UMass Amherst Alumnus Wins Landscape Architecture Student Award
Recent UMass Amherst alumnus Andrew Carrano ’22 has been named a 2022 Student Honor Award winner by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Carrano, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, is one of 19 student award winners chosen from 459 entries representing the highest level of achievement in landscape architecture education.
His project, “Boston Anthro-Zoo Park: Redefining Zoos as biophilic public spaces,” received the award in the “General Design” category. Carolina Aragón and Theodore Eisenman served as faculty advisors on the project, which envisions the transformation of Boston’s Lederman Park along the Charles River into a new model of zoo meant to enhance the native wildlife diversity of Boston and reconnect urban people with nature through storytelling and passive experiences with native wildlife.
Carrano’s plan for the athletic fields that currently make up the park proposes the ecological restoration of the site’s existing features to enhance the habitat quality for native species. Floating wetlands placed along the river’s edge would improve water quality and provide cover for aquatic wildlife and food sources for birds and American river otters, while existing canopy would be extended and filled in with a diverse understory of flowering and fruiting plant species to provide food sources and cover for native bird species in all seasons. He also suggests nesting spires to provide denning and nesting space for wildlife seeking cover, acting as a substitute for cavities found in old growth trees that are not typical of urban environments.
Jury panels representing a broad cross-section of the landscape architecture profession from the public and private sectors and academia, select each year’s winners. In announcing Carrano’s selection for the award, the 2022 jury said of his design, “The way this project balances the complex needs of the diverse animal population with Boston's human visitors is inspirational.”
Carrano and his fellow award recipients and their advisers will be honored in-person at an awards presentation ceremony during the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Francisco November 11-14.