CAPPA students recognized for work with Freedman’s town

UTA grad students earn Student American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 • Herb Booth : Contact

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Pictured in front is Violet Lam. From left in the front row are Laura Ruiz, Xin Yang, Joowon Im, Don Raines (on the computer screen), Oren Mandelbaum, Ann Thuruthy and Avery Deering-Frank. Back row (from left) are Mikel Wilkins, Taner Ozdill, Jessie Hitchcock, Susan Alvarez, Libbie Lee, Amanda Buss and Cooper Begis.

University of Texas at Arlington graduate students won a national Student American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award for their work on the Bottom District, a historic Freedmen’s town next to the Trinity River in Dallas.

The award was listed in the October issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

“These students have worked so hard on this project,” said Joowon Im, assistant professor of landscape architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA).

“It’s so rewarding that their work has been recognized by this prestigious national professional organization. What’s even more encouraging is that their work helped a neighborhood that had been neglected for decades.”

Students on the winning team were Avery Deering-Frank, Ann Thuruthy, Amanda Buss, Cooper Begis, Dasom Mun, Jessie Hitchcock, Oren Mandelbaum and Violet Lam.

“We all are so glad to be a part of the project,” Deering-Frank said. “Bringing together so many people for a common good is very rewarding. The project taught me to care for those communities and the surrounding environment.”

Freedmen’s towns such as the Bottom District developed in the 1800s after the Civil War. The neighborhood’s location next door to a Trinity River floodplain made the community particularly vulnerable to stormwater deluges. The project included recommendations for a gateway structure for placemaking, increased green space, tree canopies, rain gardens, informal gathering places, a community commons and ample space for stormwater runoff.

Im and a student from the class are now working on a Blue-Green Beautification Guideline, which is funded through the North Central Texas Council of Governments and a CAPPA Geisel grant, which supports “research opportunities on issues affecting municipalities across Texas and the U.S. Southwest region.”