Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham, Alabama
Client: Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Overview

Led an interdisciplinary team, including an ecological restoration firm Biohabitats that worked closely with the Gardens to create a comprehensive 67.5-acre garden master plan to shape the future development of the existing collections, new gardens and a framework for improving visitor facilities.

Firm Accomplishments

  • Examined past design efforts and reconciled the physical and visual aspects of the Gardens, particularly as they pertained to the Americans with Disabilities Act, garden connectivity, and drainage issues.
  • Facilitated sustainability and site analysis workshops that were instrumental in defining the sustainable design principles that influenced the master plan.
  • Included “green” water management aspects including stream restoration, rainwater harvesting, permeable paving, bioswales, and wetland enhancements to enable the garden to serve as a regional model for best stormwater management practices.
  • Developed a new series of Alabama Habitat Gardens to showcase plant communities unique to the state while promoting public knowledge and appreciation of plants, gardens, and the environment.
  • Completely transformed the 25-acre northern section of the garden, which was environmentally compromised by exotic invasives and severe stream channel degradation.
  • Developed a comprehensive water management program, which will include various stream restoration projects, creation of water gardens and bogs, and development of microclimatic plant communities all of which will support the extensive variety of plant communities unique to Alabama.
  • Planned for a complete transformation of areas directly adjacent to the conservatory and vegetable gardens, which will include a completely new greenhouse complex, new and expanded vegetable gardens, and a new formal courtyard for special events.