The American Society of Landscape Architects’ Northern California Chapter has awarded Glen Canyon Park with a Merit Award in the Parks, Recreation, Trails, and Open Space category and Miller Avenue with a Honor Award in the General Design category.
Glen Canyon Park
The objective of the Glen Canyon Park project was to reposition and redesign the park to meet changing community priorities, recreational preferences, and heightened standards for ecological performance, through a process that honored the legacy and history of Glen Canyon and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The design involved retrofitting historic park buildings, reconfiguring the main entrance to the park, creating a new playground, rebuilding the recreation fields, reconfiguring paths and trails, and extensive restoration of natural areas to enhance stormwater function and improve habitat at the headwaters of a key tributary to San Francisco Bay.
The surrounding community was cautious about the redesign process at first, given the park’s longstanding local presence as a much-loved hidden gem. But by working with and gaining the trust of community members and the project stakeholder team, the design team was able to build excitement around the vision for major upgrades and help the City create a destination that honors the park’s heritage and will continue to be loved by many more generations.
“An episodic journey” was how one member of the community described Miller Avenue in Mill Valley to the design team. “Keep the quirks” was what another implored, referencing the oddities of old redwoods interrupting curbs and widened sections of roadway where rail stations once stood. And the common refrain of “the character is already here” was heard time and time again from residents who cherish the views to Mount Tamalpais, the meandering creeks, connecting public stairs, and the verdant forested hills. These ideas guided the design team through five years of master planning and the detailed design of this main route into downtown Mill Valley. The project purpose was to create a complete street while addressing critical safety concerns and major infrastructure repair. We immediately recognized that achieving these goals would necessitate total reconstruction of the street including tree removal. Our challenge became how to deliver a brand-new multi-modal corridor that a skeptical community would embrace as a natural fit – as though new was old.