Category Archives: Park Design

A Metropolitan Mecca

Vista Hermosa Natural Park–whose name in Spanish means “beautiful view”–has created a new model of park design in downtown Los Angeles. Located at the edge of a dense residential zone, the 9.5-acre park is nature’s reprieve from the intensity of urban life. Los Angeles is one of the most park-poor cities in America, with fewer acres of parkland per 1,000 residents than other major cities in the country. According to the Trust for Public Land, the national average for park … Continue reading

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Sculpting A Masterpiece

Merging culture with the great outdoors is what the city of Des Moines, Iowa, was able to accomplish with the opening of the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The park occupies 4.4 acres in the heart of the city, with a new cultural center that has attracted more than 16,000 visitors since it opened in September 2009. “[The reaction has] been extremely positive from the residents,” says Jeff Fleming, Art Director of the Des Moines Art Center. “It was … Continue reading

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Vista View

In the last few years, we have faced new environmental concerns in a world made aware of the need for “green living,” “green building” and other environmentally conscious initiatives. The city of Chandler, Ariz., is participating in this issue by taking on its second environmentally oriented project in reclaiming and reshaping the landscape of a former landfill to create a new vision for a premier park with recreational gems. Developing municipal parks from former refuse sites has been successful in … Continue reading

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Reflections Of A River

The new 41st Street Plaza in Tulsa, Okla., is a water-loving kid’s dream come true, and Tulsans are water-lovers by nature, given the city’s hot summer climate and its location on the Arkansas River. The park’s innovative fountains and pools are the key to its family-friendly design, and provide a central theme for its other purpose–a main city park and a “front porch” for the whole town, as civic leaders call it. “The 41st Street Plaza has definitely become a … Continue reading

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Memorable Contributions

As park managers, we are in an extraordinary position to help people cope with grief. That may seem like an odd statement since we are in the business of helping people enjoy their leisure time, but park professionals not only help create a connection with the outdoors during good times; as soon as people experience a loss, they seek us out for comfort. After 9/11 there was a huge surge in the usage of the woodland trails, lakes and prairies … Continue reading

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