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Riverview Park Master Plan For the Division of Planning and Development City of Lowell, Massachusetts

Dillon Sussman and Andrew Weir Conway School of Landscape Design Spring 2008


Index of Sheets Introduction Overview Vision

1 2

Analysis Urban Context Neighborhood Parks Current and Future Users Existing Conditions Summary Analysis

3 4 5 6 7

Alternatives Alternative Concept Plans Alternative I: Central Bark Alternative II: Central Parking Alternative III: Eco-Zone Alternative IV: Evolution

8 9 10 11 12

Proposal Proposed Plan 13 Entry Plaza I 14 Entry Plaza II 15 Trellis 16 Parking Lot 17 Riverwalk 18 Sculpture Garden 19 Central Plaza 20 Off-Leash Areas Plan 21 South Off-leash Area Section 22 Off-leash Area Conflict Reduction 23 Off-leash Area Waste Management 24 Soil Remediation 25 Planting Plan 26 Plant Schedule 27-29 Costing & Phasing 30 Design in Context 31 Appendices Analyses Slopes & Drainage Access & Circulation Views & Noise Soils & Dumping Vegetation Public Forums

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The project site offers stunning views of the Ouelette Bridge (aka Aiken Street Bridge) and Merrimack River

Project Goal To produce a master plan for a park on a 4.5-acre site on the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts. The park should be safe, respect the environmental context of the area, and should help build a sense of community among the diverse residents of Lowell.

Project Site

The project site (outlined in blue) is almost bisected by the radio station.

Riverview Park

. Photograph courtesy of City of Lowell GIS.

The City of Lowell Division of Planning and Development hired a student team from the Conway School of Landscape Design to develop a park master plan for a 4.5-acre site on the Merrimack River. In two public meetings facilitated by the Conway team, the community expressed interest in using the site for a dog park, a sculpture park, a children’s play area, and walking trails which could help make a circuit with extant riverwalks on both sides of the Merrimack River. The public also voiced strong concern about safety on the site, where dense woods provide a home for the homeless and a popular location for drinking. Meanwhile, the woods— although degraded by topsoil removal, dumping, and invasive vegetation—provide one of very few remaining areas of unmanicured vegetated patches in the densely settled and heavily urbanized city of Lowell.

Overview

Overview

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

PROJECT NAME: RIVERVIEW PARK Location: Aiken Street and VFW Highway, Lowell, Ma CLient: city of lowell, DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT Project Team: Dillon Sussman & Andrew Weir, Conway School of Landscape design

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Overview

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You continue across the plaza and pause at the edge to admire the stunning view of the Ouelette Bridge and Merrimack River. Below you, a staircase and ramp lead to the Riverwalk, a long path bordering the river. The Riverwalk is busy with joggers and walkers. One of them runs up the stairs past you, on her regular exercise circuit. You look, ruefully, at your donut, but decide to eat it anyway. You take the ramp down to the river, zigzagging across the slope. Turning right, you see the long sweep of the Riverwalk, interspersed with semicircular benches set back into the slope. These are popular spots and you nod at other park regulars as you stroll past them. This early in the day, the sun is warm and pleasant but you know that, later in the day when you come back, you’ll be taking the shaded trails on the upper terrace to stay cool.

The proposed entry plaza offers an inviting and dramatic entry to Riverview Park

The proposed Riverwalk provides attractive views and places to sit and gather

Riverview Park

As you continue along, you begin to hear the sound of barking. You glance up, knowing that Lowell’s dog park is up there, but vegetation screens the park from below and muffles the sound. The path bends to your right and, suddenly, you see the northern exit. Marked by the same iron trellis and mosaics that define the southern entrance, it signals the end of your brief escape from the city. You climb the slope towards it and exit onto the sidewalk. You turn to continue your walk to work, sad that the brief stay in the park is over, but glad, as always, that you decided to walk to work rather than drive. You’ll be back.

Vision

Another staircase and ramp appears on your right and you look up at the central terrace. People are leaning on the railing, admiring the views. One of them waves, and you wave back. It’s one of your favorite spots in the park, but you have no time to sit at its tables and enjoy your coffee. Maybe later.

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

With a cup of coffee and a donut in hand, you enter Riverview Park in downtown Lowell. Planters with low seating walls define a circular plaza. In one corner a group of schoolchildren is busily mosaicing the few remaining unfinished feet of seating wall with tumbled glass. To your right, a pair of chess players sit, huddled over a game in the shade of a dramatic iron trellis. Beyond them, children climb and play on a newly installed sculpture.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Vision

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DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

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Site of Proposed Park in Urban Context

Proposed Riverview Park Existing Open Space

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The site offers the opportunity to provide a unique open space experience to Lowell’s 100,000 residents. It can: • Strengthen connections between existing parks • Contribute to a developing riverwalk loop between the University Ave. Bridge and the Bridge St. Bridge • Provide an alternative outdoor experience from existing open space in Lowell • Be managed with the UMass riparian forest just upstream to form a greenway around the confluence of the Beaver Brook and the Merrimack River.

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Urban Context

The open space that does exist in Lowell is dominated by cemeteries (which compose half of all open space in the city), the State Forest (which provides a quarter of the city’s open space), and ballfields. There are also a number of riverwalks in the area. The Pawtucketville Riverwalk is especially popular, but riverwalks also line the south bank of the Merrimack from the University Avenue Bridge to below the Bridge Street Bridge and, on the north bank of the Merrimack, from the project site to below the Bridge Street Bridge.

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

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city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

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Riparian forest owned by UMass

Lowell’s industrial past is also visible in the pattern of the streets and buildings surrounding the site; the city is densely populated and heavily urbanized. While Lowell features the first urban national park in the country and the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Park, the city’s 100,000 residents still lack access to open space. Compare New York City’s park system, which has 7.2 acres of open space per 1,000 residents to Lowell’s 4.3 acres of open space per 1,000 residents.

The site of the proposed park offers a unique opportunity to provide more open space to the residents of Lowell. Based on its context, the park should strengthen connections between existing parks, and contribute to the integrity of a riverfront loop trail that runs along both sides of the Merrimack River from the University Avenue Bridge to the Bridge Street Bridge. The park should provide an alternative form of outdoor experience from existing cemeteries and ballfields. Finally, the site’s conservation value should be assessed, particularly in light of the UMass riparian forest just upstream.

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The site sits near the heart of Lowell, Massachusetts, on the cut bank of a wide river bend. Here Beaver Brook meets the Merrimack River, which roils and eddies after thundering over Pawtucket Falls, just upstream. The Pawtucket Falls’ thirty-two-foot drop was the impetus for the founding of Lowell—the first planned industrial city in the United States. Renovated brick riverfront mill buildings are barely visible beyond the Aiken Street Bridge on the opposite shore of the Merrimack.

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Urban Context

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Looking toward UMass Riparian Forest from St.unmanicured Louis Playground site. The riparian forest provides & Existing a distinctive visualParking contrast to much of Lowell.

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U.S. Army Corps Levee & Riverwalk. The site was cleared of vegetation in 2008.

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A possible loop trail could connect riverfront parks including the proposed Riverview Park. National Park Service Riverwalk Consistent use of characteristically historical materials— stone, brick, concrete, and Victorian-styled black wrought-iron fixtures—lend a coherent identity to the Riverwalk.

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Lawrence Mills Riverwalk & Park

Neighborhood Parks

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Lawrence Mills Riverwalk and Park An ornate brick and granite paving pattern is modern yet references Lowell’s history.

Pawtucketville Riverwalk The popular park, although not in the neighborhood, is the image of an attractive park in the minds of many Lowellians. Its paved walkway winds beneath limbed up trees with regularly spaced benches set on cobbled pads. A wide concrete curb separates a small turf lawn from the river.

St. Louis Playground The immediate neighbor of the site is an active recreation park. Chain link fences and turf lawns surround ballfields, basketball courts and a plastic play structure. Large rocks line the edge of an existing parking lot.

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Neighboring parks and riverwalks also provide a palette of design precedents that the site can respond to.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

The site is adjacent to a developed park complex. It presents the opportunity to strengthen a loop trail amongst neighboring riverwalks and parks.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Neighborhood Parks

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The public expressed interest in having the following park elements: • A dog park • Walking paths • Sitting places with views of the river • A sculpture walk • A natural experience, particularly for children.

Public meeting, May 19, 2008. Neighborhood residents expressed concerns about safety and enthusiasm for the park’s possibilities.

Pawtucketville Centralville

Within a half-mile radius of the park, there are two UMass Lowell campuses and parts of three ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods (Centralville, Pawtucketville, and The Acre). The park can serve as a common ground meeting place for these residents. The area within a half-mile radius, like much of Lowell, is designated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Environmental Justice Area because it contains a high percentage of foreign-born, low-income people whose first language is not English. The state mandate requires that this population be given special consideration and

Dog-walkers would like off-leash areas for their dogs.

