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Good Evening, I am Vanessa Hefti Welcome to Holocene high performance landscape systems___an integrated solution on the study site of Fargo/Moorhead and the outlaying areas 2. I pose the question to you*** "What if a connected system of landscape infrastructure, a working landscape, could enhance ecological functioning to serve as a civic asset rather than an environmental liability?"*** 3. Tonight, I will walk you through: the site, Fargo-Moorhead and the outlaying areas the theoretical underpinnings of my design response analysis of site issues and finally the design response as applied to the study site of the Fargo area. ***

4. This is the Fargo-Moorhead area;*** these are some issues related to the site.*** here, regional flooding is a massive issue,*** in addition to water supply, water quality,*** foundation stability, mass wasting, and slope stability along waterways,*** soil conservation, *** a devastated wet tallgrass prairie ecosystem,*** urban health issues including social, physiological, and psychological, which I attribute to poor urban planning, lack of community, and lack of synthesized aesthetic civic and recreational design***

These are some of the opportunities to build on in the area: A downtown rich in culture, history, and fine design*** Higher education facilities*** intellectual industry*** existing park and trail structure*** the underlaying ecosystem*** and informed/aesthetic design*** I don't see necessarily see the issues of Fargo as problems, I see opportunity. When a flood comes I don't see devastation, I see opportunity rebuild a better, smarter way, taking the features Fargo has to offer and marrying them with aesthetic, ecological, and socially responsible solutions.*** I see it as going from THIS to THIS.*** 6. The theoretical underpinnings of the design solution to create a high-performance landscape system is truly a thesis of my undergraduate career. Studying Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Ecology, and Natural Resource Management, in addition to art and computer programming has led me to believe this is the way of future design*** 7. The timeline shows an evolution of Landscape Design beginning in the 1800s with royal parks designed for recreation, then city parks aimed at public health, to the park systems for preservation, national and state parks for conservation, to town planning introducing notions of sustainability. 12,000 years ago in geologic time we entered the Holocene, an 'entirely new' era, scholars have since labeled it the Anthropocene, 'the new human' era, which implies 'nature' as belonging to a human construct.*** Holoscene seeks to remedy this destructive and unsustainable paradigm, by returning nature to resilient, dynamic, time-based landscapes versus artificial, manufactured landscape objects.

I suggest we enter this new era, the Holoscene an entirely new view, which encompasses the Environmental Design problems and solutions of the past into dynamic working ecologies.***

8. The Fargo area posed a nearly ideal study site for the application of this conceptual synthesis.*** First I looked at the underlaying ecosystem consisting of wet-mesic to wet tallgrass prairie meaning the soils are commonly saturated. The ecosystem is maintained by disturbance regimes of drought, fire, and grazing*** These are just a few of the flora and fauna that occupy this native ecosystem. I will further discuss this ecosystem in relation to other analysis*** Second, I did a series of studies on site climatology. Observe the strong and consistent wind pattern, This provides amble opportunity for a sustainable energy source.*** Next, I did a rather thorough analysis of the site's geology, note the surficial and buried aquifers. Also, take note of weak soil structure developed by glacial till, this leads to slope instability along waterways and requires caissons to the depth anywhere from 100-300plus ft for the stability of any largely weighed structure.*** To make a long story short, this hydrological study informed me of how water moves throughout the soils.*** In summation: West Fargo gets their water supply from the West Fargo Aquifer Fargo, from the Red River, and Moorhead from the Buffalo Aquifer. The Bureau of Reclamation did a report stating in the event of a drought the area could not sustain its water supply Both West Fargo and Moorhead have planned to pipe in water from other stores As you can see by the water loss chart, It would be far more efficient to reconstruct tallgrass prairie wetlands to aid in recharging the aquifers. My hydrological study continued, examining the functions of rivers and flooding.

In the 1800's this area was part of one of the largest wetlands in the world, by 1970 American farmers drained around 17 million hectares of wetland. From the chart you can see the decline percentage in the area. and timeline shows the correlation between land use change and peak flooding.*** you can see here the severe economic losses incurred. 1 acre of prairie can absorb 9" of rainfall/hr, 53 tons of water in a rain event, and reduce peak flooding by up to 23 percent. As the United States pays around $20 billion annually in Agricultural subsidies, subsidies which are provided without regard for economic need, it is an economically feasible land use conversion to tallgrass prairie, which I will further prove.*** Over 135.6 miles of agricultural ditches pour directly into the River system. This river system is classified as threatened. Agricultural chemicals contaminate the water with herbicides and insecticides, such as atrazine which is found in cancer tumors, known to cause birth defeats, and, I'm not kidding, causes male amphibians to turn into hermaphrodites. Endosulfan, one of the most toxic pesticides on the market, is also used in excess concentrations in this region.*** Agricultural subsidies are argued necessary for National Emergency, however, wind and water erosion in the area has caused the loss of top soil at an unsustainable rate, this has caused increased fertilizer use, further contaminating water. Therefore, it would be more beneficial to convert the land back to prairie to rebuild the mineral and nutrient rich topsoil that makes for good agriculture. Finally I overlaid this with existing park and trail, transportation network, and land use, to determine best routes of circulation, capitalizing on existing structure, and adding connections where needed. I made adjustments for land use and zoning with the aim of maintaining property rights as much as possible, while maintaining the integrity of the new park system's function. However, as discussed earlier, mass wasting on riverbanks required a zoning push back from the river. This opened the opportunity to expand the Red River Park and Trail system, using prairie and riparian plantings to restabilize slopes. Where this is not practical, such as with the historic downtown, other suitable implementations will be put in place.***

