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in this issue + President’s Letter (PAGE 1) + Awards (PAGE 4) + Celebration+ (PAGE 15) + Hawks Hollow Nature Playground (PAGE 16) + Landscapes, Nature and Healing (PAGE 18)

elevation A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE ILLINOIS CHAPTER American Society of Landscape Architects www.il-asla.org

President’s Letter


t is an honor and a privilege to present the Illinois Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects’ Folio for 2015.

Folio showcases the outstanding design talents of Illinois firms in the project categories of design; communications; planning and analysis; and student submissions. These projects represent the best our design community has to offer. This commemorative publication is distributed within the public realm and to our distinguished legislators all across the state to communicate the rich design diversity, technical knowledge, and positive impact of Illinois landscape architects. As evidenced by these extraordinary projects, ILASLA members continue to make a difference in the places we live, work, and recreate. Creativity cannot be contained. While the statistics on unemployment and the economy still fluctuate, the construction industry and development trends across

the state, and specifically in the Chicago market, are at an all-time high, and landscape architecture seems to have rebounded and is flourishing again. Project leads are increasing and those who have long been out of work are finding employment. I hope and trust that the momentum of our profession will grow exponentially in the years to come.

THE BEST WAY TO PREDICT YOUR FUTURE IS TO CREATE IT. — ABRAHAM LINCOLN As a matter of fact, this is an exciting time for landscape architects in Illinois. With the Barack Obama Presidential Library— a high profiled national and international destination—coming to the South Side of Chicago, it represents an outstanding opportunity for vibrant growth and an economic development explosion within the surrounding neighborhoods. Its planned South Side location is no small matter as

Dorchester Art and Housing Collaborative — site design group

it will be the first presidential library to be placed in an economically challenged community. The Presidential Library has the potential to revitalize the area, fueling both economic and cultural expansion. What a prime opportunity for landscape architects to command a seat at the design table and bring both an increased public awareness to our profession, and the professional expertise that licensed landscape architects can provide: vision, imagination, and technical precision. “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” I love these words by Abraham Lincoln, and feel they are fitting for the ILASLA membership and the entire landscape architecture profession. Our mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Therefore, we must not be frightened by the challenges of reality, but know that we can positively and sustainably impact this world and our place within it. [continued on page 22]


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Chapter Events + Highlights


ILASLA Oktoberfest OCTOBER 13, 2016

Kaiser Tiger • 1415 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601 For more information visit : il-asla.org.

Open House Chicago OCTOBER 15, 2016 The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago is a free public festival on October 15 and 16, 2016, that offers behind-the-scenes access to 150 buildings across Chicago. Explore the hidden gems and architectural treasures of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods—all for free. For more information visit openhousechicago.org

Chicago Architecture + Design College Day OCTOBER 15, 2016 Chicago Architecture + Design College Day is a free event open to high school and college students, parents, teachers and counselors interested in learning more about careers in: architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and construction management. Nearly 50 college and universities will be present from all over the United States. Representatives will be available to provide information and answer questions on their respective degree programs. For more information and to register, visit: chicagocareerday.org


ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo OCTOBER 21-24, 2016


New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center


Join the largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students in the world to gain perspective and establish new connections within the profession. For more information visit: aslameeting2016.com


Elevation has a circulation of more than 5,000 copies and is published quarterly by ILASLA. Produced by IMAGO.

WE’VE GONE DIGITAL! This issue, as well as previous issues of Elevation and Folio, are available for download at www.il-asla.org.


www.il-asla.org 3

ILASLA 2015 AWARDS PRESIDENT’S AWARD Modern Lakefront HOERR SCHAUDT LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS The suburbs north of Chicago along Lake Michigan present some of the area’s most magnificent views of the water. The property’s 42’ high bluff along the coast offers vistas that create the sensation of floating on the lake itself and was the primary reason the homeowners selected this site. As the landscape gradually descends the bluff, a simple planting palette of grasses and groundcover withstand the tough winter conditions of the lake. The more private areas of the house are located in a simple rectangular form that appears to float at the edge of the bluff. This is the only portion of the house that is visible at the front entrance which was treated as sculpture, designing the front landscape to artfully reveal the striking architecture gradually as one approaches along a sweeping, 450-foot drive. A richly layered, Midwestern plant palette creates an immersive experience of color and texture in every season. Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects sought to create a landscape that appears as though there is no separation between the architectural ideas and the landscape concepts.

