Restoring ecological health to a spectacular site.
The goal of the Lower Hesse Park Improvement Project is to enhance accessibility, public recreational opportunities, and the overall aesthetic appeal of this stunning 16-acre site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with views of Catalina Island and the Santa Monica Mountains. Working closely with City staff, the conceptual design enriches the existing trail system with a wider range of walking paths, nature-inspired play features, picnic facilities and accessible parking. The design and plantings simultaneously protect the surrounding neighborhood’s views and privacy.
Critical to the environmental health of the site, Withers & Sandgren has developed a strategy to create a beachhead against the invasive species that currently dominate the site. Drawing on the local knowledge of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, the strategy takes a phased approach that incorporates low-growing native shrub buffers to capture and suppress wind-borne seeds, with regular removal of invasives to effectively lower the weed seed bank, and give new plantings the opportunity to thrive.