October’s meeting took us “up the hill” to Chief Hosa Lodge, the first building in the Denver Mountain Parks and designed by famed Denver architect Jacques Benedict. It was a beautiful fall morning to get out of town and gather in the rustic, historic structure. Our guest speaker was Bill Wenk of Wenk Associates Landscape Architects. Bill referenced his book “Working Water,” a compilation of his firm’s work over the past 20 years.
Projects highlighted by Wenk exemplify how stormwater can be managed and integrated as a resource in the design of landscapes, making communities more livable as well as restoring ecological function and health. Wenk Associates were early leaders in the integration of stormwater design. Several before and after images of their projects illustrated the stark difference between utilizing dangerous, unsightly, and often toxic hardscape and integrating more natural systems. He reflected on the value of urban green infrastructure that is strengthened while working closely with civil engineers. Their work has been so successful, it is now considered common in the practice of landscape architecture.
Several projects around Denver and beyond were highlighted, including those in RiNo, Lowry Town Center, Cherry Creek State Park, and the upcoming River Walk, which will replace Elitch Gardens as a multi-use live/work/retail site as well as providing an enhanced connection to the Platte River and newly formed habitat.
The author was visibly (and happily) surprised by the number and quality of questions that were raised early on and throughout his talk. It was truly an interactive discussion and hopefully, all who attended came away with a much greater understanding of the good work that is being done in this field.
A huge “thank you” goes to apprentice member Kate Fritz for helping us book Chief Hosa Lodge for the October meeting!
Click here to purchase Bill’s book, Working Water.