HONOR AWARD Grant Park Skate Park ALTAMANU The 2.5-acre project site was once the former location of the Central Station - an iconic Chicago train station that stood from 1893 to 1974. Altamanu worked with the Chicago Park District, the Grant Park Conservancy, different user groups, and the community to develop the space into a multi-use wheel friendly area and space for small performances and outdoor exhibitions. The plan utilizes the site’s changes in grade to create a series of levels for different uses and special events, the skate park is located at the lower level of the rail lines, allowing spectators views into the space from above. Central elongated platforms and stairs are directly influenced by historic photos of the central platform once occupying the site. This highly successful multiuse space; public park, skate park, performance space, and sculpture park, has brought new life to the southern edge of Grant Park.


HONOR AWARD Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery SMITH GROUP JJR As prime design consultant SmithGroupJJR designed a major expansion of this national cemetery located on the site of the former Joliet Army Ammunition Facility. In addition to providing approximately 20,000 grave sites for Illinois area Veterans and their family members, the team developed designs to remedy maintenance and operational issues. The design objective was to achieve the program requirements, yet go beyond the program (within budget) to resolve all visitor and client concerns adversely impacting the user experience at this National Cemetery. The design philosophy was to surpass the serviceable cemetery goal and create a final resting environment worthy of our honorable Veterans and their families. Environmentally, the overall development plan sought to preserve large swaths of mature woodlands and minimally disturb the existing natural systems on-site. Over 30 acres of native prairie plantings were reintroduced on-site to minimize maintenance, provide wildlife habitat, and connect to the nearby Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Reserve.

HONOR AWARD Keller Elementary Learning Garden CHRISTY WEBBER LANDSCAPES Located in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood of Chicago, Keller Elementary Regional Gifted Magnet School attracts a diverse range of students from all over the City. Through the Building School Gardens program, Openlands utilizes City funding to design and construct learning gardens within Chicago Public School property. With Openlands guidance, the Christy Webber Landscapes team worked with Keller Elementary’s Garden Committee to develop a concept that included an outdoor classroom, a butterfly garden, a rock garden, and an edibles garden. With a tiered bench area designed to accommodate seating for a 30-student classroom, teachers have the ability to conduct structured learning sessions while being surrounded by nature. Working with the Chicago Public Art Group, the students made unique ceramic pieces that were used to create a mosaic mural along the sides of the tiered bench. During the construction phase of the project children of all ages and abilities equally partook in the digging and placement of all plants within the perennial areas of the garden.


ILASLA 2015 AWARDS HONOR AWARD Loyola Coastal Campus Signage and Sustainability Website SMITH GROUP JJR Loyola University Chicago is dedicated to smart water management and protecting its neighbor, Lake Michigan. The Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES) at Loyola is advancing Loyola’s work to create a more sustainable university community through education. Permanent signs have been installed throughout campus and a comprehensive sustainability website has been developed to raise awareness about the landscape and water management strategies being implemented. Overall campus maps highlight the location of green roofs and other green infrastructure. These were digitally translated into an interactive campus map on the Institute’s website. By providing the information through multiple media, the sustainability campaign expands beyond the campus community and has the ability to reach the public at large. The Institute utilized a new technique by employing designer-developed analytical diagrams and illustrative schematics to communicate how landscape design and green infrastructure works to achieve the University’s specific sustainability goals.

HONOR AWARD Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines and Policies SITE DESIGN GROUP The Chicago Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Policies and Guidelines (SUIG) provides a guide for successful and sustainable street and transportation improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and vehicles alike. SUIG establishes a citywide approach for integrating environmental performance goals into infrastructure design, as well as a fiveyear implementation plan for all Department of Transportation projects. The SUIG document is composed of two separate sections: Volume 1 lays out explicit sustainability goals, and illustrates how different strategies come together. Volume 2 outlines specific strategies, references, and resources to help the audience accomplish the sustainability goals. The SUIG guidelines are distinctive in their emphasis on tracking and recording quantitative data. As the world of sustainability evolves it is pivotal to track the successes and challenges quantitatively to better under the return on investment. They are also integrated with the City of Chicago’s Complete Streets Chicago Design Guidelines. Together these documents comprise a progressive vision for implementing sustainable infrastructure for all of Chicago.


