Alumni and Faculty Plan, Design, and Implement New Dakota County Park
How many College of Design faculty and alumni does it take to create a park? Fourteen contributed to the mission, vision, design, and implementation of recently-opened Whitetail Woods Regional Park, Dakota County’s first new park in thirty years. The county hopes to entice more residents to seek outdoor recreation close to home, rather than visiting parks and nature centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
David Pitt (Landscape Architecture) was struck by faculty and alumni involvement at every scale from regional planning to site details; and across the planning process, from client/owner to planning consultant to design consultant.
In the early stages of planning, Steve Roos (BED ’97, MLA ’99), Tracey Kinney (MLA ’05, MURP ’06), and adjunct professor and Center for Rural Design director Dewey Thorbeck considered how to integrate UMore Park. They also maintained close working relations with the county for the duration of the project.
Dakota County served as the overall planners and developers. Mary Jackson (MLA ’96) conceptualized the park, developed a program, and coordinated the development of a master plan with consultants Greg Johnson (BLA ’91) and Larry Wacker (BLA ’72) at Sanders, Wacker, Bergley. Kevin Biehn (MLA ’00) of Emmons and Olivier Resources also served as a consultant on plan development.
Josh Kinney (MLA ’01) was the project designer and manager at Dakota County Parks. He managed design consultants HGA, whose project team included adjunct professor Ross Altimer, Erica Christensen (MLA ’07), and Trygve Hansen (BED ’04, MLA ’12). Kinney also managed design consultant Tory Christensen (MLA ’06) and was heavily involved in the implementation of the design. Bruce Blair (BLA ’79) is the park manager.