Rutgers ecologists and Brooklyn Botanic Garden botanists to plan Beijing Olympics Forest Park

New Brunswick, NJ-- Ecologists at Rutgers' Cook College & New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) and botanists from Brooklyn Botanic Garden have been selected as the winning team in the international competition to design the new Forest Park for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The ecologists and botanists are affiliated with the Center for Urban Restoration Ecology (CURE), a collaboration between Rutgers ecologists and Brooklyn Botanic Garden botanists. Working in partnership with Sasaki Associates, the eminent landscape architecture and planning company, the CURE team formulated the ecological basis of the new park, including lake, stream, meadow, and woodland habitats. They received the Award of Excellence in the competition for the natural landscaping of the 2,200 acre site--about three times the size of New York City's Central Park. There were 51 competitors, worldwide, judged by a jury reporting to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning. Presently, the landscape design plan is being implemented on the vast site.

CURE was invited to contribute the ecological and botanical components of the competition entry by Sasaki Associates, based in Boston, who coordinated the competition entry. In addition, the Tsinghua University Urban Planning and Design Institute in Beijing is part of the team, providing design and administrative functions.

"The complex ecological design aims to maximize biodiversity on this site, which is surrounded by the huge city," says Dr. Steven Handel, director of CURE. "Solving issues of re-introduction of native plants and animals, habitat fragmentation, invasive species control, water management, and plant-animal interactions is critical for long-term success."

Dr. Steven Clemants, vice president of science, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and co-director of CURE, said "This is a great opportunity to, not only create a park, but also to better understand what the native biodiversity of the regi

Contact: Michele Hujber
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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