HONOR AWARD New Park, New Legacy HOERR SCHAUDT LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Several years ago Herman Park, located in Houston, rededicated fifteen acres of the park as McGovern Centennial Gardens as part of its 100th anniversary. Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects designed McGovern Gardens as a series of experiences that suit a wide variety of audiences - from the casual weekend visit to the expert gardener attending classes. The entrance promenade provides a defined entry into the gardens. Once inside the central lawn provides a long view to a 30-foot high garden mount with a cascading waterfall. Visitors can walk the spiral path to the top of the mount to view the entire garden. Multiple gardens surround the central lawn and mount, allowing visitors to stroll through a variety of landscapes. New entrances improve connections in and around the park. This level of community connectivity furthers the gardens’ design mission to become a destination for everyone in Houston to enjoy.

MERIT AWARD Buckhead Atlanta HOERR SCHAUDT LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Buckhead Atlanta is a high profile, mixed-use development in Georgia’s capital city. Upscale and targeted to luxury retailers, the new district is a mix of 1.5 million square feet of luxury retail, restaurants, office space and residences set within the existing neighborhood of Buckhead Village. Hoerr Schaudt led the design of the streetscape for the entire development. The goal was to make the landscape distinctive and welcoming. Variety, scale, and shade infuse the street level with an energy and vibrancy that are typical of a thriving urban environment. Diversity in street materials and styles help Buckhead feel like it was built over time and to create a sense of discovery. The design features three distinct planting styles, 28 container options, multiple planter curb treatments and a mix of paving materials. The lush plantings beneath the trees and along the sidewalk are more like gardens than streetscape plantings in their complexity and design. The gardens create a soft buffer between strolling pedestrians and cars driving into the neighborhood.


ILASLA 2015 AWARDS MERIT AWARD Central Park Bluff Stairs SMITHGROUPJJR The City of Highland Park’s Central Park had been the site of a bluff staircase since the early 1980’s, providing pedestrian access to the lakefront. Over time the bluff has shifted repeatedly, as unstable and highly saturated soils caused by glacial deposits eroded. In this project, a new multi-use stairway was designed to reestablish a direct pedestrian connection between the City and its public lakefront and beach. Early on in the design process the opportunity was recognized not just for a connection, but for a multi-level civic space, wherein users can determine their own level of engagement and find memorable topographic experiences no matter how far they choose to travel vertically along the stairs. The material palette was critical to the design intent, and each component was selected not just for its function but for its contributions to an aesthetic feeling of the stairs as a natural outgrowth from the bluff landscape. Also essential to the design were ecological sensitivity, durability, longevity and ease of maintenance in order to limit the burden of an onerous operating budget for many years to come.

MERIT AWARD Evanston Township High School Campus Improvements 3D DESIGN STUDIO Over the past five years, 3D Design Studio has worked with the Evanston Township High School to plan and transform the school grounds into a beautiful, inspirational and welcoming environment, coming to be known more like a university campus appearance. The new campus image and identity has not only enhanced the visual, social and educational experience, but has given a great sense of pride to the students, faculty and alumni alike. The primary objective and intent was to create a campus beautification master plan that completely renovated the appearance and character of all areas experienced by students, faculty, and visitors. The focus became three primary areas, the public entry off Dodge Avenue, the student entries on the west side of school, and the renovation of the primary tennis courts for the school. Stormwater management became a key component, incorporating a rain garden for storage and making it a focal feature of the project. The use of permeable pavers has been applauded within the community for both its aesthetic appearance and its function for collecting stormwater.


