission to finalize a draft national map of “common
For more information on the SNA program and information on other
ecological regions.” Omernik was a member. In 1994 when the North
SNA’s worth a visit go to www.dnr.state.mn.us
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was passed, Ed Wiken, a Canadian geographer using the same methodology as Omernik (by
The offocial guide to SNA’s is published by the Minnesota Department
coincidence of simultaneous discovery), convinced the Commission
of Natural Resources, Section of Ecological Services, Scientific and
for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) -- the establishment of which
Natural Areas Program: “A Guide to Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural
was a facet of NAFTA -- that consistency in ecological definition across
Areas,” Published 1995, Second Edition 1999.
North America was needed for international management of natural resources. Omernik and Wiken joined Mexican representatives on the
More detailed information on ecoregions nationwide was published in
publication, in 1997, of “Ecoregions of North America,” which estab-
Landscape Architecture Magazine, April, 2005. Information on special
lished broad landscape categories from the Yucatan to Baffin Island
purpose ecological classifications, specifically the National Vegetation
(the Level I and II ecoregions).
Classification System (NVCS), appeared in Landscape Architecture Magazine, May, 2005.
Interestingly, at about the same time the CEC was aggregating Omernik’s Level III ecoregions into larger, broader landscapes, many states were coming to the EPA wanting smaller regions. Omernik began working with states to establish Level IV ecoregions: the finest grain in the EPA’s system and the most useful for site- or watershedbased projects.
Veronika Phillips, ASLA, holds a Master in Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Minnesota. Veronika’s work after graduate school was at a non-profit specializing in restoring native habitats along the Mississippi River. Most recently, she has started her own business, Wild Ginger Outdoor Design, which allows her to continue in her commitment to promote the ecological health of the earth. Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA, is editor of _SCAPE Magazine and founder of Treeline, a design/writing consultancy. He is a regular contributor to Landscape Architecture Magazine.
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The Still Mighty Mississippi
by Erin Hanafin Berg
The history of the Saint Anthony Falls area of Minneapolis is well-interpreted, but a little farther upstream the river is still industrial. Is it a blight? Or a window into history?
ery few of the dog-walkers, joggers, and bikers
When Minneapolis and its peer city across the river, Saint
that frequent the West Mississippi River Parkway
Anthony, were founded in this area, the roar of the upper
near downtown would think of Minneapolis as
Mississippi’s only waterfall beckoned with the sound of
an industrial city. Paved pedestrian and bike paths skirt
opportunity and prosperity. At first, the falls powered
the water’s edge. Cast bronze sculptures of snails, frogs,
sawmills and grist mills, small-scale industries at the scale
and turtles sit perched on the edges of planters. Trees and
of the two fledgling towns. In the late 1860s, the visionary
grass grow lush and green, and it is not uncommon to
flour millers behind the Washburn Crosby Company—the
cross paths with a live rabbit or even a muskrat.
precursor to General Mills—figured out a new process
MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
for milling hard spring wheat into fine flour. The west What a change from a century ago, when the riverfront
side of the Mississippi became crowded with competing
was a tangle of railroad tracks and trestles, flour mills
mills that rose up to meet the worldwide demand for this
and log jams. Anyone breathing heavily outside inhaled
product. An Austrian engineer named William De la Barre
the soot-filled air and the scent of creosote. Flour mills
was put in charge of allocating the waterpower of the falls
hummed on both sides of the river, their stacked floors
to the mills, which were run on hydraulic turbines set in
of milling equipment powered mostly by the flow of the Mississippi, but also by steam engines and boilers that belched black smoke. issue #6
A barge approaches the Lower Saint Anthony Lock in Minneapolis in 1962, above, backdropped by the Stone Arch Bridge and the downtown milling district.
from flour dust—have given way to office dwellers with glistening faces and damp t-shirts who try to squeeze thirty minutes of exercise into their lunch breaks.
deep pits under the mills. De la Barre refined the design of a canal that channeled the water through the mills, and later positioned a hydroelectricity plant below the falls to take advantage of the residual power plunging through the mills’ tailraces.
s the Minneapolis riverfront has been remade, its history has been put on display. The Saint Anthony Falls Heritage Trail encircles the site of
the historic cataract and tells the story of its “discovery” by Father Louis Hennepin, its industrialization, and the
As the flour milling industry grew, it pushed the sawmills
development of the surrounding residential and commer-
upriver but welcomed the railroads, which served a vital
cial areas. Mill Ruins Park, designed by landscape
purpose. By the turn of the twentieth century, any land
architects and engineers at URS Corp, contains building
that was not used for a mill site was occupied by railroad
foundations, tailraces, and other vestiges of several mills
tracks. The rail lines and trestles of competing railroads jostled for position. The Union and Burlington Northern stations and their rail yards covered acres of riverfront.
