Design/Build Projects

We design and build landscapes big and small. From public parks to residential gardens to industrial landscapes, our mission-driven approach attracts a socially conscious, environmentally-oriented client base. 

Permaculture Homestead (2017 to present)

Vassar College Stormwater Master Plan (2017)

Woodlot Playground (2017)

Suspended Residential Forest (2017)

Hyde Park Rapid Re-Wilding (2017)

Vassar Farm and Ecological Reserve (2017 to present)

Riverfront Trail (2017)

Mountainside Residence (2016)

Safe Harbors Green (2015,16)

Permeable Meadow Lot (2016)

Ralph Street Residence (2016)

Camp Rockaway (2016,17,18)

Etsy Green Roof (2015,16)

Cold Spring Ha Ha (2015)

Church Street Residence (2015)

North Elm Street Residence (2015)

Brooklyn Greenway (2014 to present)

West Church Street Residence (2014)

Main Street Pop-up Park (2014 to present)

Gap Junction  at The Queensway (2014)

Stormwater Farm (2014,15,16)

Mianus River Park Entrance  (2013,14)

Rockaway Dunes (2013)

Pioneerworks Sculpture Garden (2013)

7th Street Garden (2013)

Farm Ponds (2013)

One Nature Demonstration Garden (2013 to present)

 

Permaculture Homestead

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Safe Harbors Green

In 2015, the organization Safe Harbors of the Hudson purchased a vacant lot in the center of downtown Newburgh, NY and commissioned One Nature to develop a master plan for a new public park. Located in the Hudson Valley, the city of Newburgh boasts the largest National Historic District apart from New York City. Newburgh experienced a rapid economic decline beginning in the 1950s, which was exacerbated when the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge on I-84 opened in 1963, bypassing downtown Newburgh entirely. However, the city looks to the future as new businesses begin to capitalize on the city’s waterfront, historic architecture, and diverse community. Safe Harbors Green brings accessible green space to downtown Newburgh, a positive development in what has recently been an economically stressed area. One Nature was responsible for the project design, management, and contracting for Safe Harbors Green, in addition to providing maintenance and volunteers for the initial plantings.

The core of the project merged principles of restoration ecology and the city's need for community space. Not only did this require a flexible design for various social programming, but it also demanded thoughtful changes to the existing topography through construction. Through the design process, One Nature explored the many uses a public park could provide: relaxation, farmers markets, outdoor concerts, community events, and nature education were just a few. The design features two staircases, a performance stage, 3 lawns, an ADA accessible ramp, and paths connected throughout. Additionally, the park is lit by solar lighting, creating a safe space at night.

Changes to the topography of the site, which was virtually flat, resulted in a series of terraced lawns and focal points throughout the park creating a more dynamic landscape. Crushed stone paths connect the different levels of the park, with two entrance staircases built with local bluestone steps on both Broadway and Ann Street. A vegetated swale was constructed and designed to direct storm-water runoff and reduce the risks of drainage related damages while promoting green infrastructure in the city’s fabric. Compost and topsoil were added to the site in order to provide a healthy growing medium for more than 4,000 native plants with locally sourced seed genetics.

The project boasts a planting list of a variety of local, native plants. Essential to the park design was bringing life to an otherwise sterile landscape. Choosing native plants allows the park to create habitat, increase carbon sequestration, remove air pollution, reduce high temperatures in hotter months, all while creating an aesthetically pleasing space. Some of the plants found in the park include bluestem, goldenrod, milkweed, purple coneflower, sumac, and many other species.

This recently completed park has already begun to make an impact in the city. Safe Harbors Green is providing a much needed space for the community to facilitate various programs and events, recreate, relax, experience and enjoy the environment, as well as take pride in their city. The park offers habitat to insects and birds in the center of a heavily urban neighborhood, increasing green space in the city, and ultimately creating a positive development for the local ecology, economy, and community. Safe Harbors Green and Newburgh serve as an example for what other struggling downtown areas can be. 

Note: While One Nature developed the conceptual vision for this project and performed construction management, professional design services for this project were provided by Hudson Land Design Professional Engineering, P.C.

 

Woodlot Playground

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Etsy's Green Roof

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Camp Rockaway

One Nature was hired to develop a full restoration master plan for the development of a 2 acre “glamping” (Glamorous Camping) site on the shores of Jamaica Bay. Designed to merge the aesthetics of National Park Service campgrounds and 19th century beach bungalow communities, we started by developing an ecological restoration plan rooted in scientific studies of sunken dune forests.

After designing for an ecologically strong and beneficial habitat for native plants and migratory bird species, we overlaid the proposed human program to establish locations for temporary canvas tent sites and basic tourist facilities.

Located on what is likely historic fill, the design calls for importation of clean sand to create a new platform for a dune-like environment that creates a high-quality experience for regional visitors. We developed a strong central axis to the landscape by aligning an arterial boardwalk with a sunken forest swale. During extreme storms and tides, the entire site is designed to flood. Relatively inexpensive tent structures will be replaced if damaged. On the shoreline we envisioned a beach-like experience with a kayak launch, artificial tide pool, and living walls.

Vassar College Stormwater Master Plan

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Mianus River Park

The Mianus River Park is a beautiful 400-acre recreational treasure in Stamford, Connecticut. The rolling Mianus River threads through the middle of the park; full of wildlife, dense forest, and colonial-era stone walls. In this highly developed area of Connecticut, the Mianus River Park has become a pedestrian refuge and overuse has caused significant damage. Because of increasing ecological strain and degradation of the park, the City of Stamford, in tandem with Trout Unlimited, turned to One Nature for an Ecological Master Plan (conducted in 2012) to restore the environmental health of this valuable natural preserve. After a year of analysis, One Nature designed a long-term Ecological Master Plan that integrates human use of the park with regenerative and sustainable ecological practices.

