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NELLE WARD Ecological Design & Landscape Architecture | 267.713.0474


Ecological Design & Landscape Architecture | 267.713.0474

Education 09/2014 06/2016

University of Massachusetts Amherst

09/2013 06/2014

Conway School of Landscape Design

09/2005 06/2010

University of Utah

Master of Landscape Architecture; 4.0 GPA Master of Science in Ecological Design; GPA N/A BS Political Science; BA Environmental Studies; Cum Laude 3.9 GPA



Ecological Design & Landscape Architecture 267.713.0474

09/2017 12/2018

Studio Bryan Hanes - Landscape Designer

08/2016 08/2017

NV5 (Formerly RBA Group)

Spring 2015 Spring 2014

UMass Teaching Associate - Landscape Contracting

Fall 2015 Fall 2014

UMass Teaching Assistant - Landscape Ecology: Pattern & Process

05/2015 08/2015

Dodson & Flinker Associates

01/2012 02/2013

Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco

02/2012 10/2012

San Francisco Botanical Gardens

10/2010 03/2011

Fuente Verde & Punta Mona Permaculture Farms (Costa Rica)

Project manager and designer - SD, DD, and CD set production management, community engagement event management, client communications, cost estimating. Project manager and designer - schematic design, public presentations, client meetings and communications, CD set production, cost estimating, budget management. Sole instructor - lab/lecture presentations, management of grades and attendance. Lab instructor - GIS tutorial instructor; grades/attendance; field lab instructor for Geomorphology of Streams, Sustainable Stormwater, Soil Horizons, and Forest Ecology. Landscape designer - plan set production, ArcMap GIS analysis, conceptual design, Sketchup modeling, research, client communications, technical support, office inventory. 18th and Rhode Island Permaculture Garden Volunteer Manager - garden budget management, volunteer work days/workshops, community outreach, farm maintenance. Children’s Docent - garden tours, curriculum design, class instructor. Assistant volunteer manager - farm tours English/Spanish, volunteer orientation, outreach and marketing, task management, natural building construction, soil building.

Public Speaking



Holyoke Community College

Phi Beta Kappa


Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses & Communities Conference

Sigma Gamma Delta


Society for Ecological Restoration Conference

Sigma Lambda Alpha

Awards & Scholarships

Skills & Interests


University Olmsted Scholar

Software Proficiency


ASLA Merit Award


BSLA Student Scholarship


Paul Whitney Roades and Carolina Pree Scholarship University of Massachusetts Amherst

Spanish (fluent) French (conversational)


BSLA Student Merit Award



Social and Behavioral Science Honor’s Scholarship

Guest Lecturer - “Urban Green Infrastructure” Speaker

Charrette Facilitator

University of Massachusetts Amherst University of Massachusetts Amherst University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Conway School - Green Streets Guidebook University of Utah

National Academic Honor Society Honor Society of Agriculture Honor Society of Landscape Architecture

Autocad Rhino Adobe Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) ArcMap Sketchup Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) Language Proficiency

Distant Voices Black Sky: Lead vocalist, lead guitar, song-writer, flute | self-published 2014 STAGHARE: Co-vocalist, percussion | Bezoar Formations 2009 Hobbies

Muay Thai, meditation, camping, soccer, painting, photography

*References available upon request.

Contents 1

South Side Park Master Plan - Studio Bryan Hanes


The Poplar - Studio Bryan Hanes


Smith Memorial Playhouse Gateway - Studio Bryan Hanes


Centennial Commons Youth Area - Studio Bryan Hanes


Delaware River Trail - NV5 (formerly RBA Group)


