Palisades Park
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Plants as Preservation

Location Santa Monica, CA, United States

Client City of Santa Monica

Scope Urban Design, Landscape Architecture

Size 1/4 acre

Santa Monica’s famous pier area draws visitors who often disregard pavement boundaries and compact the landscape soil. Palisades Park, adjacent to the iconic pier, is a particularly active site for cyclists and tourists that has long been in need of a planting strategy to discourage pedestrian overflow into the landscape. SWA’s defensive planting strategy tackles this perpetual headache for the City of Santa Monica. Three parcels of land are planted with agave, aloe, and other hardy, drought-tolerant species. The spikey shape of the plants discourages users from treading through the planting area, thereby alleviating the issue of compacting the soil. An existing ficus tree border frames the park, while fencing is strategically employed to keep users off of particularly sensitive areas.

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