• ADOT Publishes Local Public Agency Projects Manual Developed by Logan Simpson

    ADOT Local Public Agency Projects ManualThe Arizona Department of Transportation recently published an updated Local Public Agency (LPA) Projects Manual developed by Logan Simpson. The manual is designed to help LPAs, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs); councils of government (COGs); and ADOT staff in the planning, design, and construction of projects funded with federal aid.

    Logan Simpson worked closely with ADOT, FHWA, COGs, MPOs, and LPAs to develop the manual, which outlines the policies and procedures required to comply with FHWA and ADOT requirements for projects funded under the Federal-Aid Highway Program. The primary audience for this manual is LPA staff; however, ADOT staff, consultants, and contractors constitute strong secondary audiences. In addition to more than 130 surveys, Logan Simpson conducted nearly 60 interviews with LPA, ADOT, and COG/MPO staff early in the project to determine desired content and resources. Based on these findings, the manual was organized according to the project development lifecycle, including planning and programming; funding; development/design; construction; and final acceptance. Key topics, such as civil rights; financial reimbursement; consultant/contractor selection; and procurement are also covered in detail.

    The manual includes practical tools like checklists and forms and extensive resources sections that provide links to online tools and resources. As the manual was developed, Logan Simpson worked closely with ADOT staff to confirm accuracy and resolve policy and procedure discrepancies, and in the process developed a unique, cross-agency vantage point about how local government projects are implemented. The manual was published in 2013 and is available online on the ADOT website.

  • Buckeye Firehouse No. 703 Wins Station Style Design Award

    Buckeye Firehouse No. 703The November issue of Fire Chief magazine recognizes Buckeye Firehouse No. 703 in the 12th annual Station Style Fire Station Design Awards. This program recognizes outstanding architecture and design from fire departments nationwide.

    According to Fire Chief magazine, Arizona is the top state for the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certified fire stations. The LEED certified-pending red brick fire station was designed by Perlman Architects of Arizona.

    LSD prepared both landscape and irrigation construction documents for the fire station in the Verrado community. The areas in the landscape plan included the site perimeter, site and building entries, building foundation, and areas around the parking lot.  The landscape contributes to the design and operation of the facility and is inviting to the Verrado community.  The low water use plants have bold textures and bloom in vivid colors.

    LSD has three LEED accredited landscape professionals on our Arizona environmental planning staff. LEED is an internationally recognized green-building certification system, which sets the preeminent standards for site selection, water and energy efficiency, materials used, and indoor environmental quality.


  • Logan Simpson Arizona Environmental Consultants to Help Mitigate Fire Danger from Buffelgrass

    The Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center (SABCC) has awarded the Arizona environmental consultants of Logan Simpson a three-year contract to document the distribution, abundance, and effectiveness of treatments to eradicate buffelgrass in Pima County. This invasive species is highly flammable and drastically increases the frequency of fires in the Sonoran Desert.

    Fire is the single greatest threat to public health and safety in and around in and around the Tucson International Airport (TIA) and the Pima County Mission Road Complex, which houses the Pima County Jail and other county infrastructure. Logan Simpson will be working with SABCC, TIA, and Pima County to help reduce the threat at TIA by mapping, controlling, and monitoring the spread of buffelgrass. The projects will be funded through a FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant.

    The Southwest Fire Science Consortium has produced a 11 minute video of the work that SABCC is doing.

  • Environmental Planning Spotlight: Tres Rios Environmental Restoration Wins Crescordia Award

    Environmental organization Valley Forward recently recognized the Tres Rios Environmental Restoration project for environmental planning excellence. Construction, mining, and engineering firm Kiewit Western Co. and LSD worked together on the habitat restoration project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and City of Phoenix. Phase III work included a native plant inventory; removal and control of invasive species (primarily Salt Cedar); grading and excavation of the historic river channel; and restoration of riparian and wetland marsh habitats within the active stream area.

    Completed in May 2012, the environmental planning project created 44 acres of new open-water reaches, 10 acres of marsh habitat, and 46 acres of riparian habitat. The Salt, Gila, and Agua Fria river corridors were revegetated with new aquatic plants and cottonwood and willow trees.

    LSD is also the primary designer for five separate trailheads that will provide gateways to multi-use trails leading to the Overbank Wetlands and Flow Control Wetlands at the 91st Avenue Treatment Plant and the Tres Rios Environmental Restoration project.

    Kiewit Western Co. submitted the project for Valley Forward’s review.

    Valley Forward video courtesy SRP Communications Services

  • Logan Simpson Environmental Consultants are Developing Pima County Community Wildfire Protection Plan

    Logan Simpson environmental consultants are developing a community wildfire protection plan that will assess the risk of wildland fire risk to 32 Pima County communities. Nearly 6 million acres are being analyzed for wildland fuel hazards, risk of ignition and wildfire occurrence, local preparedness, and community protection capabilities. The plan will comply with the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, which is the most effective way for a community to acquire federal funding for fire preparedness and environmental planning.  To date, Logan Simpson has completed 13 HFRA-compliant community wildfire protection plans analyzing more than 15.7 million acres in 160 communities, 118 fire departments and 15 counties within Arizona and New Mexico to determine wildland fire risk.