Gold Star Park - NV5


Rivera Recreation & Mann Older Adult Center - NV5


New Canaan Vision Plan - Dodson & Flinker Associates


Bridging the Gap - UMass MLA/ALA Studio


Resilience at UMass Amherst - Umass MLA Masters Project


Hand Sketches



South Side Park Master Plan

Studio Bryan Hanes - Pittsburgh, PA

The South Side Park Master Plan occurred as a result of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which identified South Side Park as an underutilized resource with the potential to serve as a “signature” park in Pittsburgh’s openspace system. In collaboration with the South Side Park Advisory Committee and the City of Pittsburgh, Studio Bryan Hanes facilitated a series of intensive community engagement events and online surveys to collect input. Drawing on community feedback, the South Side Park Master Plan showcases the park’s unique topography, hydrology, and history, while also prioritizing the social and recreational needs of the surrounding residents. The proposed plans for this 65 acre park with roughly 400 feet of elevation change showcase wetlands, falls, and a network of green infrastructure systems, provide unique adventure recreation opportunities, and feature a multi-use amphitheater and event space, all of which help to fulfill the park’s role as a City signature park amenity.

1 | Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio





COMMUNITY EVENTS START JANUARY 18TH! TIME: 5:00 - 8:00 PM; drop in when you can! LOCATION: Arlington Rec Center, 2201 Salisbury Street (next to Henry Kaufmann Neighborhood House)

Questions? Comments? Contact Project Manager Josh Lippert, Department of City Planning: 412-255-2516 |

EVENT 1 JAN 18 th




EVENT 2 FEB 15th

EVENT 3 MAR 15th

EVENT 4 APR 19 th






Community event fliers and questionnaires designed in collaboration with Rebekah Armstrong

Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 2

South Side Park Proposed Program


PWSA Pump House


ion S t. Bri





39 40





Bandi Schaum Community Garden


Greeley St.



C 7 D





10 9


19 14











30 29 28

15 16





21 20

27 Salisbur y St.

24 25


* * X

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New parcel added to park Renovated parking (30 spots) Drive ADA-accessible boardwalk Parking (60 spots) Shared-use (bike) path Community event area Open-air pavilion over small building + bathrooms Amphitheater Multi-use lawn Paved push-ramp for cyclists and water detention cells Renovated entrance with parking (5 spots) Children’s discovery garden Basketball court + marble rings Resurfaced rectangular field with subsurface detention Embankment bleachers Renovated bathrooms, concessions, scoreboard Parking (30 spots) Public art opportunity BMX pump track (third-party operator) Trail for BMX access Embankment slides Ropes course (third-party operator) Embankment bleachers and new scoreboard Sculptural overlook + parking (9 spots) Basketball court and play area renovations Renovate Arlington Rec Center Manage invasive species with native planting Seating at Jurassic Valley Overlook 1040 Trail and interpretive art East/West Connector Trail Revealed seeps + seating Tombstone Trail made ADA-accessible trail Trail through plateau and wetlands +picnic platforms Sierra Street entrance, steps + Sierra Connector Trail Canopy overlook Boardwalk and wetlands Mission Street Connector Trail Renovated parking and entrance area with seating Drive gated (vehicle access for garden members)

18 th

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

New Entrance Renovate Existing Entrance Existing Entrance Perspective View

* 26


Perspective “A”

Perspective “D”


Perspective”F” Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 4

flex/yoga deck

living room

view point lounge


hot tub

cabana swing beds

lounge nooks

play pool lounge pool

dog run

10’ setback, sedum

The Poplar

Studio Bryan Hanes - Philadelphia, PA As a sub-consultant to Coscia Moos Architecture, Post Brothers hired Studio Bryan Hanes to develop a 25,000 square foot rooftop amenity deck for a proposed residential development in an existing building located at 9th and Poplar St. This adaptive reuse project features approximately 200 proposed residential units and a few commercial storefronts at street level. Post Brothers instructed SBH to feature swimming pools, and hot tubs, and other outdoor residential amenities, guided by a “Baja Escape” theme, while working within the structural constraints of the existing building. As project manager, I presented progress weekly at Post Brothers headquarters and oversaw the majority of the project’s development from schematic to construction documentation (ongoing).