Percent Minority 0-9%

The Acre

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

If a successful park is established on this site, it is likely to draw visitors from throughout Lowell. However, recent research has found that parks are used most by people who live within walking distance (P. Hasnick and J. Simms, Planning Magazine, December 2004). The park’s design should encourage pedestrian use. This will not only encourage healthy behavior, but it will also build stronger community: park neighbors who visit frequently are more likely to build social connections with other regular park visitors than are drivers who hurry into and out of parks. “Walking distance” varies from person to person and community to community. A half-mile radius is taken as a reasonable walking distance for determining potential regular users within the community.

Anglers frequent the northern end of site where Beaver Brook meets the Merrimack.

Riverview Park

At the same public meetings, dog owners from the city-atlarge expressed a wish to see a dog park established on the site as they currently have no public off-leash areas within the city.

Based on the public meetings, the park should provide: • amenities and use areas desired by neighborhood residents (see below) • safe and convenient pedestrian access and circulation • parking for elderly and disabled visitors

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Neighborhood residents, at two public meetings, expressed interest in having a park established at the site, but voiced strong concern about safety on the site. In particular, they expressed concern that “you never know who is hiding in the woods.”

representation in decisions affecting environmental quality near their homes. Two public meetings were conducted during the planning of this proposal to identify the needs of neighbors. Communication with environmental justice populations should be an integral part of this project’s lifecycle.

Current & Future Users

Currently the site is largely unused, except by a small group of people who visit to walk, drink, fish, and sleep. Well-worn paths through the woods lead to several tents and a stone fire pit surrounded by benches made from salvaged milk crates and wood.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Current and Future Users

9-20% 20-39% 39-58% 58-83%

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Beaver Brook

A privately owned radio transmission tower is located on site, its parcel dividing the northern third of the site from the southern two thirds.

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An unpaved service road provides vehicular access to the lower terrace from the VFW Highway.

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city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

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A steep slope parallels the river and divides the site into lower and upper terraces.

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A chain link fence along the VFW Highway side separates the site from the bordering sidewalk.

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The upper terrace ranges in width from 40 to 150 feet wide and is about 3.5 acres in area. The southern two thirds are heavily wooded while the northern third was recently cleared. The terrace is actively used by a small group of people who gather there to drink and socialize. They have constructed a fire pit and benches and regularly rake their gathering spots. It also sports at least two tents and evidence of recent dumping of bicycles, clothes, and other trash.

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The lower terrace is approximately 25 ft wide and about 0.75 acres in area. It includes a 0.25 mile asphalt service road covering a sewer interceptor. It is within the 100-year flood plain and has been flooded several times in recent years. An existing wooden railing appears to have been the damaged by flood-borne debris or vandalism.

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

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The site is located across the river from downtown Lowell in the Centralville Neighborhood. It is bounded by the divided four-lane VFW Highway to the east, Beaver Brook to the north, the Merrimack River to the west, and the Ouelette Bridge (also known as the Aiken Street Bridge) to the south. Its southwest orientation means that the site receives ample sunlight.

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DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Existing Conditions

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Pedestrian access to the site is unclear and possibly intimidating. An existing service road used to access the sewer interceptor buried underneath the lower terrace entices visitors to cross the VFW Highway illegally. Runners and walkers use the sidewalk alongside the highway but do not typically enter the site itself. Steep slopes divide the site into lower and upper terraces (approximately one acre and three and one-half acres respectively). The lower terrace is clear and sunny, the upper thickly vegetated. Sight-lines from within the upper terrace are blocked, but the upper terrace edge and the lower terrace offer spectacular views of downtown Lowell and the Merrimack River. The slopes are eroding in places. There is widespread garbage dumping on site. Areas of erosion show buried glass, pottery, and other debris to a depth of several feet in the soil, consistent with anecdotal evidence that portions of the site were used as a glass and bottle dump. Anecdotal evidence also suggests the historical dumping of industrial waste by the now-defunct Colonial Gas Company.

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Steep slope Erosion Major pedestrian circulation Minor pedestrian circulation Vehicular circulation Lower Terrace

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Blocked sight line

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VFW Highway and sidewalk

Service road

Riverview Park

Homeless campsite

Summary Analysis

Trash dumping

Detailed site analysis can be found in Appendix I.

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

• The site may be contaminated and should be inspected as a potential brownfield. • Access and circulation need to be improved, especially at the northern and southern ends. • The lower terrace should be developed to expand the city’s system of riverside walks. • In areas of expected use, soil should be cleaned, replaced, or capped. • Viewing areas should be sited to attract visitors. • Slopes impede circulation. They also require stabilization. • Vegetation and trees should be cleared or pruned to improve visibility within the upper terrace.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Recommendations

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Summary Analysis

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Central Parking

Nature

Nature

Safety

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Safety Evolution

Eco-Zone The first two concepts (Central Bark and Central Parking) address community and safety concerns but de-emphasize ecological ones. The Eco-Zone concept maximizes the role of nature in the plan at the expense of safety. The final concept, Evolution, maximizes community.

Community

Community Safety

Nature

Safety

Nature

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Community

Community

Riverview Park

Community

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

After input from two public meetings and from staff at the City of Lowell Division of Planning and Development, four concept plans, presented on the following pages, were developed. These balance the three main elements of the project goal (community, nature, and safety) in different ways.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Central Bark

Alternative Concept Plans

Alternative Concept Plans

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Cons

• Lawn and northern focus area far from parking. • Dog park is smaller than criterion (1 acre). • Removal of broken glass in soil or capping of same is required.

Lawn

(Approx 0.6-acre)

Focus Area

(Ampitheater, seating...)

Discussion The Riverwalk connects to sidewalks at both ends of the park to allow integration into possible larger trail systems and to allow walkers, runners, etc. to use the park as part of their route.

Dog Park

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(Approx 0.8-acre)

The dog park responds to public requests for a single contiguous dog park with a minimum size of one acre and separation between areas for dogs and areas for human activity. However, the maximum possible size for a contiguous dog park on the site (using a grade requirement of 5% or less) is approximately 0.8 acres in the location shown. Research also suggests separation into areas for large and small dogs is viewed as desirable at many dog parks.

A Riverwalk

A single-loaded configuration for the parking lot (i.e., one row of parking with an access lane) minimizes regrading and the need for retaining walls.

Parking

(14 spaces, single loaded)

Focus Area

(Entrance plaza, playground...)

Riverwalk

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VFW Highway and sidewalk

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Improved pedestrian access at the northern and southern ends of the site access a Riverwalk (path along the river) and paths on the upper terrace. A large (0.8-acre) single dog park occupies the center of the site. Parking for 14 cars (including 2 accessible spaces) is to the south using the existing VFW Highway entrance. The northern third of the site is a sunny lawn with a public focus area (e.g., an amphitheater or pavilion).

Riverview Park

Summary

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

• Largest contiguous dog park area subject to <5% grade requirement (approximately 0.8 acres) • Riverwalk connects to neighborhood. • On-site parking for 14 vehicles (2 accessible spaces). • Separation of dog and human use areas.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Pros

Alternative I: Central Bark

Alternative I Central Bark

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In this alternative, parking is located at the center of the site. Two off-leash areas are established north of the parking lot with the radio station parcel dividing them. Improved pedestrian access at the northern and southern ends of the site access a Riverwalk (path along the river) and paths on the upper terrace. A sculpture walk and/or play area connects the southern entrance to the central parking area. A small sun terrace at the northern tip of the park is a good spot for sunning and taking in the views of Pawtucket Falls.

Dog Park

(Approx 0.5-acres)

Cons

• Individual dog parks are each less than one acre. • 180-degree turn for cars entering site from VFW Highway may be difficult for some drivers. • Removal of broken glass in soil or capping of same is required.

Discussion Dog Park

The provision of two off-leash areas is a standard dog park design procedure. Often the off-leash areas are designated for large and small dogs, or active and mellow dogs. If a right-of-way can be acquired from the radio station, the two off-leash areas could be connected to create a single large butterfly-shaped off-leash park.

(Approx 0.5-acres)

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Entrance Plaza

Parking

(14 spaces including two accessible)

The sculpture walk is imagined as a changing exhibit curated in partnership with Centralville residents or a local arts organization like the Revolving Museum. The sculptures solicited would be appropriate for children to climb on and play around.

