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Containing ground: a site analysis and design proposal for a USACE rivers project office site situated along the bank of the Mississippi River in West Alton, Missouri

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Title: Containing ground: a site analysis and design proposal for a USACE rivers project office site situated along the bank of the Mississippi River in West Alton, Missouri
Author(s): Gollnick, Rebecca
Advisor(s): Harkness, Terrance
Contributor(s): Harkness, Terrance
Department / Program: Landscape Architecture
Discipline: Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.L.A.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): landscape architecture thesis Mississippi River interpretation Rivers Project Office Riverlands Meeting of the Great Rivers
Abstract: This thesis consists of a design proposal for a 3,700-acre site situated on the Mississippi River floodplain in West Alton, Missouri. This public use site and migratory bird sanctuary is a complex of six usage areas actively managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] Rivers Project Office. Situated within the St. Louis metropolitan region within a naturally and culturally significant region referred to as the Meeting of the Great Rivers (or the Confluence Corridor), the site is easily accessible and offers visitors a firsthand opportunity to experience nature within the Mississippi River floodplain. The master plan addresses the site’s connectivity, readability, and usage issues, and integrates the site’s three main functions: restoration, recreation, and education, by addressing large-scale land planning issues (pedestrian accessibility) and site-scale design topics (interpretive trail concepts). A literature review was conducted covering regional and site-specific histories, as well as the field of interpretation. An analysis and proposal of the site’s current and potential function was based on staff and visitor interviews, site observation, and the Corps Rivers Project Master Plan. The mission of the enclosed proposal is to build out this public use site into a natural and cultural, heritage-based, outdoor regional destination center; to expand the site’s appeal and interest, ultimately attracting a diverse user base. The proposal presents a site- and regionally specific interpretive design to strengthen visitor connections with the resource of the Mississippi River, with the objective of increasing visitor comprehension of the Mississippi River system and ecosystem scale. The design reinforces river land connections; it features two key outdoor visitor centers/orientation areas, an extensive interpretive trail network outfitted with garden rooms and highlighted viewing areas, as well as a site-specific interpretive proposal. It acts as a collective outdoor extension of the neighboring National Great Rivers Museum and enhances regional nature-based tourism opportunities by showcasing the natural and cultural significance of the Mississippi River floodplain. The intended function of the project is to provide the USACE Rivers Project Office with (an information source) a narrative that builds the case for site development and describes the site’s untapped potential; the hope is that this research and design may be applied to make better planned development decisions in the future.
Issue Date: 2010-06-29
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16539
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Rebecca Gollnick
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-06-29
Date Deposited: May 2010
 

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