5 | Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio

astroturf game lawn

elevator, bathrooms + outdoor shower

tiled showcase staircase

outdoor kitchen and pergola

lap pool


Photo of pool tile design mock up Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 6

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Smith Memorial Playhouse

Studio Bryan Hanes - Philadelphia, PA

When Smith opened to the public in 1899, it stood at the forefront of a national playground movement. Offering one of the region’s first major resources for play, Smith opened its doors to the region’s children and families. Today, Smith’s legacy as an inclusive, one-of-akind world of play for kids and families lives on. A component of Smith’s ongoing “Preserving Play Campaign”, Studio Bryan Hanes was hired by the Smith Building Committee to produce a schematic design for the 2.5 acre central lawn panel and vehicular drop off loop. The design plays off the absurdist paradox established by the playhouse itself - a large Victorian era house built for kids: a wild natural play area encompassed by an intentionally unkempt native hedge, surrounding a Victorianesque ovular lawn. The new play space takes advantage of Smith’s surrounding resources in Fairmount Park, utilizing natural rocks, logs, and wood chips. The design offers passive and active zones with natural play features, natural construction opportunities, interactive water play, and relaxation spaces.

9 | Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio

At first glance, Smith Memorial Playhouse does not appear to be a playful destination. In order to make Smith’s welcoming nature more apparent to passing traffic, the Committee requested that Studio Bryan Hanes explore an iconic Smith Gateway sculpture that would clearly convey this important civic resource’s presence. The Smith family, without whom Smith Memorial Playhouse would not exist, were famous for Richard’s contribution to the typesetting industry. The play sculptures shown here utilize one of Richard’s Smith’s patented fonts. Integrating the absurdism of oversized letters intended for play with the site’s historic context, these Gateway play icons capture help to capture Smith’s essence, while also serving as an eye-catching, welcoming invitation to play.

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3D model and design of play area: Nelle Ward; rendering: Marshall Secord

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Centennial Commons - Youth Area

Studio Bryan Hanes - Philadelphia, PA

In collaboration with the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Studio Bryan Hanes developed the Centennial Commons Plan to bring new life to a historically and culturally significant part of Fairmount Park. The Youth Area is an important part of that plan, striving to invite surrounding neighbors who have historically not felt like the park is meant for their use. The Youth Area project encompasses a food truck plaza, play area, cafe, and ice rink adjacent to Kelly Pool, aiming to create a year-round activity hub for all ages. While the plans for the Youth Area are still evolving, I helped design the play area and its relationship to the plaza space. Drawing historic references from the 1876 World’s Fair and Centennial Exhibition, the play area exhibits playful elements inspired by historic artifacts, creating interest for adults and unique, sensory provoking features for kids.

Above: Historic elements are reflected in the play space Plan rendering: Marshall Secord 13 | Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio

3D model and design of hill top play area: Nelle Ward; rendering: Marshall Secord Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 14

50’ setback

Top of river bank

planting buffer

irregular stone paving and planting

16’ bicycle & pedestrian trail

Delaware River Trail


NV5 (formerly RBA Group) - Philadelphia, PA

15 | Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio


casino trail by others

Penn Treaty Park

Casino Sugarhouse

Building upon the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) hired NV5 to design the 6 mile stretch of the Delaware River Trail, a continuous recreational and commuter trail along the city’s waterfront. Integrating other existing plans, NV5 has worked on site specific designs for various sections of the trail. Building upon the work of Bryan Hanes, NV5 is currently working on the connection between the Sugarhouse Casino to Penn Treaty Park, a project with which I have assisted. I helped generate these plan, section and planting palette graphics for Philadelphia’s Historical Commission review and Philadelphia’s Art Commission review; I was responsible packaging and delivering the Commission review submission material.

existing shoreline rip-rap

Fornner PECO building


Delaware River

Future Trail Connection

Plant Selection & Seasonal Interest













Trees Service Berry River Birch Paper Birch American Hornbeam Red Ash Tulip Poplar Shrubs Drooping Laurel Black Chokeberry Virginia Sweetspire Bayberry Red Chokeberry Summersweet Winterberry Redosier Dogwood Staghorn Sumac Perrennials & Grasses Rough Goldenrod Broomsedge Bluestem Aster Tufted Hairgrass Purple Coneflower Purple Lovegrass New England Blazing Star Black-eyed Susan Little Bluestem Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 16