MERIT AWARD Dorchester Art and Housing Collaborative SITE DESIGN GROUP The Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative is a unique community of mixed-income housing for artists, arts professionals, and those with a creative impulse located in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. Previously abandoned buildings were redeveloped through a collaborative design process to serve artists and community members with the intent of fostering dialogue and collaboration between them. The landscape design is informal and contemplative, while defining fully accessible communal and private spaces that foster a feeling of security and respite. An inviting entrance to the Art Center emphasizes the unique identity of the housing collaborative through an open and flexible plaza that extends the gathering space from the indoor center to the front yard. In the back, the courtyard design of the building configuration was maintained, allowing a private front and back porch for each residential unit that feeds into informal, playful, and communal spaces.

MERIT AWARD Hillshire Brands Roof Terrace WOLFF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Hillshire Brands is a self-described “meat-centric” food solutions company. In 2012 the company relocated from the suburbs to its current location to Chicago’s West Loop in a building thoroughly renovated to accommodate Hillshire’s operations and employees. As part of the renovation Hillshire committed to providing attractive, inviting outdoor spaces where employees could enjoy their lunch break, participate in special events, hold meetings in a non-traditional setting, or simply decompress from the work environment. The space includes an outdoor demonstration kitchen with a communal harvest-type table and other seating. Lounge areas are located on the perimeter, in order to enjoy outstanding views of the surrounding Chicago skyline. Meeting areas have overhead shade structures and conference tables suitable for meetings or more informal uses. Pathways allow spaces to flow together, facilitate circulation, and encourage chance encounters between employees who are otherwise separated by space planning or corporate organization.


ILASLA 2015 AWARDS MERIT AWARD Mandeville Canyon Home BARKER EVANS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Mandeville Canyon is located in southern California west of Los Angeles. The property has characteristics of a typical canyon profile: rocky, steep slopes and sandy, flat floors. It was this unique setting that guided and informed the design decisions; from the treatment of the slopes and flatter areas, to the siting of the house and major landscape elements. The property was divided into three zones, zone one includes three terraced spaces. The lowest terrace accommodates the house, a seating patio with fire element and a gravel dining terrace. The middle terrace contains a pool, spa and play lawn for the kids. The upper terrace is reserved as a native Sycamore grove. Zone two accommodates a tennis court and vegetable garden. Zone three is a protected hillside re-vegetated with native species typically found on canyon slopes. The project also models green practices; a plant palette that integrates native and drought tolerant plant species; pervious surfaces such as gravel and decomposed granite wherever practically possible; a large vegetable garden watered entirely with the household’s grey water system.

MERIT AWARD Northeastern Illinois Roadsides HEY AND ASSOCIATES Within the 6-county area of northeastern Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation is responsible for over 28,060 centerline miles of roadways and over 10,000 acres of roadside landscapes. This project was the culmination of a multi-year effort to document thousands of acres of roadsides and comprehensively, efficiently, and sustainably guide the development and management of these public landscapes. Hey and Associates, Inc. collected field data necessary to prepare GIS-based mapping and databases for thousands of acres of expressway and state arterial route roadsides. Data collected and mapped included vegetative cover type like turf, prairie, wetlands, forest, or landscape, as well as invasive weed populations, and roadside structures. Results of these efforts will make roadside landscape maintenance more sustainable and efficient through reduced mowing frequency, more efficient use of herbicides, and the use of integrated pest management techniques. Future roadside design work should consider the cover type classification system and associated routine maintenance plans so that new roadside landscapes are sustainable – ecologically, culturally, and economically.


MERIT AWARD Morgan Shoal Framework Plan SMITHGROUPJJR The Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago have been improving sections of the Lake Michigan shoreline over the last 20 years. One of the last remaining sections of this improvement effort is the narrow strip of parkland from 45th Street to 51st Street, called Morgan Shoal. Built in the 1920’s, the Morgan Shoal shoreline is failing and no longer protecting Burnham Park and Lake Shore Drive to the west from flooding and erosion. The Morgan Shoal Framework Plan report was conceived in order to document site challenges and remedies for this natural occurrence. The complex issues of shoreline protection, cost considerations, and maintaining and expanding views were important to capture in a short yet comprehensive document that could easily be shared with stakeholders, the community and general public. The Morgan Shoal Framework Plan report was developed to share with the general public and assist in securing funding. Overwhelming public input demonstrated that Morgan Shoal was something to be preserved and kept for future generations to explore.

