Forest Design

 

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Site A occupies a dilapidated tennis court (left over from previous land occupants) and a portion of the surrounding sports/activities field on the west end of Lake George Regional Park. Over the coming years, the project will also be integrated into the surrounding forest making use of available habitats. Plant installations will be unified by a walking trail that connects all portions of the project. A self-guided audio tour will be available via the website for visitors to download onto their phones and mp3 players.

 

Design

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The first installation of the project will occupy the former site of two tennis courts and a shuffleboard court and also include a portion of  an existing athletic field. 
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Additional plant installations will occur over the coming years in the nearby forest. Project installations will be connected by a walking trail passing through various habitats in the park.

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Plant Groupings

The forest design is based on a collection of modular cells consisting of orbital structures of plants providing a variety of ecosystem services and occupying/creating a variety of niches. Each design “Cell” will feature distinct layers of growth from groundcover and perennial understory plants to midstory and overstory trees serving as the cell’s nucleus. Each of these modular cells can be put together to form larger forest gardens to accommodate available space.

Plant Types (seven layer forest model)

  • Trees (midstory and overstory)
  • Shrubs
  • Herbaceous perennials and annuals
  • Ground covers
  • Vines
  • Mosses
  • Lichens

Plants According to Habitats

  • Meadows, FIelds & Thickets
  • Forest Understory
  • Mid and Overstory Trees
  • Wetland Understory
  • Wetland Overstory

Ecological Functions of Plants

Overall, plants are selected for their rarity in Maine and the likelihood of survival in the various habitats present in the park. However, within those parameters, plants are selected for the ecological services they provide for the plant guild to which they belong. Selected plants fulfill a variety of  ecological functions including:

  • Nitrogen-fixing and scavenging plants (NF)
  • Dynamic nutrient-accumulating plants (DA)
  • Soil-building plants (SB)
  • Nectary plants (NP)
  • Habitat plants (animal food, shelter, overwintering) (HP)

Cultural Functions of Plants

Plants are researched for their cultural value including:

  • Local historic significance
  • Folkloric significance
  • Ethnographic significance

Project Stages

  1. Earthworks – Tennis court removed
  2. Irrigation lines
  3. Access – Accomplished
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Hardscapes
  6. Structures
  7. Stockpile and staging areas
  8. Site preparation
  9. Soil conditioning
  10. Flagging of plant positions
  11. Procuring of plants
  12. Overstory installation
  13. Lower tree and shrub installation
  14. Perennial installation
  15. Irrigation system emitters
  16. Mulch
  17. Ground cover installation
  18. Tree tubes, staking, and plant protection