work underway on a water-discharge structure we designed for poor soil conditions
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Science Museum ornamental landscape design

Science Museum ornamental landscape design
The Science Museum of Minnesota

urban landscape thrives without excessive use of fertilizers or water

The Science Museum of Minnesota asked Barr to design elements of its "Big Back Yard," a 30,000-square-foot miniature golf course that demonstrates how an ornamental landscape can produce food and thrive without excessive use of fertilizers, herbicides, or water.

The museum wanted to use natural limestone blocks for a retaining wall below the course but had a limited supply of them. We incorporated layers of geo-textile to reinforce the slope above the wall, providing needed stability.

While the course offers beautiful views of the Mississippi River, its direct sun exposure and harsh winds necessitated designing the rainwater garden for severe weather conditions. We were able to design an instructive garden that infiltrates stormwater, thrives even in poor soil and high foot-traffic areas, produces food, and looks great.