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Germantown Town Center Park Design Team Lauded

Last month, the Germantown Town Center Urban Park was named a winner of the Built By Women (BxW) in the landscaping category. The BxW awards, sponsored by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, celebrate the contributions made by women to building design and construction in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

A team of five women, including Montgomery Parks staff members Patricia McManus, Project Manager for facility planning for MNCPPC, and Linda Komes (Landscape Architect); as well as, Shelley Rentsch, Partner/Principal Landscape Architect, O’Doherty Group Landscape Architects and Annapolis Landscape Architects; Robyn Barnhart, Associate Civil Engineer/Project Manager, Charles P. Johnson & Associates; and Lindsey Whang Baker, Associate/Project Manager, LSG Landscape Architecture, were recognized for their leadership in the design and development of the Germantown Center Urban Park project.

Originally, the four-acre site, located between the Germantown Library and a residential community, was predominantly wetlands, sloping landscapes and largely unusable by residents. “We reclaimed 1-1/2 acres,” explained Project Manager Patricia McManus, “by placing a large storm water management structure underground to capture about 25 acres of drainage area from Germantown.”

The park was officially dedicated in October of 2015. The park is situated at the northern end of an 8.80-acre parcel of land shared with the library. The site was challenging to develop due to the presence of existing wetlands, existing stormwater management facilities and steep slopes, according to the parks and recreation department. Due to site constraints, the park is passive in nature, meaning no ball fields or playgrounds.

The urban park also features public artwork by local artist David Hess; intertwining pathways; open space for community events; a canted lawn with playful elements and lounge chairs. An exhibition of all of the BxW winners, including Germantown Town Center Urban Park, will be held at the National Building Museum on Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, 2016.

In the architecture industry, women make up 42 percent of graduates from architecture schools, but only 26 percent of licensed architects and a mere 17 percent of architects who are principals or partners. These numbers have been attributed to architecture’s history as a male-dominated field. The BWAF was established by historic female architect Beverly Willis to combat this aspect of the industry.

Captions: “The Nest” at Germantown Town Center Urban Park.