Above is a portion of the landscape plan for the rain gardens and the interpretive area at the Cascade Lakes Welcoming Center, USFS Deschutes National Forest, Bend, Oregon.
The landscaping features locally native grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees. They were selected for mitigation and interpretive purposes. While native plants are found throughout the visitor center grounds, you can view the Ethno Botanical garden where interpretative signs identify specific plants and how they were used by early people for food, medicine, and ceremonies. Along either side of the entry walk you will see rain gardens full of native perennials blooming from spring through summer. Visitors will notice how the earth is contoured to direct rainwater and snow melt from the roof and hard surfaces to the rain garden which will provide supplemental water for these plants. As you wander further through the landscape, interpretive signs explain some of the geological features you will see along the Cascade Lakes Highway. The interpretive theme “Journey of Water” describes how glacial ice carved the land, how lava dams created lakes, and how springs feed into the Deschutes River. The use of native plants accomplishes several sustainable objectives: 1) maintaining as much of the existing forest as possible preserves the ecology of the forest and limits the amount of mitigation needed; 2) planting only native species reduces the need for irrigation as little to no supplemental irrigation will be required once the plants are established; and 3) native plants do not need fertilizers and special soils which reduces electricity, water, and transportation demands.
To read the latest about this project go to http://cascadebusnews.com/cascade-lakes-welcome-station/
Partial Project List
USFS Cascade Lakes Welcoming Center, Bend, Oregon
Redmond Public Works Facility, Redmond, Oregon
Crook County Parks & Recreation Administration Site, Prineville, Oregon
As a botanist, I’ve worked with Eileen periodically over the last 20 years, most recently in her capacity as the owner of Dappled Earth. I’ve seen her “in action” in the design phase of several projects.
One of the things I appreciate most about Eileen is that she can quickly interpret a conceptual description into a site plan that offers fresh, delightful, and reality-based solutions. She knows how to keep in mind the constraints that every project has, while still incorporating creativity and fun into her designs. And, equally as important, she knows how to ask the right questions that ensures her plan fits the project’s intent.
Charmane Powers, District Botanist, Bend/Ft. Rock Ranger District