Oxford Conservation Park

Our Social Impact category Honor Award goes to A. Morton Thomas and Associates for Oxford Conservation Park in Oxford, Maryland.

Oxford Conservation Park is a transformation of 86-acres of agricultural lands into a passive gateway park with a focus on coastal climate change, and recreational opportunities within a limited budget. The successful park is a resilient landscape where the community comes to walk, view wildlife, and enjoy a biophilic experience.

Landscape Architects led the multidisciplinary design team, conducted public outreach, developed the design alternatives, prepared phase one construction documents (including grading, and structural plans) and construction administration.

The park’s central design feature is the transformation of 1,300-feet of agricultural ditch to a two-acre wetland complex. The design for the wetland is a merger of art, ecology, and engineering.  Through careful design the ecological system focuses on aquatic habitat diversity, waterfowl pooling, water quality treatment, and water quantity storage.

The soil removed to construct the wetland was used to create a large earthen berm which opens views into the wetland complex and the surrounding landscape. A trail reinforces the design and provides access to ecologically sensitive areas across the site. The parking, signage, bridges, benches, duck boxes, bird houses, and plantings increase habitat, recreation, and educational opportunities. Phase two includes a future outdoor classroom, pavilions, trails, boardwalks, and nature-based learning.