Save the Dunes guide wins landscapers' award

MICHIGAN CITY — The Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects recently awarded its 2018 Communications Award to Hitchcock Design Group for production of a landscaping guide for Save the Dunes.

“In 2017, the Indiana Chapter awarded this project the top honor, The Award of Excellence. This new Honor Award from the Illinois Chapter is equally gratifying knowing that our peers from both states recognize the outstanding work developed by our firm and Save the Dunes,” Joel Baldin, principal at Hitchcock Design Group, said.

Victoria Wittig, project coordinator at Save the Dunes, added: “I have lost track of how many requests we’ve received for copies of this guide. Not only is it beautifully designed, but the content provides the expert advice gardeners need to eliminate harmful invasive species from their landscapes and replace them with the ecologically beneficial native plants that belong there.”

In less than 20 pages, “Living in the Dunes: A Homeowner’s Guide to Landscaping in Indiana’s Dune Communities” covers the diversity of ecosystems represented on the dune landscape, including open beaches, grass-and forest-covered dunes, oak savannas, swamps, bogs, marshes, prairies, rivers and forests.

It also identifies invasive species that threaten these natural areas in a layout complete with key identifying characteristics, and  also covers native plants that are suited to specific landscape types found in the dunes.

“This easy-to-use full-color guide is filled with photos, illustrations and text designed to walk a homeowner through the landscape design process to create a home garden rich in native plants,” Wittig said.

As the prime consultant, Hitchcock Design Group was responsible for leading the design team, managing the process, outreach to stakeholders and leading the preparation of the Guide, Baldin said.

The design team included a landscape architect, graphic designer and ecologist. Stakeholder outreach included developing an advisory committee that included representatives from 13 different public and private interests that provided content and recommendations for development of the booklet, he said.

“Numerous conversations and group meetings were conducted throughout the process,” Wittig said.

“It is no surprise the team at Hitchcock received another award for this guide. It is recognition well deserved. We look forward to distributing it for years to come.”

Production of the guide was made possible through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan Coastal Program.

Save the Dunes is a non-profit dedicated to the protection, restoration and conservation of the dunes and natural resources within Indiana’s Lake Michigan watershed.


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