A Riverwalk

Sculpture Walk/ Play Area

Stairs and Ramp

Riverwalk

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Entry Plaza

Parking

VFW Highway

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Sun Terrace

Riverview Park

Summary

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

New Entrance

(with universally accessible ramp to Riverwalk)

• Parking is in the center of the site, minimizing walking distances to the park’s northern and southern ends. • Sight-lines from the VFW Highway into the northern off-leash area and the parking lot allows approaching drivers to assess park attendance and available parking before they turn into the park. • Two off-leash areas for dogs (totalling about 1 acre) are provided in accordance with standard dog park design principles. • Dogs and other users are separated. • Riverwalk connects to neighborhood.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Pros

Alternative II: Central Parking

Alternative II Central Parking

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Entry Plaza

Cons

• Dog park off-site on levee needs to be cleared with Army Corps of Engineers. • Denser vegetation may deter users due to security concerns. • Narrowing the VFW Highway will require approval by several agencies. • Trails as shown require a right-of-way across the radio station property.

Lawn

(Approx 0.6 acres)

Discussion The planting spills out of the park, tying it to its surroundings. The dog park is located off-site, on the Army Corps of Engineers levee to the south. Available public parking to the east across the VFW Highway is upgraded as is the pedestrian crossing. The highway itself is narrowed to allow additional planting and room for separate bicycle and pedestrian lanes.

Focus Area

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(Outdoor classrom, educational installations...)

The Riverwalk connects to the neighborhood via entry plazas at both ends. These plazas also contain educational signs and connect to nature trails that lead through the managed urban forest. The trails intersect with spaces for outdoor classrooms.

A Parking

Areas of the site are managed with trees limbed up and tall undergrowth removed. Although working against the normal ecological process, this provides avenues of visibility to promote a sense of security.

Nature Trails

Entry Plaza

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Bikeway and sidewalk

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

This alternative spills beyond the physical boundaries of the site. The bulk of the site is given over to ecological restoration with a long-term management plan that removes invasive species, replacing them with native plants that provide habitat and opportunities for nature education.

Riverview Park

Bikeway

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

• Low need for removal of previously dumped glass. • Large area for habitat and ecological function. • Opportunities for nature education and experience. • Large area available for dogs. • Riverwalk connects to neighborhood. • Bike lane and wider sidewalk promote alternative transport.

Alternative III: Eco-Zone

Summary

Pros

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Alternative III Eco-Zone

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In this alternative, the park is imagined as a long-term process of community engaged change, not a fixed product. Community labor and natural processes are engaged in a series of transformative rehabilitative maneuvers that provide time for natural and human communities to identify their needs and adjust to change.

Cons

• Requires significant long-term community participation. • Requires management of a complex political process to coordinate shared needs. • Long-time scale and unpredictably may frustrate residents who are accustomed to a more traditional park-building process.

Discussion

The park building process teaches community members about the history and ecology of the site, engages their imagination, and forms social bonds. The city or a nonprofit agency provides coordination and continuity. A Possible Future: 2008 A local dog owners group organizes a work day to clear an area of the site that is dominated by invasive vegetation. They partner with a local arts organization to sift the soil in the clearing to remove glass, pottery and other urban artifacts. The glass and pottery is stockpiled for future use. 2009 A dog park is established in the clearing. 2010 The arts organization begins construction of a sculpture park at the southern end of the site. They build concrete walls and benches and begin covering them with mosaics made from the glass and pottery harvested from the dog park. 2011 Inspired by the dog park and sculpture garden, another neighborhood group hosts a day-long music festival on the northern portion of the site. Funds raised by the event are

used to plant grass and wildflower seeds on the northern lawn, and begin construction of a band shell built from black locust wood harvested on the site. The site becomes a popular location for concerts, weddings, and cultural fairs. 2020 The community group that was sponsoring concerts on the northern lawn dissolves. The dog park organization decide they would prefer the broad sunny slope of the north lawn and arrange to move their park to the new site. 2021 The former dog park is taken over by a school group, who want to experiment with restoring an ecologically rich riparian forest in downtown Lowell. They choose the dog park location because years of hard use by the dogs have completely eradicated invasive vegetation from the site. The school group adds compost, generated from dog waste and other vegetation cleared from the site, to the soil. Students plant native vegetation and on sunny afternoons young people can be seen checking up on their plants and playing in the developing wooded glade.

2010 Artists build sculpture park

2008 Dog-owners clear a patch of woods

Riverview Park

The park is built by the community, for the community. Portions of the site are configured for users’ needs and then reconfigured as new needs arise. Materials are harvested from the site and recycled. Likewise, activities inspire new activities and prepare the ground for them. The park becomes a palimpsest, with layers of history building upon each other.

Promotes community development. Park stays relevant throughout changing needs. Labor and material costs are reduced. Park building process teaches community members about history, ecology, and construction. • The changing nature of the park provides variation that sustains public interest.

12

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Summary

• • • •

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

2009 Dog-park opens

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Pros

Alternative IV: Evolution

Evolution

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North Viewing Area North Gate North Off-leash Area

The plan balances community, nature, and safety.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Riverwalk

Community

• Provides spaces for community interaction (plazas, conservation benches, etc.). • Offers amenities not available elsewhere in the city (dog park, sculpture garden). • Offers space for community groups to garden (planting beds) and for art projects (mosaicing of concrete walls and park benches). • Connects to existing riverwalks in the area.

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South Off-leash Area

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Central Plaza

Woods M er kR

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Sculpture Garden

Entry Plaza

Safety

50 100 150 200 FT

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Safety

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Nature

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• Improves sight lines and visibility (including lighting). • Improves access and circulation, including removal of the fence along the VFW Highway. • Provides amenities that draw in a high number of visitors.

Riverview Park

Community

Proposed Plan

Parking Lot

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• Maintains an area for managed native trees and understory. • Offers educational trails and plant identification trails through woods. • Features spectacular views of Lowell’s natural scenic beauty.

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Nature

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

The proposed plan was developed from the four alternatives after input from two public meetings (see Appendix 2) and response from the City of Lowell Division of Planning and Development and external critics at the Conway School of Landscape Design.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Proposed Plan

13

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Neighborhood groups can maintain planters and flowerbeds.

Entry Plaza with Staircase and Ramp

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Photograph courtesy of www.flickr.com, Creative Commons License

0 10 20 30 40 FT

The view from the proposed plaza location.

Planting beds to be maintained by neighborhood groups.

The proposed entry plaza invites visitors into the park.

Riverview Park

Entry Plaza I

Figure 1: Placeholder of rendered entry plaza.

14

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Iron T-beams (see Trellis, sheet 16) painted to match the bridge and strung with steel cable to support climbing vines for shade. A two-tone brick surface echoes material choices on the other side of the Merrimack.

Concrete tables and seating walls can retain planter beds and can be mosaiced by community and school art groups.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

The plaza connects to a path through the sculpture garden towards the central plaza and dog park, and to access to the lower Riverwalk.

Photograph courtesy of the www.flickr.com, Creative Commons License

Low concrete walls form planters to be maintained by community groups and offer surfaces for mosaicing by local artists and school groups.

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The entry plaza at the southern end of the park is a wide, inviting space offering stunning views of the Merrimack River, Lowell, and the Ouelette Bridge (aka the Aiken Street Bridge).

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Entry Plaza I

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0 5 10 20 30

Plaza Planter

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Entry Plaza and Staircase with Ramp

VFW Highway and sidewalk

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A’

A

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15

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Stairs and accessible ramp city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

The access to the Riverwalk on the lower terrace is a combination of stairs and a ramp at 5% grade with shared 6’ square landings.

Riverview Park

Riverwalk

Entry Plaza II

Entry Plaza II


Actual construction details will depend upon the fabricator.

An iron trellis with climbing vines provides shade on the entry plaza.

3/16” diameter holes for perpendicular wires Parallel guide wire secured by eyebolts. 1/8” diameter steel cable. Iron T-beams painted to match Ouelette Bridge. Pitch top of wall for drainage and chamfer edges

Parallel guide wire secured by eyebolts. 1/8” diameter steel cable.

Surface to be mosaiced by local artists, schools, etc.

18” wide and 18” high above grade Foot recess

Climbing vine to be planted and maintained by local groups.

Pitch grade for drainage

Amended planting soil

Aggregate backfill and base

Detail of Trellis T-beam Construction

Detail of Trellis and Concrete Seating Wall

Trellis

4’

Reinforced as per local codes.

Riverview Park

Perpendicular guide wire through 3/16” holes in T-beam. 1/8” diameter steel cable

16

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Iron trellises over the entry plaza, and at the north gate, echo the Ouelette Bridge. They are strung with steel cables to provide support for flowering vines that lend shade in the summer and mark the transition between the urban streetscape outside the park its more naturalistic interior.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Trellis

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On-site parking is provided for 14 cars, including 2 accessible spaces. Vegetated swales and a retention basin are used to capture excess runoff from the parking lot and access road.

Clean Gravel

6”

Filter Fabric Subgrade

The parking lot and service road are surfaced with porous concrete. This material is chosen for its low cost and maintenance requirements in combination with good infiltration characteristics.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Porous Concrete Paving Detail

A conceptual grading plan balances cut and fill. Actual grading will depend upon a detailed site survey.