MERIT AWARD Park 566 Framework Plan HEY AND ASSOCIATES As part of the 1909 Plan of Chicago, Daniel Burnham envisioned a continuous lakefront park network stretching from end to end of the city’s shoreline. Positioned between Rainbow Beach Park and Steelworkers Park, Park 566 encompasses approximately 70 acres of land along the lakefront which will be an integral part in completing Burnham’s vision. Although today Park 566 looks like vacant land, not long ago the site was part of the former U.S. Steel Mill at South Works. The framework plan for Park 566 incorporates the industrial past and lakefront location while embracing a variety of recreational and educational opportunities. Park features including overlooks, trails, multi-purpose open space, large expanses of native vegetation to support biodiversity and an abundance of wildlife, vehicular and pedestrian access points, fitness stations, nature themed play, and Interpretive exhibits all support the vision of the community and the Chicago Park District. From steel mill to parkland, Park 566 will help tell the story of Chicago’s rich industrial past and its transformation from an abandoned site to a thriving public space.


ILASLA 2015 AWARDS MERIT AWARD Pearl of Istanbul FORUM STUDIO Expanding democracy, global investment, and abundant tourism are reshaping Istanbul for generations to come. The Pearl of Istanbul, located just outside of the bustling city center of Istanbul, is at the heart of this transformation. Envisioned by Turkey’s business and civic leaders, championed by Istanbul’s Mayor, and designed by the urban planning team, the Pearl marks the city’s arrival as a global destination. The centerpiece of the development is a marina, comprised of a string of manmade islands. The islands are conceived as an alternative to a utilitarian seawall; they harmonize with, and extend, the region’s natural landscape. Connected by pathways and organized around a central “pearlescent” node, the Pearl’s islands form a calm harbor with more than 500 boat slips and commercial terminals for cruise ships. The Pearl is no less ambitious on land. Sculptural towers rise along the shore, alternating with landscaped terraces that cascade towards the water, mimicking natural plateaus of the region. At 1,660,000 square feet the Pearl of Istanbul is poised to become a landmark destination and an important driver of prosperity in the region.

MERIT AWARD Rural Retreat: Bunker Hill Farms ILT VIGNOCCHI Bunker Hill Farms is a 230-acre privately held recreation and charitable function facility in McHenry County, Illinois. The former agricultural site has been transformed to contain a number of recreational features balanced with conservation areas and naturalistic landscapes. The goal was to create a place of outdoor beauty that could be used for private recreational use as well as serve as a setting for large-scale charitable events benefiting the local community. The design of the site takes cues from naturally occurring hills, knolls, streams and lakes to create a place of beauty and remarkable recreational opportunities. Indigenous materials such as lannon stone are used extensively, as well as native plantings where appropriate. A model for post-agricultural rural land use and conservation, Bunker Hill Farms is unique in that the amount of acreage offers the opportunity for an intermingling of programmed and passive recreational activities with mindful stewardship of the land. By the same token, the master planning of the site allows for flexibility should the desired use of a particular area change.


MERIT AWARD Prudential Plaza Roof Garden WOLFF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE In 2013 the owners of the Prudential Plaza committed to substantial reinvestment in this 1950s era high-rise office building. The goal was to reposition the property by upgrading existing systems and spaces. The lead role in the repositioning fell to a new tenant amenity floor, and the proposed roof garden, an amenity which many properties cannot offer. Roof garden amenities include a self-service bar with an overhead trellis; a fire pit lounge with another overhead trellis; a raised promenade along the garden’s south perimeter, which offers uninterrupted views of the surrounding skyline, the parks below, and Lake Michigan; a central lawn area, small stage and surrounding terraced seating; extensive landscaping; and subtle indirect lighting so that the garden can be used well into the evening. The new roof garden has been a significant factor in providing an amenity that other properties cannot offer and thus an equally significant factor in the repositioning of this property in the downtown office rental market.

JENSEN AWARD This award recognizes projects that represent the design principles of Jens Jensen by using native plants, ecological processes, and reconnecting people the landscape with harmonious designs.

