Landscape Architecture for Outdoor Recreational Areas
DG2 Design is committed to nourishing, restoring, and connecting people and nature. A small team with big ideas, the DG2 Design team specializes in listening. Listening to municipality officials and connecting with the community leads to outdoor parks and recreation spaces that are useful for and cherished by the community in which they exist.
Creating spaces within our communities that allow people of all ages and abilities to connect with nature is healing and restorative both to the environment and to the community.
The now long-ago shift from agricultural, rural life to a modern, city-centric existence has had countless implications for every individual in the United States. One of those shifts includes the reality that people are not connecting with nature much, or at all, in their daily lives. This has created something American author and journalist Richard Louv has coined as Nature-Deficit Disorder.
Nature-deficit disorder is not a diagnosable disorder but rather a metaphor for the way in which most of us exist. It is hypothesized that the greatest impact of a lifestyle lacking contact with nature falls on children and their behavior.
Outdoor play benefits everyone.
Richard Louv describes the consequences of alienation from nature as diminished senses, attention difficulties, higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses, a rising rate of myopia, obesity, and other issues such as a lack of Vitamin D. He even says one of the benefits of children playing in nature is the opportunity for that child to exercise their executive function. It helps children be in charge, to practice making decisions and planning their next moves in a safe environment with relatively low risk.
Spending time in nature allows us to renew our sense of wonder at the world around us. It encourages children, in particular, to engage in imaginative play. Imaginative play alone has been linked to an overall increase in the emotional well-being of children and is the foundation for play therapy.
Studies have shown that being in nature helps us to reduce stress, increase happiness, relieve attention fatigue, increase creativity, be kinder, and be more generous.
Outdoor recreation spaces designed to serve all members of the community is what DG2 Design does.
What to Expect From the Process
After we have received a request for a quote on an upcoming project, we begin talking to the municipality that has made the request. We discuss scope—we can offer a master plan or get into the details—and vision for the project.
The number one priority for outdoor recreation projects with municipalities is to connect with the community. That means we make ourselves available to municipalities so we can get to know their needs and values. It is the foundation of the project.
We never consider a project to be “ours,” rather that it belongs to the community. Our role is to act as partners with community members to create a space that addresses the needs of the people in the area.
Working with Other Engineers or Landscape Architects
We work alongside colleagues frequently to best serve a community. We look forward to hearing from any engineers or landscape architecture firms in need of partnering with another firm on an upcoming project. We are a WBE/DBE firm that values communication and integrity.
Outdoor recreation spaces should be built with people of all abilities and disabilities in mind.
DG2 Design’s president, Kristy DeGuire, knows firsthand the value of creating outdoor spaces that serve every individual of a community, including those with disabilities. Kristy and the team approach every design with experience and mindfulness, including elements to outdoor recreation that will engage and encourage everyone to connect with nature. DG2 Design never haphazardly designs for those with disabilities as an afterthought.
We are proud to have opportunities to work with communities all over Missouri and Illinois. Here are a handful of our recent Outdoor Recreation projects. If you would like to find outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Missouri, visit the Missouri State Parks to plan your next adventure.
- Dardenne Greenway At BaratHaven Park
- Gravois Greenway
- Fogerty Park Master Plan and Phase One
- Fabick Nature Preserve Master Plan
- Belleview Farm Park Master Plan
- 39 North Greenway