College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Landscape Architecture

March Field Trip to D.C.

University of Maryland Landscape Architecture students were in Washington, D.C. on Thursday March 9th, 2017! The 3rd Year BLA students from LARC 321 Construction and Materials class visited the Capitol  RiverFront (see video at the end of this article) on the Anacostia River and  two major parks that are part of the revitalization. The picture above is from Yards Park

The morning started with a online quiz that had been due at 8:00 for Pre-Field Trip Research. Students had reviewed the Methodology for Landscape Performance Benefits for Canal Park  and answered questions about various  aspects of  Canal Park.  You can download the methods from the Landscape Architecture Foundation  (LAF website). Look for View/Download a PDF showing how the landscape performance benefits were derived.

“The Landscape Performance Series is an online set of resources to help designers, agencies, and advocates evaluate performance, show value and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions”  (LAF).  It is also a FANTASTIC resource for teaching , especially when we can visit the sites that are right in our backyard. This real world post analysis of built landscapes helps students (and faculty!) understand the integrated performance of materials and systems as well as a host of other performance measures.

We departed from the studio at 8:10 am sharp and took the Green Line to Navy Yard Metro Station arriving at Canal Park around 9:00 am. At 3 acres and dedicated in 2010, Canal Park  is divided into three areas.  We  investigated and discussed  details, materials and the construction processes as well as  looked at the features that contribute to the sustainable goals of the overall project.

Canal Park is a large neighborhood oriented park  that has achieved Three-Star Certification in the Sustainable Sites Initiative ™ (SITES ™ ) Pilot Program and Gold Certification in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) for Building Design and Construction: New Construction v3. (Salazar) Canal Park Methodology for Landscape Performance Benefits. (LAF)

At 10:00 we walked east towards the Anacostia River to Yards Park.  

“Yards Park celebrated its five year anniversary in 2015 and hosted more events and visitors than any other time in its history. Our Friday night concert series averaged 2,800 attendees, and Tour De Fat and DC JazzFest returned as signature events in Yards Park. The park became known as the riverfront destination in DC, as well as the “splash park” for children in Ward 6. Its active water features and open spaces have branded the neighborhood as family friendly, while the concerts appeal to a wide-ranging demographic” 2015 Capitol Riverfront Annual Report.

We again looked at overall park design and how materials and construction detailing supported the goals and objectives of the various park programs. For more images of Yards Park,  see internationally renowned landscape architecture firm MPFP’s website.

At around 11:15 we headed back to campus so that some of students could connect to their 12:30 classes. For those that didn’t have to get back, a few enjoyed the restaurants of the area!

The Capitol Riverfront in Washington, DC from Capitol Riverfront on Vimeo.

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