our 2023 Big Give recap
Our success as designers is intertwined with the well-being and prosperity of the communities we call home. The Big Give is just one of the many ways we recommit to the profession and to our communities each year.
On the last Friday in September, we partnered with local non-profit groups to foster a greater understanding of local landscape ecologies and of the profession of landscape architecture. 2023 marked our 8th Annual Big Give! Read on to learn more about our community partners this year, including non-profit leaders in parks and open space, nature conservation, ecology, equity, and education.
In the heart of downtown Austin, TBG worked with the Festival Beach Food Forest and Community Garden. An early adopter of the urban agriculture movement, the Festival Beach Food Forest has achieved success as an edible forest where visitors can openly forage and enjoy fresh food on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. The pilot project is completely fence-less and open to all. Using permaculture design and regenerative practices, we worked to further their efforts to provide food, shade, and ecosystem services to the community.
Part of the day was spent at the adjacent Festival Beach Community Garden, a vibrant space for cooperation, collaboration, and celebration of food and habitat. Thank you to Austin Parks Foundation for providing tools for our work day.
Our Dallas partners are Greenspace Dallas and Friends of Bachman Lake. Greenspace Dallas is a community-driven nonprofit organization committed to developing high-quality recreation opportunities along the Trinity River Corridor and educating the next generation of environmental stewards. Their mission is to affect positive change in the DFW metro area through community education and the expansion of access to nature. They achieve these goals through innovative. education programs in classrooms and outdoors, and through trail construction and converting unused land into community spaces.
Bachman Lake is a 205-acre city lake, located in northwest Dallas on the north side of Love Field Airport. Friends of Bachman Lake supports continued maintenance and improvement at the park which features a 5k hike and bike trail, boating, picnic areas, a pavilion, Bachman Recreation Center, and an indoor aquatic center.
TBG partnered with Houston Audubon, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the conservation of birds and positively impact their supporting environments. Established in 1969, Houston Audubon has an 11-county service area that spans 5 eco-regions!
Audubon acquires and maintains critical habitat in the form of bird sanctuaries, providing educational programs, nature experiences, and a policy advocacy in support of their mission. Houston Audubon owns and manages 17 nature sanctuaries encompassing 4,121 acres across the Greater Houston and Galveston regions. We were happy to spend the day at the High Island sanctuary on Bolivar Peninsula providing habitat restoration efforts and invasive species removal. We especially enjoyed the bird walk on the iconic Canopy Boardwalk!
Our tiny but mighty San Antonio crew planned multiple projects spanning several weeks. Roots run deep with our commitment to Castle Hills Elementary, the only elementary magnet and year-round school in the district. Last year we created a landscape masterplan for the school and coincidentally Austin Hicks attended this elementary school as a child! This year we joined parents and other volunteers to begin implementing the masterplan. The Dignowity-Lockwood Park project started as a multidisciplinary pro bono initiative in July 2015. Community input helped shape the ensuing design, which includes an iconic, all-ages hilltop playscape combining organic elements, sculpted land forms, play structures, and a giant swing as a playful way to view and connect with the city. The successful passage of San Antonio’s 2017 park bond program rewarded the team’s efforts and has brought the project to life. The team put finishing touches on Dignowity-Lockwood Park as they prepared for the upcoming ribbon cutting ceremony.