Taking the Next Steps at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson of Terra Design Studios returned to Birmingham to kick off the next phase of design development, bringing the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens one step closer to defining the Gardens’ next phase of implementation and to launching their capital campaign in 2020. Terra initially met with collaborators ArchitectureWorks and Schoel Engineering to brainstorm on site, followed by a series of meetings with City Council and Birmingham Park and Recreation Board.  We rounded out our visit with the discovery of a very cool urban pollinator pocket garden and a memorable meal in this great foodie town!  

Terra Premieres PlayLaugh&Learn at The Drexel

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On the one year anniversary of the opening of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden, Terra and Board members and staff from Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens attended the premiere of PlayLaugh&Learn at the Drexel Theater in Columbus, Ohio.  It was a celebratory and emotional event, allowing those who had worked diligently to open their family garden, allowing them to pause and reflect on their monumental accomplishments.  A full length documentary that captures two and a half years of the making of Franklin Park’s family garden from inception to opening day, PlayLaugh&Learn aims to demystify the design and construction process for those considering a similar journey.  Terra very much enjoyed their collaboration with 232 Creative, who produced, directed and filmed PlayLaugh&Learn.  http://www.232creative.com/ 

Kingwood Center Gardens Breaks Ground on the Garden Gateway Project


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This is happening!  After two years of planning, fund raising and design, Kingwood Center Gardens broke ground for their exciting new Garden Gateway Project in April, 2019.  Terra’s Rob Thompson, Anna Werle and Cindy Tyler visited Mansfield to observe earthwork progress and to present final ideas for the planting plan for the Project.  A 13,000 s.f. Garden Gateway Center plays a key role in the Project, serving as the Gardens’ visitor center, event center, café, gift shop and office space for many of the staff.  Major improvements to the grounds include an enlarged green parking area, artful rainwater capture and cleanse throughout the entire Project, and a new Grand Perennial Garden, Welcome Cypress Garden, Bosque and Draffan Fountain Terrace.  Stay tuned! The grand opening is scheduled for summer of 2020.

Team Terra Presents Final Master Plan for Tucson Botanical Gardens


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Front Row: Michelle Conklin, Executive Director; Michael Bongiorno, DesignGroup; Rob Thompson, Terra Design Studios  Back Row: Matt Adamson, Vice President of Operations; Cindy Tyler, Terra Design Studios; Grant Getz; Grant Getz Design

Front Row: Michelle Conklin, Executive Director; Michael Bongiorno, DesignGroup; Rob Thompson, Terra Design Studios

Back Row: Matt Adamson, Vice President of Operations; Cindy Tyler, Terra Design Studios; Grant Getz; Grant Getz Design

Traveling to Tucson in early spring is never a bad idea, but it was a doubly enjoyable visit as Terra and our team - DesignGroup, Getz Design, EcoBotanic Design, and Greg Carlson Engineering - wrapped up the Master Plan with a presentation to Board, staff, and friends of Tucson Botanical Garden in April.  Visionary elements of the Master Plan include an iconic Butterfly and Orchid Conservatory and Pollinator Garden, relocated Café amidst a new culinary garden, improved visitor arrival experience, a destination family garden, and a major Event and Education Center with expanded parking.  The Garden is gearing up for a rigorous capital campaign to fund the Master Plan’s first phase, which will breathe new life into the western portion of the Garden through the addition of the Conservatory, Café and new visitor arrival and wayfinding components.   

Conservatory rendering by DesignGroup https://designgroup.us.com/

Magical Michoacan

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In February, Cindy joined a small group of avid monarch fans to travel to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, which protects overwintering sites for approximately 250 million monarchs representing the entire population east of the Rockies. The tour was led by Kimberlee Bailey and Susan Meyers, who invited Cindy and five others to journey with them to tour the rich cultural and natural heritage of this World Heritage Site and to gather tagged butterflies for further research by Journey North and Monarchs Across Georgia.  It was a trip of a lifetime, not only for the magical and emotional experience, but the chance to meet so many who are fiercely passionate monarch advocates from all over the world.

 

Master Plan Kick-off at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham, AL

Pictured Left:  Molly, Virgil and Adam lend a hand to check future identification sign location and size at “The Point” at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!   Pictured Right:  Cindy and Rob in a charette session with the team.

Pictured Left: Molly, Virgil and Adam lend a hand to check future identification sign location and size at “The Point” at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!

Pictured Right: Cindy and Rob in a charette session with the team.

Terra’s Cindy and Rob Thompson headed to Birmingham to lead a week-long workshop with stakeholders, city officials and Gardens staff to “Refresh, Engage, and Celebrate” the Gardens’ visitor experience. It was an action packed and productive week that included hours of invigorating discussion and “what if’s”, lots of doodling and noodling, and side trips to the neighboring Birmingham Zoo, Sloss Furnace, and Jones Valley Teaching Farm.

