A UNIQUE, LOW WATER WALKING PARK
Recently, we had the privilege of being selected to design & construct a brand-new walking park for Mercy Hospital’s South West Campus. The project was funded by the generous donations of the Friends of Mercy Foundation. Working with our clients, they expressed a desire to have a park that was distinct to Mercy Hospital & the greater Central Valley. They wanted an environment where employees would enjoy walking & exercising. Also, it was very important to our clients that the park be as water-friendly as possible.
Tasked with these requests, we began to shape a truly unique environment. Instead of creating a lawn-dominant space, which is common with so many California parks, we focused on reserving the lawn footprint to select areas of the property. Next we decided that to add visual impact, we would add large swaths of different stone colors & textures to the landscape. In order to compliment the stone effect, we added a dramatic, dry creek bed that meanders throughout the entire landscape.
It was also very important to us to select water-friendly varieties of plants & trees. We focused on natives, succulents, cacti, & other varieties of plants that are extremely drought tolerant. For trees, we relied heavily on the beautiful Palo Verde flowering tree, Mesquite, & Oak varieties. We wanted plants & trees that would not just survive an arid environment, but that would also look beautiful as well. In order to further conserve water, we specified that all the planters be irrigated by drip irrigation.
In order to create a very natural path through the space, we used a permeable decomposed granite for the walking path. Its warm, tan color make it a much more appealing walking surface than sterile concrete. Along the path, we placed large, granite boulder benches for visitors to take respite on during their walks.
After months of designing & constructing, what was once a dusty, vacant lot is now transformed into a beacon of sustainability & beauty. The garden explodes with so much blooming color that it is easily visible from Old River Road. We welcome you to take a stroll along its path & take in all your eyes can see.