Access Road Ecotones

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Driven by a desire to benefit local communities and ecosystems, LAB collaborated with multiple teams of experts in the design of a one-and-a-half mile-long transportation corridor adjacent to I-295 in Washington, DC. The Access Road Ecotones project represents both the physical design for this site (St. Elizabeth’s Campus roadway spur) and the research project that has grown out of this design opportunity. LAB worked closely with the Xerces Society (invertebrate conservation specialists) and community representatives to design mutually beneficial outcomes for both human and natural environments, as it encourages neighborhood revitalization with pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular infrastructure connectivity all while benefiting local wildlife with curated groupings of native plantings. When built, the DHS Access Road Ecotones project will contain one of the largest meadows and tree plantings in the city. The documentation types, maintenance requirements, planting times, seeding methods, establishment methods, plant lists, and planting concepts are all original products of the collaboration between local landscape architects, regional horticulturalists, and the city’s transportation and environmental experts. The published plant lists developed for this project are intended to serve as a resource for educating landscape architects, horticulturists, planners, and city officials. The design team expects that the site will be the testing ground for future landscape research and will establish a foundation for thoughtful planting interventions in the metropolitan area.

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