Blue Hole Regional Park

Wimberley, Texas

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Selected Projects

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Summary
Results

Blue Hole’s pristine waters, limestone bluffs and towering age old cypress trees help to confirm its status as the quintessential Texas Hill Country experience. As a natural spring fed swimming hole growing out of Cypress Creek, the Blue Hole has been an important resource to both wildlife and residents in the region for centuries. From Native Americans and early explorers to current community members and visitors from across the globe, this swimming hole has helped define the Texas Hill Country experience. Due to this notoriety, years of unmanaged recreational activities damaged the site and ecosystem. Design Workshop led the master plan refinement, design and implementation of this 126 acre park into a holistic sustainable award winning project.

  • Visitation increased in the first year after construction by 60% and doubled again in the second year after construction. The park is economically self-sufficient due to this increase in paid tourism.
  • Limits impervious surfaces to 7.8% of the site and 70% tree coverage maintained despite an additional 320,000 SF of park amenities and active programmed space. Only six hardwood trees were removed in the process.
  • Ten interpretive signs educate users about the sustainable design features, the geology of the Texas Hill Country (specifically Blue Hole), the history of the Blue Hole and the native vegetation.
  • Saved approximately $230,000 in mulch costs by double-shredding the cedars removed from the site and using in all designed mulch areas.
  • Protects 93 acres or 96% of the undisturbed area of the site (habitat for 19 different endangered, threatened, or species of concern)
  • Reduces stormwater runoff flow rates site wide through low impact development, despite the addition of 320,000 sf of new park development
  • Improved user satisfaction with new park amenities by 165%, perceptions of safety by 101%, and perceptions of visual appeal by 85%, as compared to previous conditions.

Performance information here.

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Awards

  • 2015 - Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals, Distinguished Service (for Individuals), and Project Excellence
  • 2014 Center for Active Design Honor Award
  • 2013—Landscape Architecture Foundation, Landscape Performance Series Case Study
  • 2013—Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) One-Star Certification
  • 2013—American Society of Landscape Architecture (TX) Honor Award of Excellence for Design: Constructed
  • 2012—Texas Municipal League Excellence Award for Public Works
  • 2012—American Society of Landscape Architecture (CO) Honor Award for Research and Communication
  • 2011—American Society of Landscape Architecture (TX) Honor Award of Excellence for Design: Unrealized
  • 2010—Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Pilot Project

 

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