Gold Star Park


Department of Public Property Term Agreement

NV5 - Philadelphia, PA

In coordination with Friends of Gold Star Park and Fairmount Park Conservancy, DPP hired NV5 to rehabilitate Gold Star Park, a (.75 acre) residential park east of Passayunk Square. Because funding for the project is limited, the Friends requested a “Long Term Vision Plan” which could be used for raising more money in the future, as well as an “Interim Plan”, a scaled back version of the plan would meet some of the park improvement goals more immediately. Constraints include minimizing the disturbance footprint and maintaining: existing entrances, an 11’ drivable asphalt path, and all existing mature trees. Goals include: an expanded play area, a “kid-only” (dog-free) grass play space, a multi-functional event space, and nature-inspired play. I helped manage every stage of this project under the supervision of RLA Tom Fein. I assisted with public presentations, client communications, schematic design, conceptual design for multiple alternatives, design development, play equipment manufacturer design meetings and review, cost estimating, budget management, stormwater requirement adherence, and construction documentation production.

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park entry

Rivera Recreation Center & Mann Older Adult Center NV5 -Philadelphia, PA

NFHS Football & Soccer Field 2-5

spray 5-12

5th st.

As a sub-consultant to CICADA Architecture (prime), DPP hired NV5 to produce designs and contract documents for the rehabilitation of the existing older adult center, recreation buildings, and park that surrounds them. In collaboration with Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez’s office and CICADA, I helped to facilitate a charrette (photo above) to elicit community feedback. I also participated in numerous presentations and meetings with DPP and the councilwoman’s staff. Due to complications with funding and time-line, the landscape design and building renovations will be phased, the details of which are yet to be finalized. In accordance with DPP’s request for an expedited stormwater review, site design and grading reflects the prerequisites necessary for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Disconnection Green Review.

NFHS Baseball Field

Mann Rivera Recreation garden plots

adult fitness


Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 18


40’ 50’ ROW


New Canaan, CT

sidewalk P

Dodson & Flinker Associates








P sidewalk

38’ paved road width

The Town of New 50’ Canaan hired Dodson & ROW Flinker Associates to explore redevelopment options for the downtown. The project goals were to improve streetscapes; improve access, circulation, and parking; allow existing land uses to remain; encourage revitalization and infill; and encourage pedestrian and vehicular connections to surrounding areas. The proposal incorporated changes to the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission plans, revised zoning and design guidelines, integrated green streetscaping infrastructure, and reduced mandatory parking requirements. I helped with planning, design, Sketchup modeling and presentations. 19 | Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio




Downtown New Canaan, Connecticut

Existing: Plan



Existing model built by Nelle Ward and Nate Burgess




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rain gardens shared driveway

performance space


residential lawn space

grey water cycling display

shared driveway

Bridging the Gap

MLA/ALA Studio - UMass, Amherst The impetus for this studio came from UMass Campus Planning; as part of a larger effort establish a Campus Gateway, UMass was interested in developing the site through a private/public partnership that would encourage young families to live in Amherst without exacerbating existing tensions between the neighbors and UMass students. This two acre, open grass-covered lot in a existing residential neighborhood lies between the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s campus and an important part of downtown Amherst. This mixed use development includes incubator and studio spaces, small apartments, grocery, cafe, community space, local street retail, and indoor and outdoor performance spaces. Three terraces shape private, semi-private, and public spaces. Multifunctional public open space along the street edge invites people into the performance space, but still maintains privacy outside the residential units.

