May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 48

OPERATIONS
A Park for the Future
Ecology and community in symbiosis at Northwest Community Park
By Shannon Coates, Ph.D., MBA, CPRE, and Emily Manderson
S
ince the early 2000s, Frisco, Texas, has been one of the fastest-growing
cities in the United States. As the city's explosive growth continues,
plains and pastures are replaced with development. Few tracts of undeveloped
land remain within the city, and fewer still hold remnants
of the vast grasslands that once supported a colorful array of wildlife. However,
the city recognized the ecological value of its 120 acres at Northwest
Community Park when planning the space. Historically, the park was a prairie
ecosystem, as was much of the middle-United States ranging from the
Gulf Coast to Canada, of which less than approximately 1 percent remains.
During the site assessment in 2021, remnants of old-growth Blackland Prairie
were identified along with historic Blackland Prairie soils that remained
in part of an agricultural field. These discoveries led to the goal of increasing
ecosystem function while also increasing human experiences in nature. The
team set out to combine programming and conservation features to create a
playful local park space that responds to the needs of our time.
Resilient Landscaping
The prairie supports several needs
in urban environments, such as capturing
and cleaning stormwater, improving
air quality by sequestering
carbon, providing pollinator habitat,
and reducing heat-island effect. The
design of Northwest Community
Park supports these functions while
interweaving mountain biking trails,
hiking trails, playgrounds, a dog park
and gathering spaces. The ecological
goal of the design project is to
protect the function of the northern
remnant prairie while enhancing and
increasing the bike and hiking experience.
In the southern portion of the
site, where most of the programming
will take place, the prairie will be restored
around these features, which
will increase ecosystem function and
opportunities for recreation simultaneously.
The
park will showcase Blackland
Prairie, savanna, woodlands,
wetlands
and riparian
habitats.
Blackland Collaborative, a consulting
group focused on ecology,
worked with a design studio to
develop a diverse tallgrass prairie
seed mix of multiple grass species
as well as forbs. Local seeds and
plants from the remnant prairie
also will be incorporated to inThe
Northwest Community Park design
prioritizes recreation and ecosystem
function.
48 Parks & Recreation | MAY 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
crease the genetic diversity of the
mix and help ensure long-term sustainability
of prairie establishment
and development. Savanna habitat
consisting of a diverse set of Indigenous
trees and an Indigenous
grassland ground cover will be established
along the edges of the site
to help provide a vegetative buffer
to protect against pressure from
introduced species outside of the
project boundaries, as well as provide
shade for the shared-use path.
Expanding Education
The design team created beautiful
program spaces where Indigenous
plants will be used in more formal
applications to highlight the longestablished
plant communities and
increase the ecological function
in all aspects of the park. Using
long-established plants in formal
applications will normalize
Indigenous species and inspire the
community to use these plants in
their landscapes.
From an interpretive
perspective,
the story of Northwest Community
Park is about preserving a
critical part of nature in a rapidly
developing city while encouraging
people to experience, learn from
and enjoy the park.
Shannon Coates, Ph.D., MBA, CPRE, is
Director of Parks and Recreation at City
of Frisco, Texas (scoates@friscotexas.gov).
Emily Manderson is Principal and Senior
Environmental Designer at Blackland
Collaborative Inc.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DESIGN WORKSHOP

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 31
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May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 37
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May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 43
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 44
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 45
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 46
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 47
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 48
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 49
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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