Last week, colleagues Valerie Ahyong and Lia Delucchi spent some time training out in the Arizona sun! While touring various park and recreational projects and trailheads in the Phoenix metro area, it was a great opportunity to observe how each design was curated into the area with specific user needs. The balance between conservation and preservation was prevalent, especially through many historic design references.
For example, at Granite Mountain Trailhead in Scottsdale, custom signage was designed to educate visitors on the history of the surrounding views, native saguaro growth patterns, and, of course, how to make your way through each of the trails. Another example, Pioneer Park, in Mesa provides visitors with various options with its multi-use grass fields, splash pad, basketball courts, shaded picnic tables, historic train monument, and unique treehouse play structures. Many of these elements can be seen from the suspension bridge that flows throughout the play structures, allowing visitors to experience the park within the canopy of the park’s historic trees.
In addition, Valerie and Lia also checked out a few of Lloyd’s past projects as well. They took a quick look at Arizona State University’s Beach Volleyball Facility and Legacy Sports Complex. Lloyd Principal, Anthony Stevenson, also joined them for a tour of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, spring training facilities to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies!
To top off the end of a great trip, Valerie and Lia visited the Desert Botanical Garden. Being from California, Lia was able to learn about Arizona native/ adaptive plants and observe the differentiating design styles throughout each garden/ trail. They also took advantage of the landscape design for some sketch training exercises, focusing on perspectives, scaling tricks, shading techniques, and portraying people accurately!
A huge thank you to Valerie for planning and organizing a great trip for Lia and the AZ team members who participated in the training!