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Arkansas Water Rescources Center

Ecological Design in the Ozarks

The best ecological designs are usually the product of collaborative, multidisciplinary teams. Engineers, landscape architects, other designers and planners, ecologists, and other scientists each make important contributions, but draw on different perspectives, speak different languages, and evaluate success by different criteria. Students, landscape architects, engineers, water quality specialists, ecologists, and other interested individuals spent three days learning, brainstorming and designing together May 15-17, 2013 at the Ecological Design in the Ozarks workshop and charrette.  A charrette is a short-term, intensive design process. Typically, a charrette will involve collaborative design work by small multidisciplinary groups, who then present their work to the full group to generate further discussion and innovation. They focused on a multipurpose future for Lake Frances, exploring solutions to improve water quality, supply, and use.

Lake Frances is located on the Illinois River, at the Oklahoma-Arkansas border, in the contentious Illinois River watershed. The Illinois River has been the focus of stakeholder issues and lawsuits between the states and other entities for many years. The State of Arkansas monitors water quality upstream from Lake Frances and the State of Oklahoma monitors downstream. Lake Frances is a water-quality transformer and the purpose of the Ecological Design in the Ozarks event was to brainstorm and design proposals for the future of Lake Frances. Design teams were mixed groups of students and professionals with a variety of backgrounds and expertise. Each team developed their own integrated proposal for Lake Frances, which included enhanced recreational opportunities. Phosphorus mitigation was a general focus across the teams, and remedy strategies included multi-purpose wetlands and, even, chemical (alum) treatment.

For more information, and to view proposals from each team, see the booklet linked below.

Ecological Design in the Ozarks Cover

Suggested citation: Patterson, Steven D., Haggard, Brian E., and Boyer, Mark E. 2013. Ecological Design in the Ozarks--Workshop and Lake Frances Charrette. Arkansas Water Resources Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Technical Publication MSC 368. 23pp.