Trails

The popularity of the Mianus River Park has surged over the last decade. With land being used for hiking, fishing, dog walking and mountain biking, heavy visitation has caused soil compaction, eroded shorelines, and damaged hiking trails. One Nature determined there were many redundant and unofficial trails created by hikers and bikers, and that the excessive amount of trail in the lower section of the park could not sustain healthy ecosystems. It was therefore recommended that 50 percent of existing trails be shut down for full restoration of native habitats. In wet areas, especially along river trails, One Nature proposed elevated walkways to protect plant life and reduce erosion.

Forest

The Mianus River Park forests are almost entirely deciduous, comprised of trees that fall within the same age range and a limited number of species. Over time, this has created a homogeneous environment in which trees form a dense, single canopy that blocks sunlight and hinders soil regeneration. An ecologically healthy forest needs a mid-level canopy to successfully support native plants and animals. Human and dog traffic, and deer grazing have also added to the severe degradation of forested areas resulting in a lack of plant regeneration. One Nature recommended both tree thinning and new plantings to break up the upper canopy and diversify species, as well as soil regeneration to restore the forests. Native plants are the best solution for creating habitats that help native wildlife thrive. Plants should also be selected based on soil type, shade, and available moisture. One Nature strongly recommended using fences in highly vulnerable areas and around new plantings since the park is so heavily used. Some of the fences, which should be natural in color, may be removed once restoration has firmly taken hold. Those around entryways and along the main trail should remain in place to protect the landscape in the most highly trafficked areas.

River

The Mianus River is central to the park’s popularity. It serves as both a recreational fishery and a source of municipal water. Explosive visitation growth to the park and its river, especially for fly fishing, has taken a heavy toll on the river’s banks. Erosion along the shoreline has caused deep sections of the river to fill with sediment from the riverbanks. Important ground-level plant life is also absent because of excessive foot traffic. Shoreline stabilization is vital to restoring the riverbanks and will stop the rapid erosion and buildup of sediment in the river channel. In the Mianus River Park Ecological Master Plan, One Nature recommended putting in place a combination of the following river stabilization tools and systems: weirs, j-hooks, conifer revetment, large stones and boulders, bioengineering, fringe wetland, and flood banks. A robust native plant community along the banks would provide important food sources to aquatic species, moderate temperature, and reduce erosion during floods. The river’s edge should be replanted, protected from foot traffic, and visitor access points should be formally established to restore shorelines, which ultimately restores the river and ecosystem as a whole.

 

Brooklyn Greenway

One Nature was honored to work with the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative to convert two stretches of urban landscape, nearly a half mile, into thriving native plant habitats as part of a large-scale community revitalization initiative. This fantastic urban renewal project, which is halfway complete, will ultimately create a lush, landscaped 14-mile corridor for walkers, runners, and cyclists that connects neighborhood parks and creates open access to Brooklyn’s waterfront from the East River to New York Harbor.

In the first stage of the Brooklyn Greenway project, One Nature conducted an intensive survey of surrounding vacant lots to determine which native plants are already thriving in the area. One Nature then put together a seed mixture incorporating those plants for the new habitats.

This type of environment is tough for plants—the areas are next to paved roadways, and existing soil was lean on organic nutrients.  In addition, salt water exposure is a potential problem adjacent to walks and roads that are salted during the winter. One Nature added nutrient-rich compost to the soil and chose native plants that are both fast-growing and hardy so that plants would take root quickly and compete successfully against aggressive alien species. Among the shrubs planted are bayberry, beach plum, red chokeberry, and fragrant sumac. A diverse native seed mixture was sown, which includes golden aster, wild indigo, milkweed, butterfly weed, clover, primrose, and mountain mint. A selection of indigenous grasses including bluestem, lovegrass, and Indian grass are also used on the site. 

One Nature began the Brooklyn Greenway project in 2014 and the rewards reaped are beyond expectation. The two sites are now thick with native plant growth and a half-mile of high-value pollinator habitat has been created. These areas are now beautiful, sustainable, and supportive of a healthy natural environment. One Nature created the green sites for under $10,000 per acre. Lastly, local volunteers are maintaining the landscapes through a corporate sponsorship. One Nature has received tremendous positive feedback about this richly diverse new green space.

 

Hyde Park Re-Wilding Project

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The Rockaway Dunes

The Rockaway Dunes. By One Nature, 2013. Our project is a vision for a re-alignment of boardwalks to improve coastal resiliency and create a community based on respect for our coastal ecosystem. By tracing the history of our shifting coastline since the last ice age, we developed an approach that allows for strong dune barriers with room to retreat from the rising seas. www.onenaturellc.com MoMA PS1 EXPO 1: New York Rockaway Call for Ideas.

Suspended Forest

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St-Mary's-by-the-Sea

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Mountainside Residence

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One Nature Demonstration Garden

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Main Street Agroecological Pop-up Park 

In 2014, One Nature partnered with Green Teen volunteers and Hudson Todd to transform a vacant lot in Beacon, NY into a temporary pop-up park. The park engages the community to explore agriculture, public art, and open space. Situated right off of Beacon's Main Street, the community has been able to watch the transformation of a neglected lot into a vibrant, healthy landscape. 

The park features wood benches and log seating, planted berms, an existing mural, keyhole beds, a compost station, and a variety of native, local plants. Some of the plants in the park include sunflowers, goldenrod, and purple coneflower, among many others. In addition, the keyhole beds are planted with a variety of fruit and vegetables.

The park now hosts a local farmers market, provides ecological habitat to a variety of birds and insects, and serves as an open space for the community to enjoy. Though a temporary landscape, the pop-up park continues to provide a pocket of green space for the wildlife and people of Beacon.