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AMT’s Oxford Conservation Park Wins Honor Award Through ASLA Potomac Chapter

ROCKVILLE, MD — At its virtual Awards Gala, the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recognized nine projects with professional awards. The online audience also learned from Paul Tukey, Chief Sustainability Officer of The Glenstone Museum, during his keynote address: The Moral Importance of Landscape Design.

A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. (AMT) received the Honor Award in the Social Category for the Oxford Conservation Park in Oxford, Maryland.

Oxford Conservation Park is a transformation of 86 acres of agricultural lands into a passive gateway park with a focus on coastal climate change, pollutant reduction, ecological process, and recreational opportunities. The park is a resilient landscape where the community comes to walk, view wildlife, and enjoy a biophilic experience.

The park’s central design feature is the transformation of a 1,300-foot agricultural ditch into a two-acre wetland complex. The design for the wetland is a merging of art, ecology, and engineering that focuses on aquatic habitat diversity, waterfowl, water quality treatment, and water quantity storage. The wetland reduces the total nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended solids on the site and surrounding agricultural lands that empty into the upper portions of the watershed outside of the project.

The design solution also integrated access to the site through a series of ADA accessible trails. The Phase I Loop Trail allows for direct and filtered views into the wetland complex and meadow. Two bridges reflect the vernacular agriculture landscape while enabling full access around the site. The masterplan includes future outdoor classrooms and shade structures to encourage environmental education in the community.

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As a gateway into the Town of Oxford, the AMT Team implemented the planting of native trees, grasses, and forbs to focus views, provide shade, and create diverse habitats. The selected obligate, facultative, and upland native vegetation can thrive in the wetland complex with an ability to withstand occasional brackish inundation. These native plants act as a buffer that slows runoff and captures pollutants. Talbot County staff partnered with local high school students to plant 60 trees on the site in support of the design. The collaborative process made the project more affordable and developed bonds between the community and the park.

The success of Oxford Conservation Park was achieved through a close partnership between AMT and Talbot County coupled with extensive public outreach and forum discussions. The park is an educational and recreational space for the community that merges landscape beautification with planning for the future.

The Potomac Chapter serves the Greater Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The chapter is dedicated to the stewardship of land providing community service, public education, and visibility for the profession of landscape architecture.

AMT is a 100 percent employee-owned firm that provides multidisciplinary services including engineering, environmental, landscape architecture, surveying, and construction administration and inspection on a regional basis to a variety of public and private clients. With approximately 500 employees, AMT teams with employees, clients, and community to provide sustainable projects.

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