9. The analysis revealed an integrated high-performance landscape park system with a structured green network from concentrated urban sectors (with interpretive features) to suburban recreation (focusing on mitigation) to a rural web (acting as highly functional prevention)*** This articulates the gradient flow from Urban to Rural, including an aesthetic flow: From urban, capitalizing on the aesthetic of the historical columns downtown, and some features of the memorial plaza and bridge, To Rural, taking on the intentions of Microsoft's designer Matt Torgerson.*** WARNING: LONGWINDED 9a. The highly functional eco-parks consist of three major types: 1. Wastewater Wetland Park Sub-System Current wastewater ponds sited on a massive flood zone are replaced with constructed wet tallgrass prairie ponds. Integrated in a series of retention and detention ponds designed in hierarchical system to filter and remediate water as it flows through the ponds and into rivers and streams. 2. West Aquifer Park Sub-System On a massive flood zone and atop the West Fargo Aquifer, the Sheyanne Diversion Channel is removed, replaced with the native wet tallgrass prairie ecosystem. As per recommendation by the Bureau of Reclamation, specialized wells are commissioned for design for buried aquifer recharge. These wells are strategically placed near final ponding zones where filtration and remediation stages assure quality water recharge of the aquifer. *** 3. Buffalo Aquifer Park Sub-System Located East and partially atop the Buffalo Aquifer, on a site of severe flooding, vertical infiltration is allowed through sandy zones prior to reaching the clay lined portion of the Red River Basin. Locating the Park upslope to the East of this zone allows collection of surficial water flow. Thus, flowing horizontally downslope into the wetland park where it is filtered and remediated by movement through the system, maximizing water quality as it reaches zones of infiltration.*** All three parks feature interwoven trail systems and educational components, interpretive, figurative, and literal.*** Potentially, these sites could house Educational Research Centers, sponsored civically, governmentally through University, or through private Environmental Organizations. *** The parks also take advantage of strong prevailing winds in the region,

featuring ecologically designed wind-powered electric generators, called ‘windstalks‘. Windstalks are coupled with below ground hydroelectric backup systems, to generate power even when the wind is still. The windstalks assimilate aesthetically complimenting the sway of prairie grasses in the wind. *** 9b. The mitigative Suburban parks also consist of three major types: 1. Rural to Suburban transition parks bridge low-structured recreation tallgrass prairie wetland to high-structured recreational neighborhood parks. Here, wet tallgrass prairie is implemented aesthetically into the design of neighborhood parks as low-point water features or integrated bioswales acting for stormwater detention and retention, remediating and filtering pollutants from neighborhood drives and lawns prior to reaching larger water bodies.*** The trail system hierarchy continues from rural and urban parks, designed to weave and merge interchangeably, meeting flood levels at grade, maintaining that a consistent trailway is always open for route up to the 100yr flood. 2. Neighborhood parks also integrate wet tallgrass prairie for mitigative efforts but lack rural adjacency.*** 3. Suburban to urban systems act in the prior, additionally integrating figurative educational components in the form of site furniture, public art, play structures and design form. For instance, a drinking fountain could integrate the design function of an aquifer, or a play water feature could mimic the function of a check dam during flood. All structures strictly adhere to selected material representation for complete congruency of the overall system, adding specific materials per neighborhood, by neighborhood associations to achieve identity. For instance a neighborhood may desire the inclusion of a Blue-Green Interference Coated Stainless Steel and complimentary Arborvitae hedges, or Yellow Fluorocarbon-coated Aluminium and Thornless Honey Locusts. These selections aid in the prevention of monoculture, both horticulturally and thematically. 9c. The final park sub-system consists of integrated interpretive educational urban parks 1. Urban parks highly focus on the integrated interpretive education that tells

the story of the Red River Park System. The aim of these interpretive elements is to educate residents on the great utility and service this high-performance landscape system provides them. Locally commissioned public art is designed to figuratively iterate different functions of the system, the water cycle, the journey of water down slope, the function of a prairie plant, the recharge of an aquifer, and so on and so forth. Wet tallgrass prairie is still implemented, often more formalized and structured in the form of bioswales or lining sidewalks or plaza planting beds to complement the downtown aesthetic, while still performing a functional utility.*** 2. Urban river parks merge the educational intention with riparian prairie functions of slope stabilization. Nearer the urban core, these parks implement a higher grade of hard engineering structure, such as that of mechanically stabilized earth walls, acting as a slope stabilizer and flood protection for the urban core. A major program element here is the Red River Fire Festival: an annual spring community celebration Since prairie grasses require burning every 3-5years, a staggered approach, would allow prairie burning festivals to be held annually in celebration of the unique and beautiful Red River prairie landscape. This event would create a unique civic bonding of the community. The downtown streets would becoming a pedestrian mall, bringing in markets, music, food, drink, etc. 10. In conclusion: PROBLEM STATEMENT This high-performance landscape park system of ecologically based soft engineering strategies, and low impact design serves as a highly valued civic amenity in terms of economics, functioning in both program and aesthetic for the social, psychological, and physiological health of the community. This is on top of the enormous economic valuation of the ecologically engineered integrated civic utilities for which the park system solves; costs that are flood related, through insurance, damages, the yearly abuse of FEMA funding, costs related to water treatment, water supply, preventative drought precautions, the high costs of nutrient rich top soil erosion, requiring farmers to increasingly rely on fertilizers and pesticides, which furthers the cost of water treatment,

the wasted tax dollars in public parks that lay submersed underwater most of the season. Think about that very calculable economic benefit... that is already surpassing by far the benefit of hard engineering.*** now, just for fun, throw on top of it the arguably incalculable economic benefit of saving an ecosystem on bring of distinction. I would like to leave you with one thought tonight... That thought is the humble notion of: Simple Gifts.

Thank you.

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