Engaging the Senses
The Potter Park Zoo is an often visited community attraction of the Lansing area. Within the Zoo, the Lions Club has sponsored the Sensory Garden, which features rushing and babbling water, tactile and aromatic plants, and a restful gazebo. Naturally, these features enable Zoo guests to engage their senses within the Sensory Garden.
A Centennial Celebration
To celebrate 100 years of service to the Lansing community, the Lions Club commissioned Elements Studio to design the Centennial Waterfalls at the entrance to the Sensory Garden. In order to announce the Sensory Garden to Zoo visitors, we strategically positioned the falls. The falls become visible and audible once visitors round the corner of the path from the Zoo’s entrance. Clearly seeing and hearing the splashing water was a primary goal for the Lions Club.
Designing a Sensational Sensory Waterfall
To develop a successful sensory waterfall, we worked with the Lions Club, the Potter Park Zoo and Ingham County. After meeting to understand the project goals, we visited the proposed waterfall site. The wooded site had some existing topography change. Although this slope was good, it was not enough to create the cascading waterfall that the Lions Club was envisioning. There were also many existing oak and hemlock trees in this area. In order to make the waterfall look like it had always been there, these stately, mature trees needed to be preserved. The Concept Plan that we developed located the waterfall to meet all of these criteria.
Once the Lions Club, the Zoo, and Ingham County approved the Concept Plan, we set to work developing the construction documents. In order to communicate our vision clearly to the contractor, we developed a demolition plan, a Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) plan, a waterfall layout plan, and sections of the proposed streams.
Ingham County issued a public bid to select the contractor that was hired to construct the sensory waterfall. Earth Tones Landscaping won the bid. We worked with Earth Tones before and during construction in a construction administration role to ensure that the vision for the waterfall was achieved in the installation. Earth Tones built the waterfall with an artistic touch that maximized the visual and auditory effect!