Lily pond park design wins award from ri-asla

HW News Release

Horsley Witten Group, a full-service environmental consulting firm providing sustainable and resilient design solutions, was honored with a regional American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Merit Award-Planning and Analysis for the Lily Pond Park Master Plan on Nantucket.

ASLA Rhode Island presented the award to Horsley Witten, recognizing its vision for restoring the ecological and recreational function of the park, a 6.5‐acre property located within the residential outskirts of historic downtown Nantucket and owned by the Nantucket Land Bank.

Though the park itself encompasses only 6.5 acres, the plan presents a preferred approach to clean runoff from 90 acres of residential land surrounding the site using green stormwater infrastructure. In recent years, both the health of surrounding wetlands and park usage have been negatively impacted not only by unmanaged stormwater runoff, but also clogged drainage infrastructure, and invasive vegetation. The key design elements include a new looped boardwalk system over the restored wetland for improved accessibility, additional seating areas, park entrance enhancements, and restoration of a shallow marsh system. Constructed wetlands will be used to treat stormwater runoff coming into the park.

In granting the Merit Award, ASLA Rhode Island offered the following praise for the Horsley Witten Group, “The Lily Pond Park Master Plan presents a preferred approach to restore and diversify wetland habitats, treat runoff with green stormwater infrastructure, and enhance the user experience with improved connectivity. Blending of the visitor experience with water quality and habitat enhancement and analyzing the site within its overall watershed makes the Lily Pond Park Plan a unique example of how we should be designing all sites within their larger ecological systems.”

The team completed the plan in August 2021. Since plan adoption, The Nantucket Land Bank secured a 2023 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Stormwater and Natural Infrastructure Grant to help fund the construction and monitoring of proposed improvements. Due to the success of the Lily Pond Master Plan, the Nantucket Land Bank has also partnered with the town on a Stormwater Feasibility Study for Downtown Nantucket, using a similar planning approach. Advanced design development and permitting for the Lily Pond Improvements are expected to get underway in spring 2024.

“We are honored to receive recognition from ASLA Rhode Island for our work with the Nantucket Land Bank for the restoration of Lily Pond Park,” said Nathan Kelly, President, Horsley Witten Group. “Our talented team of landscape architects, engineers, and wetland biologists are proud to be closely aligned with ASLA’s mission to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of cultural and natural environments.”

“We are grateful to be partnering with the Horsley Witten Group on the Lily Pond Park project,” said Jesse Belle, Executive Director of the Nantucket Land Bank. “Their master plan has provided us with an incredible opportunity to restore the wetland at this beloved public park, creating a space where both people and nature can interact and thrive. The project furthers the Land Bank’s goals of preserving scenic views, protecting ecological resources, and enhancing recreational experiences in nature for people to enjoy.”