April 13, 2018 / Member News

The Pink Flamingo Nests at Mahan Rykiel Another Year

(L-R) : Richard Jones, Jingting Li, James Sink holding awards for Innovation, Research and Design.

Baltimore, MD (April 13, 2018) – Mahan Rykiel Associates (MRA), Baltimore based landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firm, wins three awards from the Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MD ASLA). For the third consecutive year in a row, Mahan Rykiel is the proud recipient of the Traveling Innovation Award (a 24 inch tall pink chic metal flamingo) for Project Birdland. The Traveling Award is a “prestigious award for a project that uniquely reflects and solves the most current issues in landscape architecture through innovative design excellence.” In the research category, MRA also received a Merit Award for Design With Dredge, a project focused on the innovative reuse of dredge that was featured as the December cover story in Landscape Architecture Magazine, the national publication of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In the design category, MRA received a merit award for the community-driven design of Eager Park, a 5.5 acre park at the core of a $1.8 billion dollar development in East Baltimore.
Project Birdland is a landscape-led coalition that leverages development dollars, long-term ecosystem research, and social capital in the service of Baltimore City Public School students. The collaborative effort launched its first pilot at Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School. In the first year, Project Birdland trained 11 teachers on recognized research in career imprinting, engaged 60 students in a design challenge, inspired more than 200 people to participate in a community greening day, and transformed almost 9,000 square feet of underutilized schoolyard. The lessons learned from this inaugural effort are being incorporated into an updated and streamlined process and design toolkit, with the intent of being incorporated into other Baltimore City Schools and public parks.  Learn more: www.projectbirdland.org
Every year in the Chesapeake Bay, at least 2.5 million cubic yards of sediment is dredged from the Baltimore Harbor to enable deep draught vessels to reach the Port. The Design with Dredge research is influencing dredged material management in Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay region through new material specifications, design standards, ecological management strategies, and community outreach and engagement methods. Learn more: Design With Dredge
Eager Park’s human-centered design strategy deployed extensive community engagement and visioning sessions to stimulate dialogue about the future of the park. The team’s process yielded a layered set of design principles based on community values, civic responsibility, cultural awareness, local history, social impact, neighborhood ownership and active play. Various user groups gave voice to the plan including long-time neighborhood residents, K-12 students and teachers, Johns Hopkins medical staff and patients, new residents and young families. Cultural identity was of prime importance to many of the long-time residents and local community from whom the design team drew inspiration. Expanding over three city blocks, the park invites outdoor activities as well as community events, including concerts, graduations, farmer’s markets, and sporting events, by providing multiple spaces for people to come together and interact, including the southern plaza, amphitheater, overlook, pavilion, great lawn, playground and community garden.
Project Birdland design and research team:
Richard Jones
Isaac Hametz
Amina  Mohamed
Michael Humes
Saba Hamidi
Travis Donofrio
Matt Fichter, formerly of MRA
Design with Dredge design and research team:
Richard Jones
Isaac Hametz
Jingting Li
Madelyn Hoagland-Hanson
Xiang Huang
Qing Li
Eager Park Design Team:
Richard Jones
Joe Burkhardt, formerly of MRA
Peng Gu
Ryan Cosgrove
James Sink
Terry Burns
Travis Donofrio
Saba Hamidi
Rudraksha Jhaveri