Bamboo Brook, Morris County NJ

CLIENT:  Morris County Park Commission

Heritage Landscapes worked closely with the client team through planning and phased restoration of the Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center, Martha Brookes Hutcheson’s farm. Hutcheson was an important pioneer as the third woman Landscape Architect educated in the United States. The step-by-step  planning and restoration process engaged professional and on-site staff, advisory committee, and tenants in work sessions. Heritage Landscapes carried out tasks to:

  • Identify the underlying design principles of Hutcheson through historic research.
  • Document the landscape history and evolution from 1911 to 1950s
  • Validate preservation and restoration as preferred treatment
  • Undertake a phased implementation process
  • Detail a sustainable water capture and recycle system
  • Comply with NJ Environmental Regulations review process
  • Provide construction documentation for four phases
  • Integrate focused ongoing maintenance

Over the decades the gardens and grounds fell into disrepair. The historic landscape report provided a knowledge base and details to pursue restoration. Applying the principles laid out in her book, The Spirit of the Garden, the farm became a physical manifestation of Hutcheson’s talent and design skill as an expression of principles. These include: selecting the garden size and type in relation to the style of house; emphasizing proper line of approach, expressing the main axis, creating beautiful transitions; using the natural topographic variation levels; and employing diverse green foliage for contrast, perspective, and shadows. Completed projects recaptured the historic landscapes of the Coffee Terrace; Armillary Sphere Garden; Swimming Tank, stream, cistern and pond water system and plantings; while the renewal of the south gardens, orchard and tennis court is underway.


Bamboo Brook Historic Landscape South Gardens, Orchard and Tennis Court, Swimming Tank and Water System, Coffee Terrace and Garden Restoration, Bamboo Brook Historic Landscape Preservation and Maintenance Plan


Heritage Landscapes for report and projects; Water System with LRV Associates, ecological assessment; Landmark Facilities Group, mechanical and electrical engineering


I think everything is coming together very nicely.  With the pond, tanks, stream and plantings in place as mulch and paths are defined, it really comes to life. Charles Zafonte, former Director of Horticulture & Natural Resources MCPC
The waterworks look spectacular! Congratulations to the entire team! Louise S. Jensen, former MCPC