As part of an on-call contract with the 446-acre U.S. National Arboretum, Mahan Rykiel Associates
developed plans for the new Flowering Tree Walk and renovations at Fern Valley Trail.
Described as a necklace linking the various garden “jewels” of the Arboretum, the Flowering Tree Walk connects the Visitor Center, Capitol Columns, Aquatic Collection, Bonsai Museum, Herb Collection, Fern Valley and Azalea Collection. MRA developed a planting design emphasizing year-round color, with plants varying in bark, flower, berry and leaf color.
At Fern Valley, MRA developed a trail system to enhance opportunities to view the collection. Accessible loop paths provide overlooks to portions of the site with steep topography — areas previously not available to all visitors. The design includes a new main entrance from the proposed Visitor’s Center and a wetland to naturally manage storm water, providing opportunities for environmental education.