Local landscape architect Monica Perrone, ASLA, brought 18 of her UC Davis landscape architecture students to Brennan Park in Oakdale on Tuesday, March 2 to generate specific designs for the park in coordination with Cheryl Bolin, Director of Parks and Recreation, as part of their quarter final project.
During the excursion, the students were given the opportunity to listen to concerns voiced by different factions of the community in regards to the park that formerly housed the skate park. Randy Hopp, a certified arborist with Grover Tree service offered an evaluation of the existing trees, Lt. Lester Jenkins gave the police perspective, Danny Hall of Pioneer Landscape Inc. offered the landscape contractor view and Bolin weighed in on the client perspective.
Perrone said of the excursion, “This field trip allowed for the students to spend time on the site and to conduct visual and experiential analysis of the existing conditions. This landscape evaluation is helpful in determining the qualities and features that give the site its identity. Now, the students can create a graphic representation of their analysis and develop relevant design responses that take advantage of opportunities and downplay constraints.”
While the weather was less than cooperative, forcing the students to conduct their evaluations in the rain, the students didn’t seem to mind.
“We all enjoyed the day and spent some of the afternoon huddled under an easy-up canopy to escape the rain. The students are open-minded and malleable and appreciate the opportunities that field trips provide,” added Perrone. “They have positive attitudes and enjoyed meeting the local professionals and community members that generously shared their perspectives. I was happy to be able to bring these young, enthusiastic students to Oakdale.”
Following the field trip, the students will start incorporating reasonable program elements and materials in response to the existing conditions with the goal of developing realistic, functional designs that resonate for the Brennan Park neighborhood and the Oakdale community, Perrone said.
“It is critical that the student designers gain an understanding of the dynamics of the site and the context of the community that surrounds it,” she said. “This type of excursion aids the students in their maturation as designers and in their specific rational and imaginative solutions.”
The students ranged from all over California but there was even an Oakdale student among the bunch, Perrone said.