Asian Art Gallery Gardens CRAIG BERGMANN LANDSCAPE DESIGN Over several decades, an American collector assembled an outstanding collection of Asian artifacts which he displayed in and around his residence. As the collection grew and exhibit space in the original garden we designed for this purpose became limited, we encouraged the collector to commission a building and additional gardens within a 2.25 acre area for better display and continued scholarly research. Today, two distinct gardens adjacent to a new museum building function as outdoor galleries that exhibit ancient Asian sculpture. The overall landscape strikes a careful, yet relaxed balance between Asian and Midwestern aesthetics, honoring both in simplicity, material selections and style. It successfully breaks up the mass of a large, new building, and seamlessly integrates the entire area into a much larger, wooded residential property that is not dedicated to the gallery.


ILASLA 2015 AWARDS LANDMARK AWARD Ping Tom Memorial Park SITE DESIGN GROUP Ping Tom Memorial Park is a shining example of the transformation of vacant open space into a vibrant community anchor. Completed in more than five phases, the site now includes traditional Chinese gardens, a playground, pavilion, naturalized shoreline, community waterfront plaza, and a boardwalk. In a bold expansion plan pioneered by the late Ping Tom, the parkland was part of a 60-acre mixed use development on former railroad land. The initial 7-acre site was acquired by the Chicago Park District in 1996, and subsequently transformed into cherished open space for the Chinese community in Chicago. More than fifteen years after the completion of the first phase of the park, the space has continued to grow and is bustling with community members and visitors. The design reflects Chinese culture in an American context. The success of the first phase of the park catalyzed the continued development of an expanded 19-acre site, where traditional Chinese imagery is seen throughout the architecture and detailing of focal features of all phases.

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Celebration+ 2016

Each year the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ILASLA) recognizes outstanding projects completed by individuals or organizations located in the State of Illinois. These awards are given in an effort to raise standards of excellence, heighten public appreciation of quality landscape architecture, and expand public awareness of the profession and ASLA. The award winners were recognized at Celebration+, held on April 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to the evening awards program, this year’s Celebration+ event included a full day of educational enrichment, with a Field Session in the morning, and Education Sessions in the afternoon presented by leading ASLA members and green industry professionals.


Hawks Hollow Nature Playground


nvironmental learning is disguised as play at Hawks Hollow Nature Playground, encouraging children to use their imagination and experience the smells, textures and wonders of the natural world. Situated within the wellestablished Peck Farm campus in Geneva, Illinois, the playground compliments the Geneva Park District’s ongoing mission to create a bond between children and the surrounding natural world. The Peck Farm site is already home to established programming which consists of a recreation center, athletic fields and an Interpretive Center which offer visitors hands-on interaction with nature and the site’s history as a functioning sheep farm. This campus boasts a well-known trail network that visitors utilize for hiking and exploring the pristine prairie environment.

In an effort to further expand the programming and educational offerings available to visitors, the Park District worked with Hitchcock Design Group and the design team to create a Nature Playground that would not only provide children with traditional experiences, but would also educate and connect them with nature in a variety of ways. This bird themed play space is designed to be engaging for unstructured 16

drop-in visits, school group play and curriculum based education. Small-scale, intimate experiences were created throughout the playground, which allow children to gain an understanding and appreciation of nature, ultimately promoting an expanded look into the larger systems at Peck Farm. Early in the design process, surrounding residents were invited to a workshop to discuss ideas for the Playground. Two public community meetings and an open house were also hosted at the site to gather ideas and input from neighborhood children and families. This process provided insight into the types of amenities and programs the users were interested in seeing. A site located to the northeast, and adjacent to the historic Peck Farm homestead, was selected for the new Nature Playground. The decision to locate the playground by the homestead was deliberate, as both assets seek to educate children and visitors about the beauty and complexity of the surrounding natural environment. Constructed in collaboration with staff and contracted workers, Hawks Hollow Nature Playground features eight educational stations that create handson learning experiences for each child who visits. The education stations include;

• Feather Finder Entry Plaza. Made up of decorative pavers, pre-cast panels, seat wall, signs and robust plantings, this area showcases different species of feathers and allows children to connect types of feathers to native birds. A rotating sign encourages children’s curiosity and exploration by matching up and identifying different types of bird parts. • Wing Span Wanderer Trail. Children travel an established path with bird footprints in the paving of the walkway leading to appropriate areas of the garden. Life-sized wingspans of these birds are also posted and compared with human “wingspans” to provide children with an understanding of their relation to nature. • The Nature’s Nest Area. Children role play and walk into an oversized robin’s nest with nearby sticks that allow them to add to the already established structure and build their own nest. • Kingfisher Crossing. A shallow stream with stepping stones and log crossings, as well as movable stone cobbles, provides the opportunity to allow children to manipulate the flow of the stream. A splash pad, fish scale paving, and an old

fashioned water pump and mud wall also invite children to create their own masterpiece with a mud palette and fence canvas.

