A rendering of the new entry experience at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill by Stephen Stimson Associates.

The Boston Society of Landscape Architects has awarded Stephen Stimson Associates with a 2018 Honor Award for Analysis and Planning for the development of a Master Plan for New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill.

The Master Plan is a 30 year vision for New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, including new gardens and facilities proposed in phases over the coming decades. Throughout the Master Plan process, Stephen Stimson Associates (SSA) consulted with a broad range of stakeholders to examine the relevance of New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill to both horticulture and the larger society of botanical gardens. With this in mind, themes were developed focusing on four areas of intellectual exploration for the garden: botanic beauty, agrarian gardens, cultivated wild, and sustainability.

The plan calls for a new entry and expansion of visitor services and education facilities, construction of a native woodland garden with special appeal for children and families, a new glass house to house a permanent indoor collection, a sculpture garden, an expanded and accessible trail system, rotating “gallery gardens,” an expansion of the orchard of rare heirloom apple trees, and many other projects driven by New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill’s strategic goals.

The funding for the Master Plan was made possible by the financial support of the Mildred H. McEvoy Foundation and by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

“We’re thrilled that Stephen Stimson Associates is being recognized and excited to start putting the first building blocks of this shared vision in place,” said New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill CEO Grace Elton.

Participants in a public forum during the planning process.

Stephen Stimson Associates drafted the Master Plan after a thorough study of the landscape, regional demographics, and national horticultural trends, while also incorporating feedback from the Worcester County Horticultural Society’s Board of Trustees, New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill staff and members, area residents, and community groups. The firm completed the plan in 2016 and New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill is currently fundraising in advance of breaking ground on the first phase of development, which includes a redesigned entry experience to welcome visitors and alleviate traffic delays on busy days.

The Boston Society of Landscape Architects selected 19 projects from more than 100 submissions from sites spanning California to Bangladesh. The winners were selected based on excellence in the diverse practices of landscape architecture, and awarded projects reflect careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of the cultural and natural environment, according to the Society.

This year’s submissions also demonstrated a strong focus on issues of sustainability and climate resilience, as more public and private entities — from homeowners to institutions to municipalities — start to think differently about the additional work their landscape