This visit is the third in as many months for Team Terra and the folks from Birmingham. In September Cindy headed south to meet with Tom Underwood, Executive Director of The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Jane Underwood, Operations Manager, and Molly Hendry, Gardens Assessment Project Leader, to brainstorm design ideas for expanding the Gardens’ presence to its edges. During this session, “The Point”, an underutilized triangular tract of land at the southern tip of the Gardens, was identified for its tremendous potential to become a signature branding moment for thousands of daily visitors as they travel past this area. The charette agenda included testing a full-scale mockup of the identification sign’s visibility as well as developing lots of sketches on trace paper!

And more recently, in October Cindy and Rob joined Board members and Friends’ staff from the Birmingham Botanical Garden in a visit to Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. FPC’s Executive Director, Bruce Harkey, and the Gardens' leadership team spent the morning sharing internal and administrative strategies with the group. We then explored the Conservatory and headed outside to the Children’s Garden and Community Garden Campus. The group from Birmingham came way with many inspirational ideas and excitement for the Master Plan Refresh that Terra will lead into 2019.

We look forward to returning in the New Year to help frame projects earmarked for their next capital campaign!

Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden awarded the 2018 Community Arts Partnership Award

Columbus, OH

The Greater Columbus Arts Council’s annual Community Arts Partnership Awards honor Columbus individuals for their exemplary support and leadership in the arts and Columbus employers for their active support of central Ohio’s arts organizations. Awards are also presented to two arts organizations that have demonstrated innovation, risk and artistic excellence in a performance, exhibition or program.

We’re excited to share that Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden received the award in the Large Organization (budget of $1 million and over) category!

We took great pride in involving 13 individual artists who contributed integral elements to the design of the Garden. From the moment you step foot into the Garden, you are surrounded by nature art, sculpture, glass-working, hand-carved stone work, and so much more! It has been an absolute pleasure to see how visitors of all ages react to these pieces.

Campus-wide tree planting and more at Lewis and Clark Community College

Godfrey, IL

A section from the Campus Master Plan for the new allee planting.

A section from the Campus Master Plan for the new allee planting.

Terra’s Rob Thompson and Anna Werle visited the Monticello Sculpture Gardens at Lewis and Clark Community College to kick-off the planning for the 2019 Themed Garden Show. Next year will be Lewis and Clark’s – and Terra’s – 9th annual show! We’ll be spending the winter refining the garden designs, so stay tuned.

Rob and Anna also presented streetscape renovation plans for Elm Street, the north entrance to campus, including new LED lighting and a stunning, double-rowed allee featuring a row of ornamental trees backed by a row of canopy trees on either side of the street. The allee will be the first piece of Lewis and Clark's larger campus-wide tree planting and reforestation plan that was recommended in the recently completed Campus Tree Management Plan by the Davey Resource Group (funded by a grant from the US Forest Service). In addition to the Management Plan, Lewis and Clark’s urban forest data is now publicly accessible on Davey Resource Group’s Tree Keeper website! You can check it out here: https://lewisclarkccil.treekeepersoftware.com/.

Allee tree planting is scheduled to begin in November 2019.

Flamingos at a Field to Table Fundraiser!

Columbus, OH

Pictured Right:  A surprise reunion with friends Mary Maloney, Executive Director of the Chadwick Arboretum, and Bob Brackman, Executive Director of San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

Pictured Right: A surprise reunion with friends Mary Maloney, Executive Director of the Chadwick Arboretum, and Bob Brackman, Executive Director of San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

No other than the Women’s Board of the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens could plan such a magical evening as their 10th Annual Field to Table fundraiser. Though the flamingos arrived months earlier – more than 70 life-sized topiary birds landed in the Grand Mallway in May – they inspired the theme of this year’s event.

The evening featured signature cocktails, savory hors d'oeuvres, and several courses of a locally-produced and -prepared meal. Cindy Tyler of Terra and her guest, Mary Malone, Director of Chadwick Arboretum happily attended the event. Bob Brackman, Executive Director of San Antonio Botanical Gardens, made a surprise appearance and almost won the “furthest traveler” award!

More than 700 guests gathered to support the event, resulting in $300,000 for the benefit of the Gardens’ community gardening initiatives. To learn more – and see a photo gallery from the evening, visit www.fpconservatory.org/get-involved/fundraising-events/field-to-table/.

Terra visits the Iowa Great Lakes

Okoboji, IA

Pictured Left:  Core Committee Members Chuck Larson, Lance Evans, Tracy Evans, Tim Kinnetz, and Joren Kinnetz, along with Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson   Pictured Right:  Rob and Cindy enjoying the grandeur of West Okoboji Lake

Pictured Left: Core Committee Members Chuck Larson, Lance Evans, Tracy Evans, Tim Kinnetz, and Joren Kinnetz, along with Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson

Pictured Right: Rob and Cindy enjoying the grandeur of West Okoboji Lake

In late July, Terra led a week-long kickoff workshop with founder Tim Kinnetz and key advisors for the brand new Okoboji Botanical Gardens in northwestern Iowa. Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson of Terra, newcomers to the Great Lakes region, fell in love with its beauty and charm – visiting the Okoboji Lakes is akin to taking a step back in time and a deep, cleansing breath.

