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Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor Design

Quick Facts:

  • Acres: 39 acres
  • Former Use: Undeveloped site
  • Location: Within the Iowa State University Research Park

Project Summary:

Great Ecology, serving as ecological consultant to Shive-Hattery and WRT, led the stream and habitat restoration design of a 39-acre undeveloped site for the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park in the city of Ames, IA. Our geomorphologist, ecologist, and landscape architects contributed the ecological framework for the master park planning effort and developed the detailed design for phase one construction of the Tedesco Environmental Learning Center. The park opened in 2019 and includes walking trails, gathering spaces, environmental education nodes for school groups, meeting and laboratory/demonstration zones for the adjacent campus, and a restored stream system, wetland, and prairie landscape.

The previous stream corridor had been ecologically degraded, and presented an opportunity to demonstrate effective stream restoration in the context of the larger watershed and the regional landscape. The site, by virtue of its ecology, topography, and other physical characteristics, offered great flexibility in achieving the ecological goals of the stream and wetland restoration. That flexibility facilitated the integration of ecological project elements into the overall experience of the park.

The basis of the habitat restoration was built on an innovative approach to diagnosis and treatment. Our recommended conceptual design strategy focused on reconnecting the stream channel with its floodplain and restoring the riparian plant community to historic prairie condition.

Site Video:

November 2018 Drone Footage

Photos courtesy of storycountyiowa.gov & impact7g.com

Ames, IA