The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has named the Master Plan for Red Mountain Park the recipient of a 2012 National Honor Award. A redemption story in the making, the park will anchor Birmingham, Alabama’s new green infrastructure, and spur associated economic spinoff in a region much in need of a civic “victory.” The park will play a central role in helping Birmingham reconcile its proud and complex history, and move on from its dual identity as epicenter of civil rights struggle and former iron making giant.
The largest urban park in the country reclaimed from a landscape devastated by a century of mining, Red Mountain Park is located on 1200-acres along a ridgeline on the edge of the city, 1t When complete, the park will connect new and old Birmingham, changing people’s minds about this long lost landscape, and creating a type of community therapy via recreation. Features include a 45-acre commons and nine historic mine openings that will be design focal points with one mine anchoring the park’s interpretive and development program. Over 40 miles of trails with a 10-mile rail trail and a 4-mile highline trail on elevated rail grade will connect various active adventure recreation areas. Reaching well beyond the park boundary to connect to and secure the future stability of the adjacent communities via greenway links, the project helps to improve both the long-term sustainability of the site and the larger community.
“It’s brave to have something this bold that conveys the social and physical history of Birmingham. It transforms without obliterating. The connection to the community is powerful. It is making no small plans.” — 2012 ASLA Professional Awards Jury
Principal Eric Tamulonis stated, “This award shines light on the efforts of the Red Mountain Greenway and Recreation Area Commission, who with the Freshwater Land Trust, have long recognized the remarkable potential of this poignant landscape for Birmingham. Red Mountain Park will be a place with a compelling memory for a community with bold green aspirations.”
WRT will receive the Honor Award at the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting in Phoenix Arizona on October 1, 2012.