2013 American Society of Landscape Architects/Central States
Award of Honor
The Ozarks is one of the most remote and historic regions in the country. Long bypassed by westward growth and change, residents developed innovative and unique approaches to farming, building, technology, and the arts. With expertise in cultural landscape research and community involvement, Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company lead hundreds of residents and local officials to develop options for heritage interpretation, recreation, and preservation. The goal was to determine whether a National Heritage Area for the Highlands regions of the Ozarks was both feasible and desirable.
This Ozarks Highlands National Heritage Area (OHNHA) feasibility plan forges connections between natural history and human history. With a landscape architect’s unique perspective, the plan links millennia of glaciation, the production of soils, and geological forces and their effect on how the land appears today and shaped human culture over the last centuries.
OHNHA sets a model for future heritage feasibility studies, because it applies landscape architectural techniques in regional ecological analysis, graphics, and public participation to teach citizens how to link natural and human history, to understand why this isolated island of American landscape developed material and social cultures that exist nowhere else. In so doing, JBC was able to foster a sense of local pride and a heritage planning vision for the future.