Our consulting projects expose us to open space in all its forms: our work touches parks and trails, open space preserves, and restored and protected lands across California. Our partners in open space projects, and their goals, are as diverse as the open space itself. Park and open space districts view open space with the public’s benefit in mind, often incorporating vital ecosystem services. Private clients usually aim to complete mitigation plans for their development projects, with open space creation and preservation as an important step in the development process. And land trusts aim to preserve as much high quality land as they can, with reporting and monitoring being an important component of their land portfolios. The nature of WRA’s involvement with each of these partners varies, but our experience consistently provides the right insight for each situation.
A primary component of any open space project on which we consult is a biological assessment. Starting with botanical surveys and wildlife species surveys, our biologists assess existing conditions to better understand the property. Once a baseline is set, our team of landscape architects collaborate with project teams to design open space for maximum environmental uplift within project scope. This often translates into habitat restoration and management plans, wetland design, and the development of planting palettes that will increase native plants and decrease maintenance activities and costs. Preserve management is a big consideration for open space, because it reduces the need for active management and increases the long term viability of the project.