Inner Arbor Trust Adds Landscape Architect and New Board Member
Martha Schwartz, a prominent landscape architect, will handle landscape design.
The Inner Arbor Trust announced this week it is teaming up with landscape architect Martha Schwartz and that Martin G. Knott, Jr., president of Knott Mechanical, has been added to the board of directors.
The Trust is tasked with redesigning Columbia's Symphony Woods and implementing the Inner Arbor Plan.
Schwartz is a professor at Harvard University who operates Martha Schwartz Partners, a landscape architecture firm with offices in London and Cambridge, MA.
"It is wonderful to be designing an environment that is so conducive to art and music within the beautiful Symphony Woods environment that surrounds Merriweather," said Schwartz, in a statement from the Trust.
Schwartz has designed projects such as the Dublin Docklands Grand Canal Square, Monte Laar Central Park in Vienna, and the Mesa Arts Center in Arizona.
Schwartz will play the "lead landscape design role" in implementing the Inner Arbor Plan, according to Michael McCall, the president and CEO of the Inner Arbor Trust.
McCall stated, "we have one of the the world's top ten landscape designers bringing enormous creativity to our precious park."
Schwartz will work with a design team from Mahan Rykiel Associates to take the concept plan for the woods and make it into a reality, said a spokesperson for the Inner Arbor Trust.
Knott was added to the Inner Arbor Trust board to fill a vacancy left by G. Kent Humphries, a senior vice president at Sysco, who resigned on Sept. 17 to focus on his corporate responsibilities, according to a statement from the Trust.
Knott is chairman of the Maryland Economic Development Corporation and a fan of the Grateful Dead. Knott's company, Knott Mechanical, focuses on commercial HVAC service, installation and retrofit, according to its website.
The Inner Arbor Trust officially formed in May. The organization received an initial funding of $1.6 million from Columbia Association to begin implementing the Inner Arbor Plan.
The group has not yet held a public meeting to detail updated plans for the park, although it set up a booth at Wine in the Woods earlier this year and pitched the plan to the CA Board, which approved it in February.
In May, McCall said in an email that due to the trust's intended structure as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization its board meetings would not be made public to residents or the press. The trust is in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status.
Two public meetings about the park are scheduled for later this year, in November and December.
In addition to Knott, the Inner Arbor trust board is composed of CA President Phil Nelson, CA board member Gregg Schwind, former CA board member Ed Coleman, and Deborah Aaronson Ellinghaus, of Fulton, who works as director of development for the University of Maryland, College Park.
The Inner Arbor Plan, which was unveiled in January, features an arts village with restaurants, a community center, a new CA headquarters, a dinner theater and a plaza. The rest of plan includes an elevated tree canopy walkway, a large sculpture and an amphitheater in the woods.
Neither Columbia Association nor McCall, who is also the plan's designer, has estimated the cost of the plan. The county has budget $4.5 million towards Symphony Woods in the 2014 budget, which is directed at developing an amphitheater and to fund plans for a new arts center.
Inner Arbor Trust President Says Meetings Not Public