Winner: 2018 Excellence in Green Stormwater Infrastructure Award from the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia
Winner: 2009 Merit Award for Analysis and Planning from the PA-DE Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
The Township of Lower Merion purchased a one-acre parking lot in Ardmore and commissioned SALT DESIGN STUDIO to design a new community park. Early in the process, SALT identified potential public and private partners for fundraising, community outreach and educational campaigns. Through a participatory process, involving hands-on charrettes with adults and children, SALT’s team developed a design rooted in the native hydrology, topography, and riparian habitats of Cobbs Creek and Indian Creek watersheds.
The park design reintroduces the former ridgeline between the two watersheds, creating a playful and bold landform. The edge of the landform features a colorful, low curving wall which undulates across the site, its surface contracting and expanding along the way, providing seating, a stage or a walkway. The landform directs stormwater, creates flexible, unprogrammed rooms for recreation and relaxation, and changes the visual perception of the space. An abundance of new canopy and understory trees, shrubs and perennials create a multi-layered, native woodland while a rich and varied groundlayer enliven the lowland habitat and the existing mature Red Oaks. Together, the landforms and plant communities foster a diversity of native wildlife, making this park a critical contribution to the broader network of green space within the region.
Today, Linwood Park is a model for community stewardship, and the Friends of Linwood Park have been recognized by Lower Merion Township and Montgomery County for their efforts. Numerous community events are held at the park throughout all seasons, and it has become an established community centerpiece for neighbors and visitors alike.
Collaborators: Studio Gaea, Yerkes Associates