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Jefferson Avenue Pocket Park Design, Richmond, Va.

"Two Hill Park" Design Competition Winner, by Timmons Group's Landscape Architecture Team, Led by Scott Wiley and Lu Gay Lanier, FASLA





The "Two Hill Park" design celebrates the adjoining Richmond communities of Church Hill and Union Hill. Each is represented by a hill between which runs a ravine and a stream symbolically flowing to the James River. Stormwater is directed to the Jefferson Street divide. The Gateway Plaza (right hand corner) design calls for concentric rings of permeable granite cobbles that recall historic Richmond streets. The design fosters respect and stewardship of the natural environment, affords environmental education, and preserves valuable green space for future generations. Trees historic to the neighborhood were selected: willow oaks, Japanese apricots, and eastern red cedars. Flowering shrubs--azaleas, forsythia, and camellias--enhance seasonal interest. Evergreen shrubs--hollies, winterberries and boxwoods--add winter stability to the landscape. The plantings reinforce the topography, reduce the urban heat island effect and enhance the natural aesthetics of the onsite storm water features.
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The triangular-shaped track of land at 2221 Jefferson Avenue in Richmond, Va., is an underdeveloped green space located along a major gateway corridor of the Church Hill and Union Hill communities.

In the fall of 2014, the Better Housing Coalition (BHC), Church Hill neighbors, and planners from the city of Richmond gathered to host and jury a design competition www.jeffersonpocketpark.com to beautify this prominent space in dire need of attention.

 






The Two Hill Park design is for this underdeveloped green space at 2221 Jefferson Avenue in Richmond, Va., along a gateway corridor of the Church Hill and Union Hill communities.


The judges determined the "Two Hill Park" design by the Landscape Architecture Group of the Timmons Group best incorporated the community's input and history, while demonstrating fiscal responsibility, low-maintenance design, pleasing aesthetics and environmental sustainability. Timmons Group has been recognized for nearly 20 years as one of Engineering News Record's "Top 500 Design Firms." The firms provides civil engineering, environmental, geotechnical, GIS/geospatial technology, landscape architecture and surveying services www.timmons.com

"Two Hill Park," a clean, abstract geometric design, contained four quadrants to represent the rich history of two adjacent communities, foster respect and stewardship of the natural environment, afford environmental education and preserve valuable green space for future generations. The four quadrants balance and unify the site, reflecting a contemporary reinvention of the historical gateway, local landforms and drainage divide.

The park design focused heavily on historic plantings, which help reinforce the topography, reduce urban heat island effect, and enhance the natural aesthetics of the onsite stormwater features. Trees historic to the neighborhood, such as willow oaks, Japanese apricots, and eastern red cedars, were chosen to present a sense of scale and define park boundaries. Flowering shrubs, such as azaleas, forsythia, and camellias, were strategically located to enhance seasonal interest. Evergreen shrubs--hollies, winterberries and boxwoods--add winter stability to the landscape. The addition of an array of native perennials helps anchor the diverse mix of plantings. This plant palette creates a biodiverse landscape that supports pollinators, reduces the risk of wide spread plant disease, celebrates regionalism, reduces water requirements and showcases seasonal interest.

 




The Timmons Group landscape architecture team of Scott Wiley and Lu Gay Lanier, FASLA, won the design competition with their 'Two Hill Park' design. Residents of Richmond, Va., elected the winning design. The competition was hosted by 3HC, the junior board of the Better Housing Coalition, the Enrichmond Foundation and Friends of Jefferson Park. 3HC member David Conmy (left) and Greta Harris, BHC president/CEO (middle) presented the design winner's certificate to Scott Wiley. Fundraising for construction of the park is ongoing.



The designed plaza, sourced from reclaimed cobble from historic city streets and lined with brick pavers, serves as a pervious drainage solution, which allows the maximum recharge of the water table and continuous flow into the cistern that will supply the splash jet and stream. To keep costs low and promote local art, park benches and plaza seating were designed and will be constructed by local university students interested in industrial design.

The new design for this unique pocket park was a true community effort. It has brought new life and ownership into the civic core of the neighborhood and will offer residents a welcoming space where they may pause to enjoy a meal, catch up with neighbors, play in the bubbling spring, or walk the historic divide.

Local volunteers are being encouraged to help with the installation. Many of the park's materials and plants will be donated by companies in the industry looking to improve the community.







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September 20, 2019, 4:22 pm PDT

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