BLP would like to welcome Jon Qualls to our team. Jon recently started working in our Atlanta office after graduating from the University of Georgia in the summer of 2019 with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. A native of Milledgeville, Georgia, Jon enjoys all aspects of design but especially planting design. Jon interned with Trees Atlanta and has worked at the Founder’s Memorial Garden and the State Botanical Gardens in Athens, Georgia. In his free time, Jon enjoys walks with his wife and their dog, Ned, as well as all things Atlanta sports.
As football season gets underway, according to the AJC, this is the first year that more Georgia high schools will be playing on artificial turf fields than natural grass. Twenty-two high schools installed artificial turf on their home fields during the offseason, bringing the total to 212 high schools of the 422 in the Georgia High School Association.
Why the switch? High schools are seeing the benefits of artificial turf in less maintenance and year-round field use for various sports and events. So many schools are limited in their physical space and ability to maintain practice fields that can stand up to the use experienced in high school sports. With the growing popularity of soccer and lacrosse at the JV and varsity levels combined with football, school systems have found it difficult and expensive to maintain natural turf playing fields that can stand up to the year-round wear and tear. One of the biggest benefits of synthetic turf fields is the ability to play on them during or immediately after rain, no matter how large or small the storm. From a maintenance standpoint, artificial turf eliminates the need for irrigation, fertilizing, mowing, top dressing, aerating, and painting field markings.
BLP has designed over 30 artificial turf fields, including four of the high school field conversions installed this year: Apalachee and Winder-Barrow in Barrow County; and Duluth and South Gwinnett in Gwinnett County. BLP also designed new fields this year for Inter Atlanta FC Soccer and Eastside Elementary School in Cobb County.
Click here to read the full article in the AJC.
The Visitor Center at Red Top Mountain State Park is nearing completion. The new ‘heart’ of this popular Georgia State Park will provide a wide variety of services for users including natural and historic interpretation of the ecological and human history of this fascinating park along the shores of Lake Allatoona. The new site design includes improved vehicular and pedestrian circulation, an entry plaza, and outdoor education pavilion, amphitheater and a host of native and drought tolerant trees, shrubs and groundcovers. The building, designed by Croft and Associates and constructed by Lovvorn Construction, should be open to the public by late September 2019.
BLP’s Katie Medina and Alan Wieczynski have been working with the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany for almost two years on their latest campus addition. It all started with a vision and a Master Plan back in 2017, and this summer BLP finally got the green light to turn this project into construction documents. Our team is seen here walking the church’s Capital Campaign, Building and Grounds, and Native Plant committees through the plans. We can’t wait to break ground on this project in 2020!
BLP recently participated in the Ed Hoard Golf Tournament, with Matt Tanner and Anna Harrison offering cold beers to golfers, while Gary Caraway and Kyle Webb golfed in the tournament. The event raised approximately $40,000, which will provide scholarships for low and moderate income students to attend UGA.
Last weekend BLP volunteered with the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity to clear the site and install silt fencing for the construction of a “Kinda-Tiny Home.” The team worked along with Faye, the homeowner, filling two dumpsters with tree branches and using a wood chipper on the remaining branches.
Through a collaboration between the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity and USGBC Athens, a design competition entitled “Kinda-Tiny Homes” sought to provide creative solutions to the affordable housing issues in Athens. Although not truly tiny homes, which by definition are typically less than 400 square feet, these Kinda-Tiny Homes will come in around 750 SF to work within allowable zoning requirements for minimal square footage within the city. Additionally, these homes will be the first LEED Certified residential houses to ever hit the real estate market in Athens. In January BLP attended the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity Committee of 100 Gala to help raise funds for the project.