Grounds for Change: Activating Vacant Land

Eastwick Community Park


Tags: channel, community, connections, construction, Eastwick, food, forbs, forest, garden, grasses, meadow, patchwork, Philadelphia, plots, produce, stormwater, student, trees, UrbanArboretum

A patchwork of urban plant cultivation.

Eastwick Community Park is a project by Zachary Morgan, a student in Pennsylvania State University’s undergraduate landscape architecture program.  Morgan participated in a studio entitled The Urban Arboretum: From Vacancy to Hybrid Landscape, a design course inspired by Matthew Langan’s eponymous proposal for the Urban Voids competition.  The Spring 2010 studio was taught by Tim Baird with assistance from Langan, a graduate of the program.

The organizing principle for the park is a patchwork, mixing cultivated plots and pockets of native plant communities.  Plant communities represented include Northern Mesic Forest and Dry-Mesic Eastern Meadow.  Urban nurseries do not dominate the park as they do in other proposals from this studio; rather, tree production is just one of several functions of the landscape.  Each nursery plot includes a poured-concrete swale that channels stormwater in inclement weather and attracts teenagers as a skate ramp the rest of the time.


Urban Arboretum: From Vacancy to Hybrid Landscape. Landscape Architecture 414. The Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture, Spring 2010.

The Designers