Parking Lot and Service Road

0 20 40 60 80 FT

Key Proposed grading Drainage

Vegetated swale

Trees limbed up to preserve visibility

Culvert with drain Vegetated retention basin

Vegetated interceptor swale

A’

Vegetated interceptor swale Path at 5% grade or less 70

Slope

Sidewalk

Parking lot. Cross slope at 2% to west.

VFW Highway and sidewalk

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20 40 60 80 FT

A’ 0

5

10

20

30

40 FT

A 60

A

Slope and swale

Conceptual Grading Plan

Riverview Park

Service road regraded to 15%.

Parking Lot

Proposed grading

17

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

6”

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Pervious concrete W VF

Parking Lot

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DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Riverwalk

Proposed Riverwalk.

3” diameter iron tube with cap, painted same color as Ouelette Bridge. Spaced at 10’ intervals Riverwalk 3’

1/2” diameter steel cable secured to eyebolts at staggered 30’ intervals.

0

100 200 300 400 FT

Pitch surface to drain.

View of Ouelette Bridge and Lawrence Mills from along the proposed Riverwalk.

Fence Post Detail

Riverview Park

Aggregate base

Riverwalk

4’

Concrete collar, diameter 9”. Do not enclose bottom of post.

18

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

A Riverwalk along the lower terrace parallels the Merrimack River, offering quiet contemplation amid attractive views. Regularly spaced semicircular conversation benches and tables, made of concrete and cut into the slope, provide rest stops and gathering places while increasing flood storage capacity. Lighting and trash receptacles promote a sense of safety and orderliness.

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Visitors are fascinated by their own warped reflections in the polished metal surface of the Bean at Millenium Park in Chicago.

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Sculptures mounted on recycled-crumb rubber pads provide a unique, safe place for children to play.

The Bean at Millenium Park in Chicago.

Children climb on the Happy Hippo at the Denver Zoo.

Riverview Park

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Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden

rri Me

Photographs this page courtesy of www.flickr.com, Creative Commons License

Rockspinner at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a massive granite boulder mounted on very low friction bearings. Children can easily spin the ten-foot tall rock.

19

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

y wa gh Hi

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

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A sculpture garden stretches out between the entry plaza and the parking lot and spills down the slope to the riverwalk. Three large sculptures are permanently mounted along a winding path that transitions from a grassy lawn next to the entry plaza to a wooded glade next to the parking lot. The sculptures draw in visitors and inspire play and interaction by responding to touch, sparking imagination, or being climbable. The area also features juried exhibits that change annually.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Sculpture Garden

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DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Central Plaza

River

Rip-rapped bank

Riverwalk

Stairway and ramp

Central Plaza

Woods

Path

Highway Buffer

VFW Highway

Central Plaza

0 10 20 30 40 FT

Riverview Park

Central Plaza

Proposed Central Plaza, overlooking Merrimack River

20

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

A meandering path through the woods leads to a plaza nestled among mature trees. Flagstone pavers define its surface, while a railing draws visitors to look out over magnificent views of the river. Cafe-style tables and chairs invite visitors to sit in the sun and eat a meal. A stairway with a universally accessible ramp leads from the plaza down to the riverwalk.

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15’ x 15’ double-gated entry pens and the areas around them are surfaced with decomposed granite to hold up to heavy traffic.

Circular benches wrap around trees protecting them and providing places for visitors to sit and watch their dogs.

0 10 20 30 40 FT

Riverview Park

Picnic tables provide gathering spots with views of the river.

21

See sheet 22 for section A-A’

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

The southern dog park is nestled under existing trees, which will be thinned and limbed up. In addition, a clearing will be cut in the center of the dog park to create a place to play fetch and to open views of the river.

A

The dog parks are designed with people, dogs, and the environment in mind. People will enjoy the off-leash areas informal settings and their ample seating. Dogs will appreciate, room to run, shaded resting spots, and conflict-reducing entrance features. The environment will benefit from vegetated swales that will capture dog waste contaminated runoff before it enters the Merrimack River, and dog manure composters that keep the waste out of landfills.

The dog parks are surrounded by six-foot high chain link fence. The fences will be coated in black vinyl to minimize visual impact.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

The two off-leash areas allow the separation of active and mellow dogs. Having two off-leash areas also creates the opportunity to periodically close one of the enclosures areas to allow the grass surface to rest and recuperate.

Off-leash Areas Plan

Two half-acre off-leash areas wrap around the radio transmission station parcel in a butterfly shaped configuration. The off-leash areas provide a contained place for Lowell’s dogs to run free, while their owner’s watchfully relax in a naturalistic setting.

The northern dog park is largely open. About three quarters of it sits on a levee which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has mandated be kept clear of trees.

The surface of the off-leash areas is a low-mow fescue and rye grass mix that copes well with dog urine’s high nitrogen, high salt and acidic characteristics.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Off-leash Areas

A’

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Radio Tower

See sheet 21 for section line A-A’

Composters Tree Bench Fetching Lawn

A Typical Section of South Off-leash Area DoubleGated Entry Woods Path Central Plaza A’

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22

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Riverview Park

Off-leash Area Section

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

South Off-leash Area


Dog eye-level vegetation blocks views of approaching dogs from within the off-leash area until the entering dogs are unleashed. Dogs approaching off-leash areas are often excited and straining at their leashes. This forward-leaning posture can be misconstrued as aggression by dogs inside the off-leash area.

North Off-Leash Area Entrances

Double-gate entrance at Rancho Bernardo Dog Park in San Diego

23

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Visitors enter through 15 x 15 foot transitional pens that have three gates each. The containment pen provides an area for owners to unleash their dogs before they enter the park. Dual gates on the off-leash area side of the pen disperse entering dogs and make it more difficult for dogs already in the off-leash area to crowd the entrances.

Riverview Park

A signboard posts the rules of the off-leash area. It specifies that owners are responsible for maintaining control of their dogs at all times.

The design of the off-leash areas has several features that will limit aggression at the entrances. Multiple entrances spread entering dogs. The entrances are located in the center of fence runs rather than at corners to prevent entering dogs from being backed into corners. Dog eyelevel vegetation screens the view of entering dogs from those inside the park.

Photo courtesy of www.franchobernardodogpark.com

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Dog parks can be stressful for dogs because they need to quickly integrate into the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ad hoc pack which will have constantly shifting social dynamics. Entering dogs need to quickly assess the pack hierarchy and their place in it. Because of that, entrances in dog parks are often a location of dog-dog aggression.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Entrances to the off-leash areas are located in the center of a run of fence so that dogs cannot be cornered when entering.

O.L.A. Conflict Reduction

Off-leash Areas Conflict Reduction

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The surface of the off-leash areas is a low-mow fescue and rye grass mix that copes well with dog urine’s high nitrogen, high salt and acidic composition.

South Off-Leash Area

Low-mow fescue lawn can cope well with dog urine.

24

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

A vegetated swale filters excess nutrients from runoff leaving the dog park before it reaches the Merrimack River.

Riverview Park

The off-leash area copes with dog waste using natural methods. Vegetated swales will filter contaminated runoff before it enters the Merrimack River. The surface of the dog park is a urine tolerant, low-maintenance turf mix composed of fescues and rye grass. Dog manure composters will reduce landfill use while providing compost that is safe to use in park planting areas. A dog compost system has been successfully in operation at a dog park in Montreal for four years.

Five 27-cubic yard compost bins in each off-leash area handle on-site waste processing. Dog waste is picked up using scoops or biodegradable bags and deposited in the composters. Dog manure is mixed with sawdust in a 10:1 ratio to provide the correct balance of carbon to nitrogen. Once filled, the composters are sealed and the compost “cooks” for about two months, reducing the volume of the waste by up to 50%. The compost can then be used to topdress plantings in the park.

O.L.A. Waste Management

Dog waste can have adverse environmental impacts, especially when it is concentrated in dog parks. Dog feces are very high in nitrogen and phosphorous. Runoff can carry the excess nutrients into water bodies contributing to eutrophication (a condition in which excess algal growth eventually leads to depletion of dissolved oxygen in water). Dog urine can “burn” vegetation because it contains high levels of salt, nitrogen and acid. Trees and lawns are particularly vulnerable. Finally, the common method of disposing of dog waste by sealing it in plastic bags prevents the manure from naturally decomposing. Valuable landfill space is occupied, while a useful natural resource is wasted.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Off-leash Areas Waste Management

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During Remediation Contaminated soil around existing trees dug out by hand, amended with clean topsoil and replaced. Contaminated soil removed and sifted. Soil and debris stockpiled for future use. Dog-proof barrier Geotextile barrier installed above existing subgrade.

After Remediation Sifted topsoil amended with location-appropriate topsoil replaced on top of barriers.

