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Special Issues


Anderson & Ray
Barker Landscape
Thomas Rengstorf
Robert Foley
Jones & Jones
Hough Beck & Baird
Belt Collins
Worthy and Associates
Heier Design Group
Talley & Kolb
Swift & Co


Barker Landscape Architects

Principal: John Forest Barker
Size of firm: 6
Year founded: 1989
Annual revenues: $350,000 last year
Specialties: Neighborhood parks and childrens playgrounds, trails, some residential waterfront parks, natural areas

Business is excellent this year, according to John Forest Barker, principal of Barker Landscape Architecture. As a result of the neighborhood matching grant program there are many small parks, playgrounds and pea patches to design. "People dont want to get in their car to get to their park," he said. They are motivated with these dollars to have small parks and other open spaces within walking distance, where their kids can come and learn to ride a bike."

In addition to parks, a traditional market for Barker, there is a lot more demand for residential landscape design, and the firm has been involved in more and more residential projects.

Also, " The public work is just as strong," said Barker. Except for the loss of one project on Orcas Island because of uncertainty about ferries, the passage of I-695 hasnt made a dent.

Barker sees much more demand for ecologically sensitive landscapes. "Theres a real push for that," he said. "There is also much more demand for art projects to compliment landscape projects."

And these days there are many more projects that involve the repair of the site, he said. Sites that have been shunned in the past because of industrial pollution or other drawbacks are now being redeveloped with new cleanup technologies. The benefits now outweigh the costs for those overlooked pieces of land, and "thats all thats left in some cases," said Barker. The firm is at work on a brownfields site in Everett that once held a boat factory.

Other projects include Brackets landing on the Edmonds Waterfront, with a promenade and a beach restoration in connection with the Edmonds Ferry Dock. The firm has been at work on a village square in East Sound on Orcas, a nature preserve called Fowlers Pond, also on Orcas, and Hummel Lake on Lopez Island. Glen Eden Neighborhood Park in Spokane contains a large moose sculpture for kids to climb on 6 acres of replaced native forest and meadow. There are several projects along the Lake to Lake Trail in Bellevue and several pea patch projects.

"We like to make places close to home, where people can walk-make the pedestrian feel important and safe," said Barker. "Making the city the best it can be means making it safe for people that are not in cars. Landscape architects have an important role in that."

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