When developers typically start new communities the focus is more on selling rooftops than selling place, much less nature. We had the privilege of working with Summers Corner on a project that would embody both art and nature as this new community came out of the ground. This community was originally a pine plantation and we wanted to honor and restore the bird habitat that existed there and help to create a future for new healthy habitat.
Working alongside a very thoughtful landscape design team, LaQuatra Bonci, Fred Bonci took inspiration from The Living Landscape (Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy) for the design and implementation at Summers Corner. Understanding that the plant life that would be installed here would help to promote wildlife habitat rather than hinder it. This was the foundation for their plan.
To compliment the landscape plan, we worked with South Carolina Bluebird Society to install bird boxes (Bluebird, Robin, American Kestrel, and Wood Ducks) throughout the first phase of parks. This group of devoted bird and nature lovers made the drive from Aiken, SC on more than one occasion to help us locate and install boxes, and showed up for the grand opening to help educate visitors to the importance of their work, and the necessity of supporting bird habitat.
The icing on the cake was incorporating art as a reflection of habitat into the community. We worked with sculpturist, Tom Holmes, to design and install four sculptures throughout the community that would support the natural habitat while also giving roost and respite to birds of all kinds- from Carolina Wrens to Robins to Osprey. We spent the week prior to the community grand opening working with Tom to gather wood and branches from the site, cutting, sorting and assisting him on the construction. What a privilege to work alongside Tom for that week. Hoping to see more of his work here.
We were so grateful to be part of a team willing to stretch into something new, something necessary to support the ethos of this community which is based in garden and nature. We were honored to work with such talented and thoughtful people that were just as excited and passionate to be part of some crazy idea of making habitat a priority, and doing it in a very unconventional way. We were reminded that we are part of nature, intertwined, existing only because of it.
As the community grows, we hope that the residents will champion the efforts to support the natural habitat. That taking care of the land and its inhabitants will be just as much of a priority as it will be in their own yards and homes. Hoping that nature and art is observed and honored with the realization that it to is part of our communities.
This is just the beginning of this story. Looking forward to see how it unfolds.