Building Sustainable Communities: Jasper Parklands

A former golf course in Jasper, Indiana has undergone a remarkable transformation into one of the state’s largest native city parks. Led by RQAW | DCCM’s Environmental team, the project involved thorough investigations of wetlands and streams within the golf course to identify existing aquatic resources to avoid and address any impacts to these resources. This effort led to performing regulatory permitting, on-site permittee responsible wetland mitigation, and ongoing wetland mitigation monitoring. Through RQAW | DCCM’s collaboration with the city, the Jasper Parklands now features wetlands, walking trails, a pond with waterfalls, several boardwalks, and a custom pedestrian bridge for the public to enjoy.

Jasper Parklands Before

Jasper Parklands After

Improving the surrounding, natural environment and creating a space for the community to observe was a priority for RQAW | DCCM throughout the project. RQAW | DCCM designed the wetland mitigation site to include a boardwalk that not only allows the public to appreciate the beauty of a native aquatic resource but also educates the public on the importance of these resources. Jasper Parklands has become a hub for environmental education and community engagement where people can come to observe the nature and wildlife that live within the wetlands. For example, the site provides opportunities for the public to observe a large variety of both aquatic and terrestrial species including turtles, frogs, birds, insects, and deer. Alongside the trails and wetlands, the park features educational signage highlighting the ecological benefits and importance of recreational nature space.

RQAW | DCCM Project Manager Joe Dabkowski, whose dedication extended as far as handpicking local seed mixes for the area to ensure the plants and vegetation would thrive in these specific wetland zones for this project, stated:

As Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, Jasper Parklands serves as a prime example of environmental sustainability and its positive impact on the world around us. RQAW | DCCM Environmental Scientist Jenna Garrison expressed her gratitude in contributing to the environment through the restoration of this project, stating:

Although the design and construction of Jasper Parklands was completed in 2018, RQAW | DCCM has continued to monitor the wetland mitigation area for the past five years to ensure the vegetation and plant life continues to thrive. They will complete their final monitoring period at the end of this year.

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