Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WA

For Bloedel Reserve Board of Trustees

Heritage Landscapes developed a specialized study to document and communicate the historical evolution of landscape character of Bloedel Reserve, a landscape master work, and to align decision-making to the vision of Prentice Bloedel, founder.  Our work sought to develop a common understanding of the relationship between Bloedel’s quotes and the physical landscape to inform decisions with documentary evidence and direct informed strategic actions. Our task include:

  • Collaborate extensive archival research and oral histories
  • Document landscape evolution, continuity and change through narrative and graphics
  • Identify landscape character areas, visual and spatial organization
  • Provide a place-based foundational understanding and evidence
  • Create detailed period plans from origin in 1951 to 1994
  • Prepare existing AutoCAD plan with GPS pathways
  • Incorporate ecology and habitat guidance
  • Develop organized, strategic path for decision-making

The Heritage Landscape Report findings assert Prentice Bloedel as directing the landscape evolution through 1994, with overall design and construction by landscape architects Thomas Church, Richard Haag, and EPD, with specific areas by other acclaimed professionals. An important conclusion came forward: that each component landscape is distinct, requiring management to its unique character. Once the report was complete, the board saw the need for further elucidation of the original and evolved character of each landscape. Combining archival imagery and collaborative fieldwork, the physical landscape of each garden, meadow, woodland was assessed for daily management direction, alignment to Bloedel vision, Reserve mission, and a group of conservation, sustainability and experience values. Through the two works, Heritage Landscapes collaborated with board and staff to develop a strong foundation to springboard stewardship of the Reserve forward in alignment with values.

WORKS Bloedel Reserve Heritage Landscape Report, 2016; Bloedel Reserve Component Landscapes Character Defining Features Study, 2017.


Heritage Landscapes lead, for BR HLR Jennifer Ott, Oral History Interviews, and Dyanne Sheldon, Ecologist


“We humans are trustees in this world … our power should be exercised in this context.” Prentice Bloedel