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Dolese Prairie Park Project

During the fall 2015 semester, Professor Cheryl Mihalko’s Landscape Ecology and Design studio completed a five-week project for the Dolese Bros. Co. Prairie Park Sand Plant, located in Prairie Park, Oklahoma.

The program of landscape architecture at Oklahoma State University greatly appreciates our on-going relationship with Dolese Bros. Co. which provides the opportunity to introduce future landscape architects to the needs and special circumstances involved with the aesthetic transformation and ecological reclamation of sand plants. The landscape architect’s role as a designer, manager, and communicator brings special skills to the mining industry thus easing the inevitable social and environmental issues associated with surface mining. Through this partnership, students gained an understanding of the complexities of working on a real site, with real clients that value site reclamation that engages ecological design principles for the enjoyment of present, past, and future Dolese Bros. Co. employees, their families, and the public.

The finished mining site will form a lake with protective levees and will be reclaimed for future use by rebuilding and reshaping the land. The project was divided into several sections: a precedent study, site inventory and analysis that included fieldwork and photo documentation, program development, preliminary design development, and a preliminary and final presentation.

Tom Dupis, Manager, Environmental Department, and Walter Colijn, Aggregate Engineer, provided their experience and time participating throughout the project, generously arranged for students to visit the site, provided site maps, aerial photos, and other information throughout the project. Mr. Dupis and Mr. Colijn provided insight and feedback by participating in the student’s preliminary and final review. The students' projects are currently being made into a book for purchase; watch for more information.

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