Sharp Park: The Fairway to Play

  • The Conceptual Master Plan was a group project. Each member of the group had specific roles in the analysis, design, and presentation. My specific role was to look into land use, transportation, and site inventory. With that information, we collaborated on several designs. The one we chose was one that focused on creating "pocket ponds" to increase habitat value for valuable species like Red-legged frog, eliminate the use of a sea wall along the western edge and allow for the Laguna Salada to resume its original function as a brackish pond with immense habitat and aesthetic value, and to maximize playable aspects of the golf course without compromising environmental benefits. Thus the course was reduced from an 18 hole course to a 9 hole course. I was the principal designer for the paths, water shorelines, and new course allocations.
  • As individual projects, each memeber focused on a different aspect of the design. I decided to investigate the four golfing greens that were on the east side of the highway and closest to the environmental interventions there.
  • Sharp Park: The Fairway to Play takes a closer look at four of the golf fairways that are segregated from the others via a major highway. The four fairways encircle about Sanchez Creek and are the most upland of the course.  Therefore, what happens on these landscapes will effect whatever is downstream. They are also the only ones that are surrounded by existing habitat and have direct connectivity to the more ecological beneficial parts of the park. It is imperative that these fairways have elements that seamlessly blend the environmental benefits and habitat with successful aspects of golf course utility. This project institutes how the four fairways might be designed to successfully contribute to the noteworthy park gestures while also being a paragon for a sustainable and resilient golfing landscape. Many of the program elements compliment the park gestures. Prominent site program elements are:
    •    Pocket Ponds: A series of pocket ponds with hydrological connections. This serves to create shoreline for frog breeding and increases the water storage capacity for Sanchez Creek.
    •    Native riparian forest: The shoreline of the proposed waterways will have native vegetation.
    •    "Island Driving" Golf Play: Each fairway will be designed to be played as an "island driving" style. The player must drive the ball from one location to a designated "island" green that is a maintained and mowed lawn (the grass species will be a native fescue).
    •    "No Mow" Areas: In between each "island" green are no mow areas. The no mow areas will be naturalized meadows of grasses, flowers, and forbs.
    •    Small retention ponds: In designated no mow areas there will be small retention ponds that will capture a majority of run-off from the fairways. The retention ponds are intended to decontaminate the water using bio-remediation practices.
    •    Logical Site Connectivity: To maintain ecological corridors and connectivity, paths in specific locations, will be converted to raised boardwalk and allow movement below.
  • East-West site section that shows the elevation changes, vegetation shifts, and overal site performance.
  • Section of the bio-swales. These locations are intended to be both aesthetically pleasing as well as critical habitat for a variety of native species.
  • Final analysis of water resources. Although the Laguna Salada provides a greater capacity of water, the proposed pond network upstream with greatly increase the shorline which is criticat breeding grounds for the endangered Red-Legged frog.
  • Transportation diagram. This is to illustrate what types of transportation types are accommodated throughout the site. There is greater emphasis on pedestrian traffic than golf carts.
  • Widlife corridors that are created and/or maintained by the parks design and necessary implementations of raised boardwalks. The wildlife corridors focused on the three focal species that are all endangered.
  • Perspective View down Hole 3: Par 4. This shows the graceful blending of golf course and wildlife. The bio-swale acts as an obstacle to increase the golfing challenge of good aim and power. To the right is existing vegetation and to the left of the fairway is the naturalized riparian areas around the pond network.