Friday, May 25, 2012  |   Email   Print

Landscape Architect for Sept. 11 Memorial to Receive Cleveland Botanical Garden's Highest Honor

The landscape architect behind the National September 11 Memorial in New York City will visit Cleveland Botanical Garden this summer to discuss his inspiration for that iconic landmark, as well as the importance of sustainability in urban design.

Peter Walker, senior partner of PWP Landscape Architecture in Berkeley, Calif., will make his remarks during the Garden’s 82nd Annual Meeting from 4 to 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 27. The Garden will present its highest honor, the Delia White Vail Medal for Community Horticultural Achievement, to Walker for his lifetime of making significant contributions to the field of horticulture on a national level.

Walker may be best known for his part in designing the remarkable memorial at ground zero, collaborating with architect Michael Arad in creating a serene setting at the high-profile site. His other work in landscape architecture spans five decades and circles the globe.

Locally, Walker’s artistic vision is realized in the impressive landscape surrounding The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center. Completed in 2008, Walker’s creation at the Clinic creates a memorable impression with towering trees, a large fountain, reflecting pools and granite boulders.

“Peter Walker embraced sustainability and green design long before it became fashionable, and he remains a leader in creating beautiful landscapes with careful concern for urban and environmental issues,” says Natalie Ronayne, executive director of the Garden. “His lifetime of inspired and responsible work offers so many important lessons for the urban designers of today, and I’m thrilled he’ll be sharing some of them with us in Cleveland.”

Admission to Walker’s presentation, titled “Before the Memorial,” is $25 per person and includes refreshments. Reservations may be made by calling 216-707-2862.

Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Delia White Vail Memorial Medal was established in 1957 by a former board member, the late Herman Lansing Vail, and members of his family, in memory of his wife, who had a lifelong interest in horticulture and civic beautification.

With his past projects ranging from museum gardens and local parks to an entire new city in Japan, Peter Walker is one of the most accomplished and renowned landscape architects of the day, and he shares his experience as an author and educator in the field. He is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and of the Institute for Urban Design and has received the Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects and Harvard’s Centennial Medal.

Some of Walker’s current projects include the Colorado Esplanade, which will serve as a thoroughfare into the heart of Santa Monica, Calif., and Headland Park, a waterfront promenade being developed in Sydney, Australia.

Cleveland Botanical Garden is an urban oasis for thousands of people each year, with enriching and immersive experiences for all ages. Founded in 1930 and located in the heart of Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, the Garden features 10 acres of outdoor gardens and an 18,000-square-foot conservatory — the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse — for guests to explore. The Garden also serves the community through outreach programs such as Green Corps, in which teens learn about and manage urban farms in Cleveland neighborhoods. As a not-for-profit organization, the Garden aims to spark a passion for plants and cultivate an understanding of their vital relationship to people and the environment.

For details, call 216-721-1600 or visit


<< Back