25

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Existing subgrade

Riverview Park

The exact area that requires remediation, and the full composition of the contamination are unknown and require detailed soil sampling by a qualified professional.

Existing contaminated soil. Depth varies.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Soil Remediation Strategy • Identify the extent of areas with soil contamination and the composition of the contamination. • Remove soil to a depth of one foot in contaminated areas • Filter removed soil on-site to remove debris. • Stockpile debris for on-site community mosaic projects. • Install a geotextile barrier on top of the existing subgrade to prevent upward migration of contaminants. • In dog parks, install an additional barrier to protect the geotextile from digging dogs. Chain link fencing that is to be removed from the sidewalk along the VFW Highway may make an appropriate dog-proof barrier. • Amend filtered soil with location-appropriate topsoil and replace.

Existing uncontaminated organic matter and topsoil

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Soil that is contaminated with glass and other debris may pose a risk to future park visitors. Removing the debris will be essential to the park’s success. This is especially true in the dog parks, where digging by dogs may bring debris to the surface.

Soil Profile before Remediation

Soil Remdiation

Soil Remediation

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Off-leash Area Vegetative Screens These plants will be located outside of the fences, especially near the entrance gates. Plants are intended to block the view of dogs approaching the off-leash areas’ entrances from dogs already inside. Plants should generally be about 36” tall. Occasional plants can be taller provided they do not block views of the river or present safety concerns. These plants need to tolerate degraded soils and high nitrogen content present in dog urine that will run off of the offleash areas. In addition to shrubs, ornamental corn and gourds are suggested to uptake excess nitrogen.

Vegetated Swales Vegetated swales filter pollution, including dog urine, before it enters the river. Specified plants can tolerate wet and dry conditions.

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Steep Slope Soil Stabilization (slopes between the Parking Lot and the Northern Dog Park) A mix of cool and warm season grasses establish dense roots in degraded soils stabilizing eroding banks while providing a wispy, naturalistic texture between the Riverwalk and the upland forest. Flowers are included to provide visual interest and feed pollinators. Meadows should be mowed once per year prior to June 15th or after August (to prevent disruption of nesting birds). Mowing time should be varied from year to year to balance competitive advantage amongst species.

Woods Regeneration Existing trees should be maintained, but should be thinned and limbed-up to open sight-lines. In the aftermath of site work (e.g. soil remediation), and as trees die, many species that are already on-site and demonstrating the ability to tolerate the site’s conditions can be replanted. New species can be added to diversify the forest (see “Woods Regeneration species, sheet 28). Shade tolerant understory shrubs should be planted sparingly throughout the woods to diversify the forest but maintain sight-lines. Woodland ground covers provide flowers and indicate a rich wooded environment.

er

For recommended species for each area, see sheets 27-29. 0

50 100 150 200 FT

Slope Stabilization (between the Aiken St. Bridge and the Entry Plaza stairway) Dense growing shrubs stabilize the slope while creating a transition between the urban environment of the central plaza and naturalistic meadow plants north of the stairs.

Planters at Entry Plaza and North Gate Vines grow out of the planters and up the trellises providing shade and dramatic floral displays. The vines specified are vigorous climbers with varied bloom times. Planters to be planted and maintained by neighborhood garden clubs.

Riverview Park

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Riverwalk River Birch (Betula nigra) planted next to benches along the riverwalk will provide shade and soften the transition between the wooded upland and the cleared lower terrace. River Birch will handle occasional flooding while it provides beautiful exfoliating bark and a graceful habit.

Sculpture Garden and Parking Lot Stately shade-trees tolerate urban conditions while evoking natural riverbanks. Large trees should be limbed up to maintain sight lines to the river. Interspersed smaller trees provide visual interest.

Planting Plan

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Central Plaza Borders Vegetation defines the edges of the flagstone patio, creating a transition from the surrounding woods, but without blocking views. Plants should be no more than 40’ so that they enclose space when seated but can be seen over when standing. A variety of foliage textures complement the angular qualities of the flagstone patio and wood railing. The space will have full sun to partial shade. Selected plants are tolerant of degraded conditions and require minimal maintenance.

26

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

North Lawn and slope below Sculpture Park Meadow plants provide naturalistic texture without impeding views. A variety of grasses capture evening light while flowers will attract pollinators and provide habitat for birds. Meadows should be mowed once per year in very early spring or late fall to prevent disruption of nesting birds. Mowing time should be varied from year to year to balance competitive advantage amongst species.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Off-leash Areas Surface The dog park’s surface needs to be low maintenance and able to tolerate dog urine and heavy foot traffic. Fescue is reported to have high tolerance for dog urine. The no-mow mix should not require watering and will require only minimal mowing.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Planting Plan

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Tilia cordata

Quercus coccinea

Cornus mas

American Sycamore

Littleleaf Linden

Scarlet Oak

Cornelian cherry Dogwood

Evergreen tree with striking red bark with deep fissures. Older habit is open with twisted branches. 50’-60’ tall. 20’-40’ wide.

Campis radicans

Common Trumpetcreeper Very tolerant vine with 3” long orange trumpet shaped flowers that bloom from June to September.

Campis x tagliabuana

Mme. Galen Tagliabue Trumpetcreeper

Orange flowers. Heat tolerant

Humulus lupulus

Hops

Pale lime green foliage provides backdrop for flowers from other vines. Butterfly attractor with cone-shaped fruit in fall. Buy female.

Classic stately riverfront tree. Grows 75’-100’ tall and wide. Speckled creamy bark. Reliable street tree. 60’-70’ tall. 30’-45’ wide. Fragrant flowers provide forage for pollinators. 50’-75’ high. 40’-50’ wide. Prefers full sun and acidic sandy and dry soils. Medium tolerance to oil, grease metals and insects, and high salt tolerance. Has a striking red fall color and produces acorns which are hard mast for wildlife. Small multistem tree with bright yellow flowers that open in early March before leaves set. Cherry red fruit is eaten by birds. Tolerant of wide range of soil conditions. 20’-25’ tall and 15’-20’ wide.

Clematis ternifolia

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Fall blooming vigorous climber with sweet-scented two inch flowers

Lonicera sempervirens

Trumpet Honeysuckle

Vigorous twining native vine with trumpet shaped flowers

Passiflora caerulea

May pop

Fast growing vine with incredible blue flowers. May require winter protection.

Additional plants will be installed and maintained by local community garden groups. Species to be determined. North Lawn and slope below Sculpture Park Meadow plants provide naturalistic texture without impeding views. A variety of grasses capture evening light while flowers will attract pollinators and provide habitat for birds. Meadows should be mowed once per in very early spring or late fall to prevent disruption of nesting birds. Mowing time should be varied from year to year to balance competitive advantage amongst species.

Sow 15 lb per acre, or 1/3-1/2 lb per 1,000 sq. ft.

Tripsacum dactyloides

Eastern Gamma Grass

15%

Elmyus canadensis

Canada Wild Rye

12%

Andropogon gerardii

Big Bluestem, Niagara

10%

Andropogon scoparius

Little Bluestem

10%

Bromus ciliatus

Fringed Brome Grass

10%

Panicum amarum

Atlantic Coastal Panic Grass

10%

Sorghastrum nutans

Indian Grass

8%

Chamaecrista fasciculate Partridge Pea

6%

Panicum amarum

Atlantic Coastal Panic Grass

5%

Poa palustrus

Fowl Bluegrass

5%

Coreopsis tinctoria

Plains Coreopsis

4%

Rudbeckia hirta

Black Eyed Susan

3%

Desmodium candense

Showy Tick Trefoil

2%

Steep slope soil stabilization (slopes between the Parking Lot and the Northern Dog Park) A mix of cool and warm season grasses establish dense roots in degraded soils stabilizing eroding banks while providing a wispy, naturalistic texture between the Riverwalk and the upland forest. Flowers are included to provide visual interest and feed pollinators. Meadows should be mowed in very early spring or late fall to prevent disruption of nesting birds. Mowing time should be varied from year to year to balance competitive advantage amongst species. Native Steep Slope Mix Sow 30 lb. per acre or 1lb. with Annual Ryegrass per 1,000 sq. ft. Ernst Seeds (Ernmx-181) Lolium multiflorum

Annual Ryegrass

20 %

Andropogon scoparius

Little Bluestem

20 % 2-3 feet tall warm season

Elmyus canadensis

Canada Wild Rye

20 % 3-6 feet tall cool season

Sporobulus asper

Rough Dropseed

10%

27

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Platanus occidentalis

Austrian Pine

Urban tolerant tree with dramatic deeply incised bark. 60’-75’ tall. 40’-50’ wide. Choose male variety to avoid messy beans.