A window into Minneapolis’ ongoing industrial legacy sits just upstream from downtown. The barge terminal at the NSP Riverside Plant, above, was the first to be constructed in the Upper Harbor area. Across the river is the Upper Harbor Terminal, opposite, a municipal facility with domes, elevators, and open storage areas for the handling and transfer of bulk commodities.
The vicinity of Saint Anthony Falls became so crowded with entrepreneurial activity that even Nicollet Island,
that brushed up against the edge of the river. A plank
with its finely detailed wood-frame houses, was bisected
road indicates the location of the former west side canal,
by railroad tracks and built out with commercial build-
which supplied water power to the most productive mills
ings and warehouses.
in the city. The Mill City Museum—an entire building devoted to telling the early history of Minneapolis and the
The twentieth century saw the gradual decline of the
industry that made it the flour capital of the world—rises
Minneapolis flour milling industry. General Mills shut
from within the ruins of the Washburn “A” Mill. Steps on
down its final riverfront mill in 1965 and the Pillsbury
the plaza adjacent to the new riverfront Guthrie Theater
“A” Mill, on the Saint Anthony side of the river, termi-
interpret the geological history of Saint Anthony Falls, and
nated its local operations shortly thereafter. After lying
bollards at the top of the steps present the area’s industrial
stagnant for decades, the riverfront recently has been
history in text and historic images.
reinvigorated. The remaining mill buildings have been rehabilitated as loft condominiums or offices and the
The railroad history of the area is covered as well. The site
railroad tracks replaced with scenic parkways and paths.
of the Great Northern Depot and rail yard on the north side
Mill workers—their clothes, hair, and faces dusted white
of Hennepin Avenue is now occupied by the new Federal
SCAPE fall 06
Reserve Bank (completed in 1997) and its accompanying
a single blast of the horn—BLEET—as the barge skidded
brick and stone plazas, designed by David A. Amalong,
toward the lower lock. The woman backed off the curb,
ASLA, of HOK in St. Louis. Next to a walkway leading to
turned, and grinned at her companion.
the riverfront plaza is a series of cast bronze scale models, also designed by Amalong, that show the evolution of the
The barge came from a site about four miles upstream,
site over the past two centuries. The river—the common
the location of Minneapolis’ only remaining riverfront
feature on all of the models—is deeply cast, allowing it
industrial district. The Upper Harbor, as it is known, is
to fill with rainwater. In front of the milling district, the
intrinsically tied to the present appearance of the falls.
Stone Arch Bridge, an engineering wonder and a spectac-
As the Upper Harbor began to take shape, between 1950
ular structure built by the Saint Paul railroad baron James
and 1963, the locks and dam that allowed passage over
J. Hill, has been converted to a pedestrian bridge. Now,
Saint Anthony Falls remade the natural cataract into an
less than forty years after trains last rumbled over this
engineered structure. The imprint of the Upper Harbor
graceful, arching span, people can cross in the same path.
development is visible today, not only in the massive concrete locks, but also in the bridge alterations that were made to allow passage of the barges and
neath. Two spans of the Stone Arch Bridge were replaced with an inverted steel truss, while upriver two
bridges and the Lowry Avenue Bridge received pier reinforcements and deck
increase clearance underneath. The
ERIN HANAFIN BERG, BOTH
These various layers of history are conveyed in myriad
began shortly after the city was founded, when riverboat
ways and a wide range of scale—interpretive plaques,
transport became a viable force on the Upper Mississippi.
archaeological artifacts, artistic installations, and rehabili-
Civic leaders looked with envy at Saint Paul, the head of
tated, reused buildings. The Minneapolis riverfront is
navigation at the time. Boosters, businessmen, and politi-
possibly the most thoroughly interpreted historic area in
cians campaigned for a navigable waterway all the way
the state. With but one subtle exception, the industry of
to Minneapolis, and their arguments picked up steam
the area is now interpreted, but not experienced.
