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Morris County Park Commission

Landscape Management

Morris County Park Commission
Morris County, New Jersey

In 2006, Heritage Landscapes was commissioned to complete a Horticultural Facilities Strategic Master Plan for the Morris County Park Commission (MCPC), Morris County, New Jersey. After a design charrette and in-depth examination of the three horticultural facilities, goals and priorities for the MCPC and its horticultural properties were established.  Among the priorities were recommendations to expand stewardship, management, and care of the properties through the development of a natural resource management plan, an invasive species management plan, and fine-tuning operational efficiencies.  Additionally, Heritage Landscapes recognized that the MCPC had the opportunity and desire to demonstrate leadership and innovation in environmentally sustainable practices.  This unique opportunity allows the MCPC to be at the forefront of innovative environmentally sustainable practices, and to convey these practices in a visible way to reach and educate a broad audience.  Utilizing low-impact design, implementing successful low-water, and low-chemical use landscapes, promoting the use of native plants, designing new buildings to LEED certification with stormwater retaining roof gardens, or adopting carbon-neutral policies were among the recommended strategies proposed by Heritage Landscapes for the MCPC to lead in sustainable horticulture, design, and construction practices.  Recommendations were based in the issue of “doing less bad” vs. “doing more good” with reference to sustainable practices such as transportation, buildings, energy sources, water on site, organic pesticides, fertilizers, and leading sustainable institutions.  For example, Duke University made a decision to become carbon neutral throughout all aspect of design, construction, and operations on campus.  Balancing resource uses and conservation in terms of sustainable practices is a target for the MCPC, not just for the valuable consideration of the “more good,” but also for the educational opportunities available for visitors.

Morris County Park Commission (MCPC)

Horticultural Facilities Strategic Master Plan

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners with E. Timothy Marshall, President of ETM Associates, LLC, Keith Bowers, President and Founder of Biohabitats Inc., Philip Gruszka, Director of Parks Management and Maintenance Policies at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Margaret Falk, Director of Plant Records and Information at The New York Botanical Garden, and Charles Gleaves, Director of the Kingwood Center.