A design workshop was held Monday in Huxley for the city’s community visioning process.
Steering committee members joined Bolten and Menk landscape architects Casey Byers and Amber Gable to see in person the sites where Huxley’s visioning process will focus. Byers and Gable will take the information they gathered Monday to beautify different areas throughout town.
The areas the community elected to focus on are the Highway 69 corridor, making it easier and safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to move throughout town, and improving the town’s entryway signage.
"It’s good to get the feedback," said Byers. "It’s interesting what you learn when you actually get people out in the space - the history, adjacent landowners and the different vantage points you have. It helps fuel the conversation when you’re there. We could sit in this room and look on a map, but when you’re out there taking pictures, people really start getting ideas."
The steering committee and the architects agreed that this project should tie into Huxley’s ‘Heart of the Prairie’ theme. The architects’ concept uses native prairie grasses around the community. This will not only beautify these areas, but provide drainage advantages by decreasing the flow of water to storm drains. Byers and Gable also plan to design around the new shoulder of Highway 69, possibly designating a bicycle route with help from community members. Another possibility is displaying information about the town on the back of welcoming signs.
"It’s nice that they have a master plan and a communitywide theme here," said Byers. "Maybe each park has its own prairie plant."
Other considerations for the designs include sight lines around the highway for motorists and safety for everyone who lives in or visits Huxley. The architects need to know how a plant will look when it matures to determine whether it can be used in a certain location.
Byers and Gamble will make a formal presentation to Huxley residents next month, with the exact date to be determined.
"Once we do that formal presentation, at that point we’ll be ready for implementation," said Leslie Berckes of Trees Forever, the group guiding the community through its visioning process. "Those that can help or lend their resources will be critical to get the project in the ground."