Planters at Entry Plaza and North Gate Vines grow out of the planters and up the trellises providing shade and dramatic floral displays. The vines specified are vigorous climbers with varied bloom times. Bignonia capreolata Crossvine Semi-evergreen view with trumpet-shaped orangered flowers that smell like mocha. Heat tolerant.

Native Upland Wildlife Forage and Cover Meadow Mix (ERNMX-123) Ernst Seeds

Riverview Park

Pinus nigra

Kentucky Coffeetree

Small tree with long racemes of white flowers that are a preferred nectar source for pollinators. Tolerates infertile acid soils. Grows in sun or partial shade. 20’-25’ tall.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Gymnocladus dioica ‘Espreso’

Sourwood

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Sculpture Garden and Parking Lot Stately shade-trees tolerate urban conditions while evoking natural riverbanks. Large trees should be limbed up to maintain sight lines to the river. Interspersed smaller trees provide visual interest. Gingko biloba Gingko Urban tolerant 50-80’ tall tree. Distinctive fan shaped leaves. Purchase male trees to avoid unpleasant odor of fruit. Yellow fall color.

Oxydendrum aboreum

Planting Schedule 1 of 4

Plant Schedule (1 of 3)

OF 31


Autumn Bentgrass

10%

Rudbeckia hirta

Black Eyed Susan

5%

Aster pernanthoides/ novi-belgii

Zigzag Aster/New York Aster Mix

3%

Solidago nemoralis

Gray goldenrod

2%

Butterfly milk weed

Monarch butterfly caterpillar food. 1’-3’ tall. Full sun, high drought tolerance. Likes well drained soil. Orange flowers from June to August.

Asclepias tuberosa

Batisia australis

Blue False Indigo

5’ tall violet spiky perrenial with dark blue flowers that bloom from May to June.

Carex pennsylvanica

Pennsylvania Sedge

16” grass. Tolerates a wide variety of conditions.

Tradescantia subaspera

Zigzag Spiderwort

1-3’ feet tall flowering perrenial. Tolerates moderate shade. Blue flowers from late spring to early summer.

Slope stabilization (between the Ouelette a.k.a. Aiken St. Bridge and the Entry Plaza stairway) Dense growing shrubs stabilize the slope while creating a transition between the urban environment of the central plaza and naturalistic meadow plants north of the stairs. Rhus aromatica ‘Grow-low’ Fragrant Sumac 2’ tall. 8’ spread. Tolerant of diverse conditions. Fragrant leaves, red fall foliage. Spirea spp.

Spirea

Woods Regeneration Existing trees should be maintained, but should be thinned and limbed-up to open sight-lines. In the aftermath of site work (e.g. soil remediation), and as trees die, the following tree species can be planted, most of which are already on-site and demonstrating the ability to tolerate the site’s conditions. Shade tolerant understory shrubs should be planted sparingly throughout the woods to diversify the forest but maintain sight-lines. Woodland ground covers provide flowers and indicate a rich wooded environment.

Gleditisia triacanthos var. inernmis

Prunus serotina

Thornless Honey Locust

Wild black cherry

The thorny version of this tree is common on the site. The tree offers dappled shade and a graceful spreading habit. 50-60’ tall. 20-30’ wide. Multi-stemmed, moderate drought tolerance, not salt tolerant.

Robinia psuedoacadia

Black Locust

Common tree on the site. Nitrogen fixing, vigorous spreader with exceptional rot-resistant wood.

Amalanchier arborea

Downy Serviceberry

Small tree that tolerates a wide variety of conditions. 2-4’ long racemes of white flowers.Edible berries attract birds. 15’-25’ tall.

Carpinus caroliniana

American Hornbeam (Musclewood)

20’-40’ tall small tree with very distinctive muscle textured wood.

Hammamelis virginiana

Common Witchhazel

Native understory shrub or small tree. 15’-20’ tall and wide. Yellow flowers appear very late in season (October to December).

Kalmia latifolia

Mountainlaurel

Native broadleaf evergreen shrub. Gorgeous pinkwhite flowers in 4”-6” inflorescences bloom from May to June. Tolerates shade.

Vaccinium angustifolium

Viburnum acerifolia

Lowbush Blueberry

Mapleleaf Viburnum

½”-2’ tall groundcover. Produces edible berries that attract birds. Likes acidic, low-fertility soils and full sun or partial shade. Requires minimal maintenance. Shade tolerant 4’-6’ tall shrub. Brilliant red fall foliage.

Hobblebush

3’-6’ tall shrub. Showy white flowers May to June. Shade tolerant.

Anemone canadensis

Canada anemone

Spreading flowering perennial. 2’ tall. Blooms May to August. White flowers.

Convallaria majalis

Lily of the Valley

Spreading woodland groundcover for light to dense shde. 6”-8” tall. With fragrant white flowers in spring. Red inedible berries.

Tiarella sp.

Foamflower

Woodland groundcover. Prefers light to dense shade in well-drained soils that retain some moisture. Grows 10”–12” tall in a mound shaped habit. Foliage often variegated and deeply cut. Bottle brush-like flowers in late spring and throughout the summer.

Central Plaza Borders Vegetation needs to define the edges of the flagstone patio, creating a transition from the surrounding woods, but without blocking views. Plants should be no more than 40” so that they enclose space when seated but can be seen over when standing. A variety of foliage textures complement the angular qualities of the flagstone patio and wood railing. The space will have full sun to partial shade. Selected plants are tolerant of degraded conditions and require minimal maintenance. Andropogon scoparius (aka Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium)

Warm season bunch grass. 2’-3’ tall. Full sun. droughttolerant.

Deschampia cespitosa

Clumping grass. Coolseason grower. Cloud-like fine textured inflorescences will be luminous when backlight by sunset. Several varieties are 1’-2’ tall.

Hair grass

Caragana frutex ‘Globosa’ Russian Peashrub

2’ tall globe-shaped suckering shrub. Bright yellow 1” flowers from May to June.

28

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Agrostis perennans

Viburnum lantanoides

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

10%

40’-60’ tall and wide. Urban tolerant tree with brilliant red fall foliage.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Fringed Brome

Red Maple

Riverview Park

Bromus ciliatus

Acer rubrum

Planting Schedule 2 of 4

Plant Schedule (2 of 3)

OF 31


Daphne x Burkwoodii “Carol Mackie”

Daphne

3’-4’ handsome plant. Cream edged blue-green leaves. Pinkish-white flowers in May. Sweet fragrance. May be difficult to establish.

Fothergilla gardenii

Dwarf Fothergilla

2’-3’ tall shrub that has brilliant yellow, orange and red fall foliage. White bottlebrush shaped flowers in April and May.

Panicum virgatum

Switch Grass

4’-6’ tall grass tolerant of moderate salt and acidic conditions.

Pinus mugo

Viburnum acerifolia

Mugo Pine

Mapleleaf Viburnum

Adapted to extremes of pH and climate. Should be clipped in naturalistic shape below waist height (not meatball shaped!). Shade tolerant shrub with purple fall color. White flowers in June followed by black fruit. 4’-6’ tall.

Riverwalk Betula nigra planted next to benches along the riverwalk will provide shade and soften the transition between the wooded upland and the cleared lower terrace. Betula Nigra will handle occasional flooding while it provides beautiful exfoliating bark and a graceful habit. Betula nigra River Birch 40’-70’ high and 40’-60’

wide multi-stemmed tree with red-brown exfoliating bark.

Festuca spp.

SR3100 Hard Fescue Scaldis Hard Fescue Dawson Red Fescue Creeping Red Fescue SR5100 Chewings Fescue Sheep Fescue

Plant with Annual Rye (Lolium multiflorum) or Oats (Avena sativa) as a nurse crop.

Off-leash Area Vegetative Screens These plants will be located outside of the fences, especially near the entrance gates. Plants are intended to block the view of dogs approaching the off-leash areas’ entrances from dogs already inside. Plants should generally be about 36” tall. Occasional plants can be taller provided they do not block views of the river or present safety concerns. These plants need to tolerate degraded soils and high nitrogen content present in dog urine that will run off of the off-leash areas. In addition to shrubs, ornamental corn and gourds are suggested to uptake excess nitrogen. Ilex glabra ‘Nigra’ Inkberry Billowy, spreading, broadleaf evergreen shrub. 2 ½’ tall and 3’ wide. Black fruit. Lustrous dark green leaves Indigofera kirilowii

Kirilow Indigo

Very acid tolerant small shrub with bright green foliage and rose-colored flowers. 3’-6’ tall.

Kalmia angustifolia

Sheep Laurel

1’-3’ tall evergreen shrub with pink flowers.

Myrica pensylvanica

Northern bayberry

September fruit persists to April. Well drained acidic soils. Needs to be clipped to maintain low height.