Beyond the region’s beauty and potential, the depth and horsepower of the Gardens’ leadership team is extremely impressive. They are driven to create a cultural legacy for their community, and their vision is to transform 120 acres of agricultural land into a destination botanical garden. Terra is honored to be part of this endeavor!

Okoboji sits on the 43rd parallel, and outcomes of the workshop revealed a direction that will explore the garden styles of similar latitudes around the world.

A Meeting of the Minds at the 2018 NCYGS

Ithaca, NY

Terra’s Cindy Tyler attended the 2018 AHS National Children & Youth Garden Symposium, an annual gathering-of-the-minds where garden designers, teachers, community leaders, and program coordinators convene around the central mission of connecting kids to their natural world.

Cindy participated in the panel discussion Equitable Access to the Garden, along with Duron Chavis from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Rebecca Lemos-Otero from the City Blossoms program. She also assisted our friends from Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Mark Miller and Jenny Pope, as they led a workshop on community engagement while planning a garden - a key component to our design of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden!

Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children's Garden Celebrates Opening Week

Columbus, OH

Pictured left to right: Cindy Tyler, Board President Su Lok, and Executive Director Bruce Harkey

Pictured left to right: Cindy Tyler, Board President Su Lok, and Executive Director Bruce Harkey

Terra Design Studios is excited to announce the opening of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens! The opening week celebrated the dedicated staff and their families that contributed to this amazing garden, followed by a public grand opening.

The week's events included staff days for both Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a Donor Recognition Cocktail Party, and a Member Preview Day. Terra's Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson spent the week alongside Executive Director Bruce Harkey, Vice President of Planning Garry Clarke, and the board and staff as everyone celebrated over two years' hard work leading up to the opening.  

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden was designed to showcase exquisite horticulture, evocative art, and pure magic to capture the imagination of the child in all of us. The Garden contains thirteen distinct garden galleries:  Sneak Peak Forecourt, Rainbow Welcome Terrace, Sunrise Lawn, Mulberry Perch Canopy Walk, Nature Play Zone, Inspiration Pocket Gardens, Playhouse Garden, My Ohio Woods, the Learning Pavilion, Let's Garden!. Nature Art Studio, Wetland Explore, and the Whisper Gardens.  To date, attendance and membership sales are exceeding expectations!

Pittsburgh Mayor Proclaims May 11 'Pittsburgh Garden Trail Day'

Pittsburgh, PA

On Friday, May 11, Pittsburgh will recognize Pittsburgh Garden Trail Day, as proclaimed by Mayor William Peduto. Activities will be held at the seven founding gardens: Carrie Furnaces (a Rivers of Steel site), Chatham University Arboretum, The Frick Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, and Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden on this honorary day of celebration.

The Pittsburgh Garden Trail a collection of gardens in the Pittsburgh region that are open to the public, providing opportunities for visitors to interact with nature in a variety of beautiful and peaceful settings. Each garden is distinct, including outdoor and indoor areas for a variety of displays, exhibits and special events that garden lovers will enjoy throughout the year.

Terra Design Studios is a founding partner of the organization, and continues to support outreach efforts and development.

'Bicentennial Blooms' Summer Garden Show opens at Monticello Sculpture Gardens

Godfrey, IL

It’s not every year that a state turns 200! Terra’s sixth annual Summer Garden Show, Bicentennial Blooms transforms the Monticello Sculpture Gardens into a season-long celebration of all things Illinois. Along with state-wide events to commemorate the anniversary of when the Prairie State joined the Union, the Gardens - located at Lewis and Clark Community College - will join the festivities through a celebration of flowers and foliage across campus. 

Each designated garden area also features interpretive panels that highlight fun facts and historical trivia of the state and region - an outdoor alternative to sitting in front of Wikipedia for an afternoon! 

Kingwood Center Gardens Kicks Off Garden Gateway Project

Mansfield, OH

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In September 2014, Kingwood Center Gardens selected Terra and their team members, Seckel Group, The Acorn Group and EMD Consulting Group, from a national pool of candidates to design a Master Plan for the Gardens that respects the history of the Center while providing opportunity for increased revenue. Terra’s team prepared an interpretive prospectus, strategic vision, architectural evaluation, and a site plan that ties those components together.

This spring, Terra officially began work on the next phase of the Master Plan – The Garden Gateway Project. The Plan includes an Entrance Terrace, Bosque Event Terrace, and Fountain Terrace, as well as a Grand Perennial Garden and Pavilion, Central Mall, Cypress Garden (pictured above), and Woodland Edge Auto Garden.