Grading/design: Nelle Ward, Jing Wang; model: Nelle Ward, Jing Wang, & Nick Jeffway 21 | Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio

shared driveway

rain gardens

universally accessible walkway

freeze wall & gray water cycling

rain garden

shared private lawn

private nooks

drivable grass for fire truck access

shared driveway




performance & seating area

rain gardens

V2 multifunctional open space

To UMass

zip car


court yard




North Pleasant Street

To Amherst

Design: Nelle Ward, Nick Jeffway, & Jing Wang; plan rendering: Jing Wang

Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 22

complete streets

Bridging the Gap (cont.) MLA/ALA Studio - UMass, Amherst The topographic changes shape three tiers defined by their purpose and their intended user groups: a public amphitheater, a semi public/ private space lunch and lounging lawn, and a private grassy nook. A commercial corridor holds the edge of the street, shielding residents from general foot traffic. Complete/green street infrastructure provides a permeable relationship between the streetscape and commercial storefronts. Right: Private nooks are created in front of two bedroom residential units. Far right: the greywater cycling system seasonally pumps recycled greywater through tiered stone wall, serving as a freeze wall in the winter. The wall also creates separation between private and semi-public spaces.

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first floor commercial second & third residential

residential lawn space

two bedroom residential units

View 1: Looking northeast through the residential hall (on second floor street-side) toward the shared residential lawn

View 2: Looking southeast towards the seasonal greywater cycling system and freeze wall

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performance space & seating area V3

Bridging the Gap (cont.)

stepped stormwater planters

MLA/ALA Studio - UMass, Amherst

Multifunctional Public Space The multifunctional open space along North Pleasant Street invites pedestrians into the outdoor performance and gathering space. Amphitheater-like seating serves as a place for office workers to sit for lunch, residents to lounge with a book, or for young people to gather and stand to watch a performance out on the paved performance space during a special event. Double doors open an indoor performance space, creating a permeable relationship between indoors and outdoors during warmer months. Stepped stormwater planters and permeable pavers infiltrate stormwater runoff, and contribute to shaping comfortable spaces.

universally accessible walkway

rain garden

multifunctional open space

North Pleasant Street

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View 3: Looking south across the performance space towards the seating area

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Resilience at UMass Amherst MLA Master’s Project - 2016

This MLA capstone Masters Project utilizes Sustainable SITES v2 Guidelines to meet planning and design goals intended to maximize ecosystem service benefits. The site-specific design goals of the Fine Arts Center campus quad redesign are threefold: 1) to improve views and circulation in a culturally important space; 2) to improve water quality via an artful and functional exhibit of green stormwater infrastructure; 3) to exhibit performance monitoring stations at educational platforms that will inform future designs. Resilience at UMass Amherst demonstrates how performance monitoring and adaptive management can contribute to the evolution of a scalable, transferable methodology for sustainable landscape design on campus.

Fine Arts Building (Existing)


Haigis Mall Campus Gateway


Proposed Design Building by others (Open 2017)

Proposed ISOM Addition by others (in design development)

The complex, existing landscape and buildings pose a unique challenge for creating a cohesive landscape fabric

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Existing conditions diagrams

permeable pavers & tree trench

ADA parking service road

9 ADA parking spots

dry creek, gabion retaining multi-use quad & stormwater walls & overflow outlet NE wetland mix storage

monitoring station & boardwalk, Lab 3

stepped bioretention cells

viewing platform & seating

wildflower mix

sediment forebay Lab 2

universally native Accessible grass swale walkway

fire truck access

preserved existing trees

overlook, bus stop seating, Lab 1

grassy seating area

improved bus stop

Design Building (under construction)

Universally Accessible walkway

proposed bike lanes

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SITES v2: Human Health & Well Being The proposed circulation includes two major Universally Accessible walkways, re-routing and simplifying the existing steep pathways. New pedestrian seating areas, signage, and a recreational quad allows for mental restoration, educational opportunities, physical activity, and social connection. A fire service access road wraps around the proposed ISOM addition, ensuring safety and access. Handicap parking access is rerouted away from pedestrian traffic in front of the ISOM. Nine handicap parking spots adjacent to a permeable paver lined tree trench allows access to the FAC while incorporating the opportunity to keep cars cool. Sustainable Sites prerequisites & credits addressed: P4.1, P4.2, P4.3, C4.4, C4.6, C4.7, C4.8

