A beautification project for the Village of Berrien Springs is set to begin this year. The Village has engaged the services of Viridis Design Group, a landscape architecture firm, to head up the three-phase project.
WOLF’S PRAIRIE PARK PROJECT
The master plan for Wolf’s Prairie Park is to improve the park itself and its relationship to the river. The work will be performed with input from the community. The Village is inviting the public to an engagement session on Friday, July 10th from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the park. The goal for the session is to understand the community’s priorities for the park, which will help the Village and Viridis develop a framework for the work ahead.
“It really has to be the community’s park,” said Trevor Bosworth, Principal and Landscape Architect with Viridis. “We are experts in park planning but we don’t live there. We just feel that the best plans emerge from community’s input. They have a stake in it, they feel like they have been listened to. It reflects their culture, their needs, their wants. It’s really just a listening session for us.”
One idea is whether the park can be tied into the trail system from the opposite side of the river, utilizing the old trestle foundation. If a non-motorized path comes through the park, plans would be conceptualized to improve river access and potentially create an overlook.
TREE INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT
By the end of this project, the Village will have a database of all of their existing trees in the developed areas. The information will include each trees’ species, size and condition. It’ll provide a roadmap for the Village to determine where they need to add more trees and which trees need to be preserved. Maintenance and replacement guidelines will be put in place to determine which types of trees should be planted in open spaces and the types that should be planted downtown. The goal is making sure the right trees are in the right spots.
As you leave to downtown, heading north on North Main Street towards Andrews University, the street widens out and is a busy corridor for cars, cyclists, and walkers. Concepts will be developed to create a nicer boulevard and more of an extension of downtown, including plans to extend the island that begins at Main and Old 31. Traffic combing, walkability, and parking will all be all be assessed.
Jesse Hibler, Village President, looks at the three-phase project as an opportunity to further strengthen an already thriving community, and Viridis is the right company to fulfill the vision.
“Village Council had very specific ideas of what they wanted to see implemented based on feedback from Village residents,” said Hibler. “We know that there are only a few landscape architecture firms who would be able to design and execute. After review of the proposals, we felt that Viridis was a perfect match for our vision and goals. I’ve worked with the firm for many years and know their abilities and have full confidence in Trevor and his team. Their design and communication abilities place them in the top tier of design firms in Michigan and I’m excited they chose to work with us!”