    A primary objective of the CWPP is to help local governments, fire departments and districts, and residents identify at-risk public and private lands to better protect those lands from severe wildfire threat. Additional functions of the plan are to improve fire prevention and suppression activities, as well as identify funding needs and opportunities to reduce the risk of wildland fire, and to enhance public and firefighter safety. Pima County’s CWPP will meet these objectives at a local level, while integrating with overall federal- and state-level fire planning.

    The environmental consultants at LSD are working with the Pima County Office of Emergency Management to develop the plan, which will also address all risk factors identified by the Arizona State Forester.

  • Logan Simpson Landscape Architecture Firm to Assess Freeway Landscape Irrigation Use and Design

    Logan Simpson landscape architecture firm staff and irrigation designers are conducting an assessment to establish irrigation water budgets and irrigation design guidelines for Phoenix-area freeways. We will be studying the water usage of existing freeway segments to determine usage for the representative landscape styles used in the Valley. Our assessment of appropriate water use and design improvements will be the basis of in-progress and future landscape-freeway intergovernmental agreements with local communities. Logan Simpson’s research will then be used to develop a water training manual to improve future watering practices and provide an update the irrigation chapter (released in 1988) of ADOT’s Design Guidelines for Urban Freeways.

    As a landscape architecture firm, Logan Simpson is committed to the sustainable use of limited resources. Logan Simpson and ADOT have a decades-long history of conducting research that promotes sustainable practices and contributes to the long term viability of the desert ecosystem. For more than three decades, freeway landscapes in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area have been watered by drip irrigation. Logan Simpson will help ADOT understand and improve its landscape water use with this baseline study to determine the amount of irrigation water used on ADOT freeway landscapes. By looking at the strengths and weaknesses of existing irrigation systems, our landscape and irrigation designers will then review, evaluate, and provide recommendations to ADOT on potential new systems or upgrades to existing systems. Part of the project will involve researching recent information regarding water needs for desert-adapted plants in order to develop new watering criteria to be used by maintenance personnel and irrigation designers. The results of this research will standardize the amount of water plants receive, improving irrigation efficiency of a precious and valuable resource.

  • Logan Simpson’s Cultural Resources Team Wins Contract for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

    Logan Simpson’s cultural resources team is assisting the National Park Service revise an existing National Register nomination for the Visitor and Operations Complex Historic District located within Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. 

    The District covers approximately 160 acres and consists of three clusters of building complexes (the visitor compound, maintenance compound, and residential compound), all of which were built by the park service and Civilian Conservation Corps between 1928 and 1963.  Located 50 miles southeast of Phoenix, the ruins themselves are much, much older. Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J., who founded Arizona’s first Jesuit mission, recorded his visit to the ruins in 1694.

    Logan Simpson’s cultural resources team is working with State Historic Preservation Office staff to develop an appropriate strategy for obtaining concurrence on the document. Our historical archaeologist is revising the draft National Register nomination to address SHPO’s comments and concerns. SHPO will then use the completed nomination to obtain concurrence on the District’s Cultural Landscape Inventory. These documents will assist National Park Service staff in the management of the park’s built and cultural landscape resources.


  • Environmental Planning Spotlight: ASLA Announces 2012 Professional and Student Awards

    Proudly sharing the Environmental Planning Spotlight with many other talented landscape architecture firms is Logan Simpson Design. LSD received an Honor Award in the Research Category of the 2012 Professional Awards and Student Awards, by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The ASLA award honors LSD’s environmental planning work with the Arizona Department of Transportation on the Ironwood Tree Salvage and Saguaro Transplant Survivability Studies.

    Other national ASLA winners are public places, residential, campus,site_restoration park and urban planning and design projects from across the U.S. and around the world. View high-resolution images and full project information here.

    During the Annual Meeting & Expo in Phoenix, ASLA presented 37 awards to professional landscape architects and their firms, selected from more than 620 entries in the categories of General Design, Residential Design, Analysis and Planning, Communications, and Research.

    The September issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM) features the winning projects and is available online for free viewing. Congrats to all!


  • Logan Simpson Wins GSA Blanket Purchase Agreement to Provide Visual Resources Services to BLM

    Our visual resources specialists know that changes to landscape scenery can be one of the most evident—and often controversial—effects of projects developed on federal lands. Failure to understand or properly assess a project’s potential impact on the visual environment can result in costly, time-consuming delays.

    The BLM recently awarded a five-year blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to Logan Simpson to provide visual resources management services, including the inventory, analysis, and assessment of visual resources required under the BLM’s Visual Resource Management (VRM) System. By conducting visual resources inventories that comply with VRM requirements, Logan Simpson will also help the BLM establish a thorough and consistent national geodatabase that will help the agency manage visual resources more effectively. The contract also allows Logan Simpson to provide visual resource management training, provide technical advice and guidance to federal land managers, and perform research on visual resource-related topics.

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  • Logan Simpson Landscape Architecture: Chandler Solar System Walk Dedicated July 7

    Earlier this spring, Logan Simpson landscape architecture staff designed the informative visual graphics for the Chandler Solar System Walk around the lake at Veterans Oasis Park. The privately funded education project is dedicated to the late amateur astronomer Howard Israel (in wheel chair) who taught at the park’s Environmental Educational Center. The project includes monument plaques for the Sun and each planet and multiple interpretative signs, which will present park visitors with a better understanding of our Solar System. Free guided Solar System Walks begin Saturday, Sept. 15.