• Sheep Herding Maze. Children connect with the history of the Peck Farm site by “herding” their sheep through balance logs and into the barn.

Specifically chosen materials that were natural, recycled, and repurposed supported the Park District’s goal of creating a place that connected children with nature and educated them about the history of Peck Farm. Natural materials such as Western Red Cedar decking and guardrail were used at the ADA accessible boardwalk and Raptor’s Roost. The rounded posts and wood branch roof on the Hawk’s perch blend with the natural character of the site so much so that Red Tail Hawks and Raptors use this high point for a perch. Tree branches and cuttings from trees that were on site were used to create the beaver lodge and bird nest play areas. The branches were also woven into the boardwalk guardrail panels to make branch railings. Animal and bird tracks were imprinted into the concrete to teach children how to identify local bird species. Tree trunks cut from trees lost to the Emerald Ash Borer on the site were repurposed into the Sheep Maze balance logs, the barn, log benches, log wall and trace maze. These not only made good use of waste material and matched the setting, they provided opportunities to learn about tree health, insect life, and urban forestry practices.

• Earthworm Escape Route. Food source education exhibits show the different food sources for birds and other wildlife at Peck Farm. The log trace maze was made from repurposed trees that had been located on the site and teach children about the Emerald Ash Borer and why many Ash Trees are being cut down.

The Hawks Hollow Nature Playground at Peck Farm Park not only educates children about their connection to nature, but also engages all of their senses by inviting them to manipulate, explore, touch, climb and play while learning about nature. Children are provided with a wide variety of learning opportunities that all demonstrate the important link between nature,

• The Song Bird Stage. Log seating surrounded by wood instruments creates an orchestra pit that encourages children to make music cooperatively or act out their own performance. Children can tweet, chirp or call out bird calls to each other as they learn to identify and sing bird calls together. • Raptor’s Roost. Situated amongst the trees, children observe panoramic views of flora and fauna in their natural habitat. This multiple level learning feature contains the Falconer’s Message Pulley System, which encourages cooperative play with native fruits and seeds. The Roost, complete with owl adornment, also allows children to understand the importance of the Raptor’s dominant position in the bird family.

humans and animals. The creative use of natural materials such as wood logs for seating, actual birds nest materials for the construction of the nests and mud to allow children to express their creativity while learning through play help to make Hawks Hollow the unique context-rich destination for all ages.


Landscapes, Nature and Healing


here intention goes, energy flows.” For Virginia Burt, FASLA, FCSLA, who cites this operating principle, energy flows to creating places of healing.

Her June talk, which kicked off ILASLA’s new Ignite!, a series of growth and gathering events presented by Bartlett Tree Experts and Victor Stanley, offered glimpses into her award-winning places of healing and what makes them resonate with people. She pointed out that people experience places on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels, beginning with the physical and almost instantaneously progressing through the others. Perhaps this is why she has found that particular elements of nature, created and sited with specific intention, are so meaningful in her places of healing.

The Power of Nature In one example, the Schneider Healing Garden of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, in Cleveland, a singular element of wood became a literal touchpoint for patients and their loved ones seeking refuge in the site. The wood, she noted, is important for transporting people beyond the sterility of the hospital to the “real life of the green world.”


