PPA Profiles: Justine Heilner

July 1, 2014

Formerly a landscape architect at the acclaimed James Corner Field Operations, Justine Heilner was instrumental in the design of the city’s newest park, the celebrated High Line on Manhattan’s West Side. She recently joined the Alliance’s Design and Construction Office as the Senior Landscape Architect, supervising many of the new and ongoing improvement projects around Prospect Park.

A Brooklynite at heart, Justine and her family live in Park Slope, and consider the Park part of their everyday lives. This perspective has given her a good understanding about how the Park is used, and the challenges of maintaining its beauty. “We need to design the Park’s landscapes so they can take a good amount of traffic” she explained. “Prospect Park is a place that’s so loved, it can get loved to death.”

Justine is joining the Alliance at the tail end of Lakeside, one of the Park’s most ambitious restoration projects. She is currently overseeing the reconstruction of the Park Drive at Lakeside, which will improve pedestrian access to the LeFrak Center and make the Drive safer for all Park users.

Prospect Park has presented Justine with new and welcome challenges as a landscape architect. There is a modest budget to improve and maintain hundreds of acres of meadows, streams, woodlands and bodies of water. Drainage is one of the greatest challenges in the Park, particularly following the more severe weather patterns that have come with climate change. In her work, Justine is constantly considering how to incorporate more sophisticated design solutions into a historic landscape.

We look forward to seeing Justine’s work as the Alliance moves ahead with its next big focus, restoring the northeast perimeter and the Vale of Cashmere.