Potentilla fructicosa

Shrubby Cinquefoil

1 ½’-4’ shrub. Extensive flowering from June to frost. Varies in habit from groundcover to shrub. Very adaptable to almost all soil conditions

Cucurbita pepo

Ornamental gourds

Vines that will grow on fence. Absorb nitrogen. Will neutralize dog urine.

Zea mays

Ornamental corn

Absorbs nitrogen. Will neutralize dog urine.

Pennsylvania Sedge

Eupatorium maculatum

Joe-Pye Weed

Cornus stolonifera

Red Osier Dogwood

Appealing red stems. Can be coppiced to maintain shrub size.

Vaccinium corymbosum

Highbush Blueberry

Acid and salt tolerant.

29

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Spreading small shrub dark green deeply incised leaves. Likes low fertility sun or light shade. Needs no maintanence. 2’-4’ tall and 4’-8’ wide.

Carex pennsylvanica

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Sweet Fern

2 ½’-3 ½’ tall shrub. Sweet scented 6” floral racemes. Tolerates full sun to dense shade. Heat and drought tolerant.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Comptonia peregrina

Summersweet Clethra

Vegetated Swales Vegetated swales filter pollution, including dog urine, before it enters the river. Specified plants can tolerate wet and dry conditions. Acorus americana Sweet Flag

Riverview Park

Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’

Off-leash Areas Surface The off-leash areas’ surfaces need to be low maintenance and able to tolerate dog urine and heavy foot traffic. Fescue is reported to have high tolerance for dog urine. The no-mow mix should not require watering and will require only minimal mowing. No Mow Fescue Mix From Prarie Nursery

Planting Schedule 3 of 4

Plant Schedule (3 of 3)

OF 31


$826,343 $359,844

Notes The cost of soil remediation and barriers in the dog parks may be reduced if on-site survey determines that the extent of contamination by dumping is limited to areas smaller than the dog park. A contingency of 15% is used due to the site’s steep slopes narrow nature. Costs include excavation and installation where appropriate. Costs do not include taxes.

Parking Lot Porous concrete paving $21 1260 sy Service road paving $21 197 sy Lighting (street lamps) $2,000 5 each Signage $2,000 1 each Wheelstops $250 14 each Total Cost (Parking lot)

$26,460 $4,137 $10,000 $2000 $2,800 $45,397

Entry Plaza Surface (brick on sand course, aggregate base) $225 270 sy $60,750 Seat walls/planter walls (18” depth $75 331 lf $24,825 Signage $2,000 1 each $2,000 Trellis structures $24,000 1 each $24,000 Solar lights $4,000 2 each $8,000 Trash receptacle $1,000 1 each $1,000 Total Cost (Entry Plaza) $120,575 North Entrace Sign $2,000 1 each $2,000 Planters $1,500 2 each $3,000 Trellis structure $6,000 1 each $6,000 Trash receptacle $1,000 1 each $1,000 Total Cost (North Entrance) $12,000 Riverwalk Fencing $40 1535 lf $61,400 Concrete benches $75 250 lf $18,750 Porous concrete landings and pads $100 10 sy $1,000 Trashcans $6 1000 each $6,000 Total Cost (Riverwalk phase I) $87,150

South Dog Park Hydroseed $4,000 0.48 acre $1,920 Surface (sift soil to 12” depth) $60 770 cy $46,200 Dog proof barrier (installed at 12” depth) $20 2320 sy $46,400 Fencing $35 700 lf $24,500 Entrance gates $300 6 each $1,800

$9,000 $2,500 $750 $12,000

$148,045

Paths Entrance to woods west $20 723 lf $14,460 Woods east $20 245 lf $4,900 From central plaza to dog park (west) $20 52 lf $1,040 From dog park to east woods loop and exit $20 102 lf $2,040 From VFW to north dog park $20 131 lf $2,620 From North ramp to dog park ramp $20 72 lf $1,440 Ramp to north dog park $20 6 lf $120 Park benches on upper terrace $1,600 3 each $4,800 Low voltage lighting $8 1381 lf $11,048 Trash receptacles $1,000 4 each $4,000 Total Cost (Paths) $46,468 Ramps North Ramp (6’ wide) $84 195 lf $16,380 Southern Ramp (3’ wide) $42 298 lf $12,516 Low voltage lighting $8 493 lf $3,944 Total (Ramps) $32,349 Stairs Southern Stairs $60 258 sf $15,480 Step lights $1,800 1 ls $1,800 Total (Stairs) $17,280 Total Costs and Work $616,674 Design Fees at 15% $92,501 Contingency at 15% $92,501 Mobilization at 4% $24,667 Total Estimated Phase I Cost $826,343

Phase 2

Unit Cost Qty Unit Item Cost Riverwalk Solar lights (1 every 60 ft) $4,000 26 each $104,00 Total Cost (Riverwalk Phase II) $18,750 North Dog Park Hydroseed $4,000 0.54 acre $2,160

Total Estimated Project Cost

$1,186,187

30

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

This can be broken down into 2 phases. Phase 1 cost: Phase 2 cost:

$1,186,187

each each each each

Riverview Park

Total estimated project cost:

$1,475 $1,500

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Summary

sy each

Surface (sift soil to 12” depth) $60 870 cy $52,200 Dog proof barrier (installed at 12” depth) $20 2600 sy $52,000 Fencing $35 760 lf $26,600 Entrance gates $300 6 each $1,800 Entrance surface (decomposed granite w/ aggregate base) $25 128 sy $3,200 Bowser station $500 3 each $1,500 Circular benches around trees $3,000 3 each $9,000 Picnic bench $2,500 1 each $2,500 Dog compost station $150 5 each $750 Solar lights $4,000 3 each $12,000 Total Cost (North Dog Park) $163,710 Sun Terrace Granite Seating Blocks $3,600 3 each $10,800 Total Cost (Sun Terrace) $10,800 Central Plaza Flagstone surfacing w/aggregate base $270 100 sy $27,000 Railing $30 60 lf $1,800 Furnishings $4,000 1 each $4,000 Total Cost (Central Plaza) $32,800 Stairs Middle Stairs $60 258 sf $15,480 Step lights $1,800 1 ls $1,800 Total Cost (Stairs) $17,280 Ramps Central ramp (3’ wide) $42 304 lf $12,768 Low voltage lighting $8 304 lf $2,432 Total Cost (Ramps) $15,200 Sculpture Garden Custom sculptures $ -- 4 each $ -- Rubber safety pads (100 sq ft) $2,500 4 each $10,000 Total Cost (Sculpture Garden) $10,000 Total Costs and Work $268,540 Design Fees at 15% $40,281 Contingency at 15% $40,281 Mobilization at 4% $10,742 Total Estimated Phase 2 Cost $359,844

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

These cost estimates are provided for informational purposes only. Detailed construction drawings are needed before reliable costing can be developed.

Unit Cost Qty Unit Item Cost Site Work Clearing and Grubbing $5,000 2 acre $10,000 Fence Demolition $10 1382 lf $13,820 Slope stabilization $5 1000 sy $5,000 Rough grading $5,000 2 acre $10,000 Total Cost (Site Work) $38,820 Planting Trees (2’’ caliper) $300 40 each $12,000 Ground cover $13,000 4 sf $52,000 Tree work (limbing up, select removal) $3,000 1.5 acres $4,500 Total Cost (Planting) $68,500

Entrance surface (decomposed granite w/ aggregate base) $25 59 Bowser station $500 3 Circular benches around trees $3,000 3 Picnic bench $2,500 1 Dog compost station $150 5 Solar lights $4,000 3 Total Cost (South Dog Park)

Costing & Phasing

Costing & Phasing

Phase 1

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OF 31

31

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Riverview Park

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

The proposed Riverview Park sits between the Merrimack River and St. Louis Playground. It offers the residents of Lowell the opportunity to connect to the river, to nature, and to each other.

Design in Context

Design in Context


Appendices


Mid Upper Terrace Southern Upper Terrace Total acreage

Photograph A: Steep slopes on site separate upper and lower terraces.

1.03

1.03

1.03

0.63

0.67

0.78

0.57 0.19

0.64 0.28

1.27

0.24

0.43

0.57

2.66

3.05

3.65

A’

Key

The site is divided into four areas: the lower terrace, the upper terrace north of the radio station, the upper terrace between the radio station and the service entrance, and the southern portion south of the entrance. The middle portion of the upper terrace has two distinct flat areas separated by slopes in the 5-10% range.

0-3%

A 4-5%

6-10%

11-19%

20+%

Lower terrace

Upper terrace

A’

A 0 5 10

Slope

Erosion

VFW Highway and sidewalk

20

30

40 FT

Location and direction of photograph

A

1

OF 6

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

The entire site pitches towards the southwest and the Merrimack River, which provides drinking water to the City of Lowell. Any precipitation that lands on the site is either absorbed by ground and vegetation, or runs into

Lower Terrace Northern Upper Terrace

Riverview Park

The upper terrace varies in width from 40 to 150 feet and totals approximately 3.6 acres. The lower terrace is long and narrow (about 25 feet wide) and has an area of just over 1 acre.