She worked with an artist to develop a decorative gate to the garden. The gate’s handles comprise a wooden stylized heart. One day she observed a woman pushing her mother in a wheelchair through the garden, accompanied by her young daughter. Upon seeing the door handles, the little girl spontaneously ran to the heart and highfived it. As she neared it, the girl’s grandmother reached up and touched it, and the girl’s mother paused to connect with it as well. In another instance, as Norma’s Garden at The Gathering Place, a cancer-support organization in Cleveland, was under development, she gave a tour of the site to a man who was with his young daughter. The little girl hadn’t spoken in months. As they approached a large granite boulder that was being sculpted into a bench, the girl climbed atop and sat while Burt and the man conversed. When it was time to go, he called to his daughter, who to his great surprise said, “No, Daddy, I want to stay with the rock.”

The Power of Place Burt provided more examples of elements that fostered deep connections. “Spaces and places can take your mind on a journey,” she said. She reminded attendees that the work of landscape architects touches people and is important.

“Have fun doing it,” she said. “Find fantastic projects, and do them. Even if it’s a pro bono project.” Ignite! is a collaboration between Victor Stanley, Bartlett Tree Experts and ILASLA to spark innovative thought, and provide professional development and networking opportunities for landscape architects and allied professionals.




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install maintain www.clarencedavids.com As we enter our 65th year, we offer our thanks to our friends at ILASLA who have helped make this great milestone possible!

100 YEARS 1916 - 2016


President’s Letter

[continued from page 1]

At this time last year, then ILASLA President Bradley McCauley challenged us to “…talk to legislators, work with municipalities, excel in creativity amongst other design disciplines, and take action in meaningful organizations so that our voices—as landscape architects—are heard.” ILASLA has risen to the challenge with a renewed focus on advocacy and public awareness. Advocacy Committee Chair Keven Graham serves the Chapter to monitor and address specific legislative issues that affect Chapter members, such as the licensure act upgrade and sunset legislation. Additionally, the Chapter continues to increase involvement with national issues through programs such as the iAdvocate Network and Public Awareness campaign. While ILASLA has made major strides in this area, we need the help of the entire membership to maintain the positive momentum. Recognition of the landscape architecture profession is growing, but MORE MUST BE DONE to get the word out about the outstanding work of our members, such as the award-winning projects featured within, that contributes to the health and welfare of our communities. Emerging professionals are shaping the future of landscape architecture, and we need their continued involvement in all aspects of the organization. Importantly, their energy is critical to our advocacy initiatives with state legisla-


tors and in outreach to universities and school districts. Discover Landscape Architecture (D.L.A.) – A Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, is a career introduction initiative aiming to address the diversity imbalance within the profession by encouraging and educating middle school/high

EMERGING PROFESSIONALS ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, AND WE NEED THEIR CONTINUED INVOLVEMENT IN ALL ASPECTS OF THE ORGANIZATION. school girls and people of color with a personal “hands-on” experience that could lead to a successful career in landscape architecture. The goal of this initiative is to fill the pipeline with a diverse population of future landscape architects, who someday will lead and advocate for the continued success of the profession. It is through this broad public awareness, advocacy, and the D.L.A. Initiative that our Chapter brings an increased layer of membership value to each of us. Promoting the ability of landscape architects to develop solutions for social and urban fabric issues throughout Illinois, ILASLA elevates the stature of our

profession. Ultimately, these efforts endeavor to increase recognition and prosperity to us collectively and individually. Our Chapter has great momentum thanks to the tremendous leadership and energy of our Member Board Executives, Member Board Members, and Executive Director. The success of our Chapter is due to their work and dedication. Regardless of the task, the entire leadership team launches into their work with vibrant energy, infectious enthusiasm, and creative ideas. I feel very fortunate to be part of this group of passionate leaders. I encourage everyone to get involved in Chapter activities; there are lots of opportunities for participation. This is YOUR organization. Take part, take responsibility, take action! Best Regards and Congratulations!


J o i n u s in September, 2016 to welcome our next speaker.



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P.O. Box 4566, Oak Brook, IL 60522

What do you get out of joining Illinois ASLA? By becoming a member of ASLA, you’ll join over 18,000 other landscape architecture professionals - throughout all 50 U.S. states, U.S. territories, and 68 countries around the world! As a member of the Illinois Chapter, you’ll receive our monthly email newsletter, Dispatch, our quarterly journal, Elevation, and our annual awards book, folio, and be invited to numerous professional events throughout the state all year ‘round. www.il-asla.org

Elevation, Summer 2016  

Elevation, Summer 2016  

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