FAC Entrance

9 handicap parking spaces

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access to 9 ADA parking spaces connection to Haigis Mall

fire & service access road recreational area

connection to bus stops

short cut

universally accessible path

bike lanes seating & wayfinding

overflow structure

SITES v2: Hydrology The hydrologic system is the proposed design’s central feature. The design manages two sources of stormwater: runoff from North Pleasant Street and the 36� pipe below. Both sources are combined and then go through a remediating process, which also irrigates vegetation, reducing water use for landscaping and manages precipitation beyond baseline. Impermeability is decreased by 19%. Runoff from the street travels through a swale of phytoremediating grasses before joining with the daylighted pipe. The combined flow is sent through three systems with separate functions: a sediment forebay, treatment cells, and a infiltration/filtration area. An overflow structure allows excess water to re-join the existing gray infrastructure system. The stormwater system is displayed as an artful educational feature with seating and pedestrian amenities, while providing shade and beauty.

daylighted pipe

street runoff

sediment forebay treatment filtration/ infiltration

Sustainable Sites prerequisites and credits addressed: P3.1, P3.2, C3.3, C3.4, C3.5

Pipe is daylighted at +235.5 Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 30

SITES v2: Vegetation A large portion of the proposed planting strategy is based on selecting appropriate seed mixes, then letting the most resilient plants self-select for each planting area (shown color coded in the top right layer) in conjunction with human intervention. The planting areas include a shady rain garden seed mix, native wildflower and pollinator habitat seed mix, and a native water-loving seed-mix. The swale along the semi-circular, which carries stormwater from the street, is planted with perennial, phytoremediating bunch grasses. Bio-engineered soils, which help with drainage and vegetative productivity, will be necessary in the bioretention cells. Biomass from mowing is left in the beds to build biomass. Compost tea is administered annually to help balance pH. Two of the significant existing trees are kept, and seven of the smaller existing trees are re-located. Sustainable Sites prerequisites & credits met: P4.1, P4.2, P4.3, C4.4, C4.6, C4.7, C4.8

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shady rain garden mix native wetland seed mix

bioretention cells with engineered soils

tree trench & permeable pavers

native wildflower mix & pollinator habitat

perennial bunch grasses & sedges

phytoremediating swale carries stormwater gabion planters slow & absorb stormwater

existing trees are integrated in with proposed



Asclepias tuberosa

Chelone glabra

Monarda didyma

Iris versicolor Aruncus dioicus

Echinacea purpurea Eutrochium purpureum

Dicentra eximia

Aquilegia canadensis

Onoclea sensibilis Aquilegia canadensis

Aster novae-angliae Asclepias syriaca

Aster novae-angliae

Zizia aurea

Asclepias incarnata Helianthus angustifolius

Rudbeckia hirta

Aquilegia canadensis


Sorghastrum nutans


Panicum virgatum

Scirpus atrovirens

Festuca rubra

Glyceria striata Typha latifolia Carex hystericina Rudbeckia laciniata Aster novae-angliae Onoclea sensibilis Betula negra

Populus deltoides

Acer rubra

Ulmus americana

Nelle Ward | LA & Ecological Design Portfolio | 32

Section of proposed multi-use field

SITES v2: Green Infrastructure & Monitoring Above: The recreational field provides space for pick-up games and outdoor classes, while also providing green space in this densely impervious part of campus. The field is multi-use, in that it also serves an overflow area for stormwater during large storm events. By discretely allowing these two functions to co-exist, the landscape stacks ecosystem services. Peak discharge volumes downstream are reduced while psychologically pleasing spaces are created for students on campus. Right: Signage accompanies a couple monitoring wells that reach different depths. In this way, it is possible to test water quality at different stages of infiltration/remediation. Meanwhile, trees shade handicap parking spaces, and vegetation attracts pollinators.

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Infiltration Watertable Groundwater Section of proposed conceptual monitoring station at Lab 3

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Hand Sketches

Swamp Dewberry (Rubus hispidus)

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia Willd)

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Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

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