Oxford Nature Park
Talbot County, MD
In collaboration with Oxford local government, Talbot County sought to transform 86 acres of agricultural lands located along the main road leading into Oxford into a forward-thinking, multigenerational, gateway park that considers climate change and the treatment of agricultural and other pollutants before they enter the Chesapeake Bay.
AMT worked with Talbot County and Oxford to develop the vision, master plan, and the first phase construction documents for the conversion of an agricultural field into an inviting park. The main design focus to merge the ecological processes with the human recreational was achieved through public outreach, creative design solutions, and sound environmental engineering. AMT identified the existing environmental features that included over 1,300 feet of a 6-foot wide stream channel. The stream was converted into a wetland complex that is over 2 acres and is used as the central design feature.
Comparing engineering computations with recreational needs was the starting point of the design process and resulted in optimal sizing, depth, and site form to accommodate those needs. The wetland was carefully graded to create a natural form with flowing edges which is visually pleasing and evokes a nature park while also meeting the strict requirements such as water depth, width to length ratios, diverse aquatic habitat, permeate pool for waterfowl, and water quality and quantity treatment.
A multipurpose trail reinforces the overall design and provides connectivity for the community by providing means to traverse ecologically sensitive areas across the site. The parking, signage, bridges, benches, duck boxes, and bird houses were added to increase habitat and provide passive recreation as well as educational opportunities for visitors.