Allies of the Arch - Prospect Park Alliance

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c. Paul Martinka

Allies of the Arch

May 13, 2015

Located at the northernmost end of the Long Meadow, Endale Arch was one of the first architectural features to be completed in Prospect Park nearly 150 years ago. After decades of decay, the Alliance recently received a grant from the Tiger Baron Foundation, as well as funding from Council Member Brad Lander through the participatory budgeting process, to restore this beautiful piece of history. The project brings together the full range of the Alliance’s in-house expertise to bring this vision to life, and is a true collaboration between its Landscape Management and Design and Construction teams, as well as its Volunteer program.

A key part of the Alliance’s mission is to beautify the landscape and restore the original vision of the Park’s designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The Design and Construction team includes landscape architects and other professionals who oversee improvements to the Park’s historic architecture, infrastructure and landscape design. The Landscape Management team is responsible for caring for the Park’s natural environment, including horticulturalists, arborists and a natural resources crew that monitors the health of the woodlands and surrounding areas. 

The restoration of Endale Arch, which is being completed in five phases, includes in its first phase removing decades of overgrowth, stabilizing boulder walls and planting new trees and shrubs. Landscape architects, horticulturalists, natural resources crew members, arborists and volunteers worked hand in hand for several months to clear the site of deeply rooted invasive plants. Once the area was cleared, the team worked to stabilize the slopes on either side of the arch and to repair the boulder walls. The new landscape design will feature both wooded and flowering plants, which will be planted in the coming weeks.

“The experience has been rewarding for all of those involved,” said John Jordan, the director of Landscape Management at the Alliance. “The diversity of expertise required for the project brought our teams together like never before. It was an important training opportunity for new staff, as well as a great way to meet colleagues. The horticulture team worked closely with the landscape architects. The work of the natural resources crew, which is typically behind the scenes, was placed prominently in the public eye, and the project could not have been completed without the technical support of the arborists.”

Check out Endale Arch in the coming weeks as the crews and volunteers take part in planting the new landscape.