after the turn of the century, when railroads dominated
regional shipping and were allowed to charge exorbitant ot long ago, on a perfect, late-summer Friday
prices. During the Great Depression, a nine-foot shipping
evening just before dusk, a small throng of
channel was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers
pedestrians clustered along the railing of the
as a work-relief program. The channel, which stretched
Stone Arch Bridge. Below them, a towboat pushed two
the length of the Upper Mississippi from Minneapolis
empty barges out of the upper lock. Children and adults
southward almost to Saint Louis, was achieved through
alike skipped to the other side of the bridge to watch the
the construction of twenty-six locks and dams that formed
barges slip under their feet a second time. A middle-aged
a stair-stepped series of slackwater pools. The Nine-Foot
woman hopped up onto the curb and pressed her waist
Channel extended barge traffic to Minneapolis, but only as
against the railing. One leg thrust behind her for balance
far as the base of the bluffs under the present Washington
and her hand gripping the rail, she waved her opposite
Avenue Bridge. The city constructed a barge terminal
arm vigorously as the tow passed. The captain sounded
there, but it was small, crowded, and inconvenient.
In 1968, the city of Minneapolis began constructing a municipal barge terminal in the Upper Harbor to replace the Washington Avenue Terminal. The Upper Harbor
Additional pressure by Minnesota congressmen, who
Terminal, as it is known, is the largest and most varied
argued that the full economic potential of the region could
facility of its type in the area. Its forty-one acres are
not be realized without barge shipping in Minneapolis,
used for open commodity storage, transfer of shipping
resulted in authorization of a channel extension above
containers, and enclosed storage of a variety of materials.
Saint Anthony Falls in 1937. Although the project did
Three barge docks are spaced out over the length of the
not get underway until after World War II—and then
site. The terminal contains a grouping of four round eleva-
faltered when the Corps of Engineers questioned whether
tors, four monolithic concrete storage domes, two asphalt
the project was economically viable—the falls were
storage tanks, and a warehouse. A system of conveyors
surmounted with the opening of the Upper Lock in 1963.
zig-zags overhead, from the barge docks to the domes and elevators. Near the entrance to the site, off Washington
This 1965 aerial view of the Minneapolis riverfront shows the proximity of the newly opened Upper Lock to the remaining historic flour mills and the extensive railroad infrastructure.
Avenue, stands a small, copper-topped office building and scale house.
he Upper Harbor itself does not convey the same romanticism as the nineteenth-century flour mills, and the period it represents is much less nostalgic.
There is a natural human tendency to idealize history, and it may be that the interpretive efforts installed along the downtown Minneapolis riverfront promulgate that. The displays and artwork are beautiful—well-crafted, and visually and intellectually compelling. But they are new: a substitute for what was authentically here, and they do not tell the entire story of this continually working river and evolving industrial city. Although remote from the downtown riverfront, the Upper Harbor terminals give purpose to the lock and dam facilities that now occupy Saint Anthony Falls. Although Barge terminals were slow to develop in the area, and the
excluded from the riverfront interpretation, their presence
harbor took shape over a period of about twenty years.
expands the context of Minneapolis industry and the
The 1911 Northern States Power Riverside Plant (now
city’s development. The terminals and the barge traffic
owned by Xcel Energy) was the first industry to construct
they attract remain, for now, evidence of our region’s
a harbor facility shortly after the locks were opened in
varied economy, as they ship in coal, aggregate, fertilizer,
1963. Its barge terminal ceased operation in the mid-1980s,
and salt. Some people might consider the lock structures
but the coal pile at the northern end of the site—now fed
to have “ruined” Saint Anthony Falls, and few would find
by rail, as it was when the plant was first built—stands as
beauty in the rusted steel of barges, docks, and conveyors.
a rough indication of the number of barges that passed
The history represented by this site, however, is as impor-
through the locks on their way to the plant.
tant to understanding the landscape of the riverfront as the flour mills, railroads, and falls.
scattered on both sides of the river for about two miles.
The sites associated with the Upper Harbor have the
Most are still in use. Several of the terminals were built
benefit of use; as long as shipping is allowed to continue
to unload aggregate, and their linear docks stand at the
to the area, we will have a richer understanding of the
water’s edge, flanked by snaking conveyors and mounds
growth of Minneapolis.
of gravel and sand. American Iron and Supply Company, an industry located in the area before the Upper Harbor was opened, has two linear docks and moveable cranes that handle giant clumps of salvaged steel.
Erin Hanafin Berg is a historian with Hess, Roise and Company historical consultants in Minneapolis.
SCAPE fall 06
MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Other private terminals in the Upper Harbor area are
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Rock Ridge Prairie State Scientific and Natural Area is one of a network of sites at which you can see Minnesotaâ€™s ecoregions on display. Read more in topic:nature photo Veronika Phillips, ASLA
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