High Desert Outdoors
 
About the High Desert Landscape
By Ray Berg
The introduction most folks have to High Desert landscaping is the two Grama Grass sculptures near the development entrances at the Spain and Academy intersections with Tramway. These two sculptures are the symbols of our High Desert community. But the planners of High Desert have given us a much greater natural heritage that is spread throughout our community.


The plan for the landscaping throughout High Desert was assembled by Sites Southwest, in cooperation with High Desert Investment Corporation, the developer of the community. Much of the basic design information has been collected into a two volume document titled “Guidelines for Sustainability,” which is identified in our covenants as the guide for landscape development within the community.


In the common areas of the community, there is a wealth of examples of desert landscaping that mirrors the character of the landscape that existed in this area prior to construction of the High Desert Development. 






The Lauda Miles Medara Memorial Park

Lauda Miles Memorial Park
(Photo by Tom Kilroy)

The Lauda Miles Medara Memorial Park (formerly called "Pino Park") is located east of Blue Grama Rd. just north of Pino Canyon Place. You will find it by walking north from Academy along Imperata after it turns into Blue Grama.

This innovative mixed-use facility was completed in 2000. It is the product of a combined effort by Sites Southwest, the High Desert landscape architects and artists; the High Desert engineer Bohannan-Huston, and High Desert Investment Corporation.

This project encompasses an area of approximately nine acres of Open Space land, and is centered around a storm water collection pond on the Pino Arroyo. The park is innovative largely because of the way it was designed and constructed. The form of the pond is naturally contoured and included extensive efforts to save existing stands of pinon and juniper communities.

As part of its construction, massive granite boulders were excavated and re-used on the project’s spillways to create a more natural drainage feature that integrates with its environment.

A further dimension to this project is a wheelchair accessible trail that incorporates interpretive artwork (see photo at right) to describe the natural forces which created the High Desert landscape. The landscaping completes the project features by accurately incorporating plant schemes that mimic the succession of life-zones one might encounter in traveling from the top of the Sandia Mountains to the Rio Grande Valley.

A few hundred feet north of Pino Canyon Rd. beneath a large juniper is an artificially-fed wildlife drinker. The pond includes reeds and other plants that help maintain a natural appearance to the area. If you visit shortly after snow or rain you will find tracks from a variety of wildlife that visits the area. Be sure to stay on the trail a little north of the pond area.

The park was renamed "Lauda Miles Medara Memorial Park" in November 2006 when the High Desert Board of Directors voted to recognize the significant contributions made by Lauda Miles Medara to High Desert. Lauda served as Chief Financial Officer for the developer of High Desert, the High Desert Investment Corporation, and in that capacity served on the HDROA board and several committees.She and her husband Greg were tragically killed in an automobile accident in Tijeras Canyon on July 29, 2006.







Water Kiva and Water Harvesting Garden

water garden

The High Desert Water Kiva and Water Harvesting Garden is on the corner of Spain and Imperata.

The kiva sits astride a side branch of the Bear Canyon Arroyo that cuts through the open space on the north side of Spain from above High Desert Street to Tramway. Completed in 2003, this park is a collaboration between the landscape design architects at Sites Southwest and the hydrologic engineers at Bohannan Huston.

The kiva is designed to provide the High Desert community with a formal place to view the interaction between a desiltation and detention storm drain facility.

Water is harvested from both the adjacent street and from the arroyo watershed that empties directly into the kiva. The “Water Kiva” (ponding area) is defined by stone clad banks in a formal circular pattern with paths, and protected seating areas above. A large grama grass sculpture is in fact an overflow drain inlet into the City’s storm drain system. The Water Harvesting Garden collects the street and site water and provides it to colorful perennial plantings throughout the park.

The walking paths around the kiva connect to a path that proceeds east up the south bank of the arroyo all the way to High Desert Street.

The kiva is designed to provide the High Desert community with a formal place to view the interaction between a desiltation and detention storm drain facility.

Water is harvested from both the adjacent street and from the arroyo watershed that empties directly into the kiva. The “Water Kiva” (ponding area) is defined by stone clad banks in a formal circular pattern with paths, and protected seating areas above. A large grama grass sculpture is in fact an overflow drain inlet into the City’s storm drain system. The Water Harvesting Garden collects the street and site water and provides it to colorful perennial plantings throughout the park.

The walking paths around the kiva connect to a path that proceeds east up the south bank of the arroyo all the way to High Desert Street. 

(Photo by Tom Kilroy)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Diagnosing Problems in the High Desert Landscape
yellow flowers

In an article in the Apache Plume newsletter, columnist and homeowner Margo Murdock wrote about diagnosing problems in your garden.  She provided a number of examples:

Click here to see Margo's Apache Plume article:  "Diagnosing Your Landscape Gardening Problems." 

For examples of those problems see her article: "Problem Diagnosis: Examples." 

To see other articles by Margo, visit the Plants and Gardening page.
 


 


Page content © 2017, High Desert Residential Owners Association, Inc.
Contact Site Administrator     Manage Page Content     Printer Friendly View

This Homeowners Association Website hosted with home-owners-assoc.com, a division of Nord Enterprises, Inc.