Contiguous Area in Acres by Grade and Location on Site 0-3% 0-5% 0-10%

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Southwestern exposure means that the slopes receive full sun through most of the day.

• Special care should be taken to catch and treat runoff originating from any locations where animal waste and other pollutants are likely to be present. • Slopes should be stabilized to prevent further erosion. • Upper and lower terraces should be used to provide distinct and different experiences.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

A steep slope (greater than 20%) runs the length of the site, dividing it into upper and lower terraces. The slope is less pronounced to the northwest, becoming more so as it continues to the southwest. The slope is wooded and there are areas of erosion.

Recommendations

Appendix I: Slopes & Drainage

Slopes & Drainage

the river, potentially carrying pollutants from illegal dumps on the site and human and animal waste. Runoff from the neighboring area is caught by storm drains along the VFW Highway and does not enter the site.


B

There is currently no parking on site. Public parking is available across the VFW Highway to the southeast. This parking also serves several public baseball fields and can be heavily used at times.

A

Appendix I: Access & Circulation

The sidewalk alongside the site is used by joggers and walkers. C

Photograph A: The chain link fence separating the VFW Highway sidewalk and the project site. Photograph C: The service entrance seen from across the VFW Highway.

Key Major pedestrian route Minor pedestrian route Vehicle route Pedestrian access problem Location and direction of photograph D

Photograph B: Northern site entrance showing fence gap and dirt path.

Photograph D: The southern pedestrian entrance from the levee.

2

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Limited access prevents the site being used as part of a larger circuit, creates confusion as to how to enter the area from the outside, and contributes to a feeling of being trapped when within it.

• The chain link fence could be removed to improve pedestrian access from the street. • Improved access at the northern and southern ends should be considered. • Since service access must be maintained, it could be upgraded to allow public vehicular access to future parking if on-site parking is required. • Pedestrian access at the service entrance can be continued but care must be taken to discourage illegal crossing of the VFW Highway at this location.

Riverview Park

Steep slopes impede circulation between the upper and lower terraces within the site. The paved asphalt service road covering the sewer interceptor provides a smooth trail along the river while informal paths wind

All three access points are areas of pedestrian conflict. The northern pedestrian access is unclear and the south one is possibly intimidating. Use of the service entrance by pedestrians promotes illegal crossing of the VFW Highway.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

An existing chain link fence along the VFW Highway limits access to the site. There is a gap in the fence opening to a dirt track at the northern end of the site and an unpaved service vehicle entrance about midway along the fence. Additional access is via a pedestrian path under the Ouelette Bridge (a.k.a. Aikent Street Bridge) from the levee to the south.

Recommendations

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Access & Circulation

through the upper terrace.


A

The lower terrace is shielded from the VFW Highway noise by elevation change but is exposed to noise from LeLacheur Stadium on the southwest bank during baseball games. The elevation change further reduces visibility from the road and contributes to a general perception that the area is isolated and dangerous. Photograph B: Ouelette bridge seen from the southern end of the site.

A’ C

A

Photograph C: The Merrimack River, downtown Lowell, and the Ouelette Bridge as seen from the lower terrace.

Key Views Noise Blocked sight-line

Lower Terrace

Upper Terrace

Location and direction of photograph

VFW Highway and sidewalk

A’

A 0 5 10

Steep Slope

20

30

40 FT

B

3

OF 6

Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Vegetation blocks views to and from the interior of the upper terrace but does serve to muffle traffic noise from the VFW Highway.

Riverview Park

Photograph A: Pawtucket Falls seen from the northern end of the site.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

• Viewing areas should be located to take advantage of attractive vistas. • Vegetation should be thinned or cleared to improve sight-lines into and from the interior of the upper terrace. • Sight-lines from the VFW Highway to the lower terrace should be established. • Active uses (examples include parking or exercise locations) should be sited on the upper terrace. More passive uses should be sited on the quieter, lower terrace.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Attractive views (of Pawtucket Falls, the Merrimack River, Ouelette Bridge a.k.a Aiken Street Bridge, and Lowell) can be seen from all along the lower terrace and southwestern edge of the upper terrace.

Recommendations

Appendix I: Views & Noise

Views & Noise


There is also anecdotal evidence of industrial waste dumping by a now defunct coal gasification plant (Colonial Gas Company). It is worth noting that the same company is implicated in dumping at a designated brownfield in Lowell currently undergoing restoration (the former Costa’s Landfill at 89-103 Billerica Street). Some of the waste in that case—a blue-green waste product that caught fire on exposure to air—is consistent with anecdotal reports for this site.

A

Key Trash dumping Steep slope Erosion Location and direction of photograph Photograph A: Erosion showing buried glass to a depth of several feet in the soil profile.

Photograph B: Typical example of waste dumping on the site.

B

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

There is widespread evidence of active trash dumping on site. Areas of erosion also expose buried glass to the depth of several feet consistent with anecdotal evidence that the site was used as a glass and bottle dump. As slopes erode, bottles and broken glass are exposed, posing a hazard to walkers and animals.

Riverview Park

Soil maps classify the site soils as Udorthents 653A, essentially urban fill, typical of locations where the topsoil has been removed and the subsoil heavily disturbed by cut and fill.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

• A hazardous waste cleanup professional should be contracted to evaluate the site as a potential brownfield. • Slopes should be stabilized to prevent further Recommendations exposure of glass. • In areas of use by people or animals, soil should • either Viewing areasofshould located along the be cleaned buriedbe debris, replaced, or lower terrace and the southwestern edge of capped. the upper terrace.be removed. • Existing trash should • Vegetation should be thinned or cleared to improve sight-lines into and from the interior of the upper terrace. • Sight-lines from the V.F.W. Highway to the lower terrace should be established. • Active uses (examples include parking or exercise locations) should be sited on the upper terrace. More passive uses should be sited on the quieter, lower terrace.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

SOILS & DUMPING

Recommendations

Appendix I: Soils & Dumping

Soils & Dumping


Recommendations

B

Key Existing Tree Canopy

Photograph A: A 2.5’ diameter honey locust surrounded by her daughters. Note the 5-10” thorns on the trunk.

Photograph C: Sumac springing up by the corner of the VFW Highway and the Ouelette Bridge indicates early stages of succession.

Location and direction of photograph

C

Riverview Park

Photograph B: Japanese barberry invading the upper terrace points to a history of disturbance on the site.

Appendix I: Vegetation

A

5

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

The upper terrace is thickly wooded. The canopy is dominated by honey locust, black locust, and box elder. There is a distinct pattern of nurse trees with two-to-three-foot diameter trunks surrounded by dense offspring, which have diameters between six inches and a foot. Opportunistic species including Japanese knotweed, honeysuckle, and Japanese barberry appear to be colonizing the understory. Nevertheless, this site is likely providing important habitat for urban wildlife. It also provides a unique experiential contrast to Lowell’s existing parks which are dominated by ballfields, hardscape, and manicured lawns.

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

• An arborist should assess the health and value of trees on the site. • Trees above 18” in diameter should be maintained. • Trees should be thinned and/or limbed up to create views into and through the site. • Understory vegetation should be thinned to allow passage through the site. • Opportunistic species should be managed to encourage recolonization by native species.

DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Vegetation


DILLON SUSSMAN & aNDREW wEIR Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | PO Box 179 | Conway, MA 01341 413-369-4044, www.csld.edu Spring 2008

Appendix II Public Meetings Two public meetings were organized by the Centralville Neighborhood Action Group (a volunteer community organization) and facilitated by the Conway student team. The first meeting was held at the East End Club in Lowell on April 30, 2008, the second at the McAuliffe School in Lowell on May 19, 2008. Attendance was about 10 at the first meeting, and approximately 60 at the second.

Two initial alternatives were presented at the second public meeting to prompt debate about uses for the site.

A lively discussion of possibilities for the site at the second public meeting.

A member of Lowell Unleashed, a local dog owners coalition, takes notes at the first public meeting.

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Not for construction. This drawing is part of a student project and is not based on a legal survey.

Members of the public express concerns about safety on the site.

Riverview Park

A dog park On-site parking Llighting Walking paths Sitting places with views of the river A sculpture walk A natural experience, particularly for children.

Appendix II: Public Meetings

• • • • • • •

city of lowell DIVISION OF pLANNING AND dEVELOPMENT JFK Civic Center, 50 Arcand Drive Lowell, MA 01852

Overall, the public expressed strong concerns about safety on the site. They also wanted:

Lowell's Riverview Park Master Plan  

Dillon Sussman and Andrew Weir Conway School Spring 2008 For the Division of Planning and Development City of Lowell, Massachusetts

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