Landscapes of the Month: Providing Commercial Landscaping for a BMX Park - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Landscapes of the Month: Providing Commercial Landscaping for a BMX Park

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

In Houston, Texas, a client wanted to develop the largest BMX exclusive park in the world. This was part of their ongoing efforts to invigorate North Houston and create spaces for people to visit. They brought on Yellowstone Landscape to help with the revitalization of this space, which was formerly a wastewater management plant.

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

The Rockstar Energy Bike Park is a 22-acre development that is adjacent to a 10-acre skate park. Yellowstone Landscape had worked with the client and general contractor two years before on the adjacent skate park and accessible playground.

The design/install process took three years as the first set of plans was created in February of 2016 and Yellowstone finished the project in the spring of 2019. The park was opened in the fall of 2019. This project earned Yellowstone a bronze award in the 2020 Awards of Excellence.

“Every Award of Excellence we have ever received is special to us,” says Joseph Barnes, marketing director for Yellowstone Landscape. “They mean that our peers judged our work worthy of national recognition. This one was unique for a couple of reasons. First, the project itself was something unlike anything else we’d ever worked on. It’s not every day you get the chance to work on the country’s largest BMX park. Second, this project is part of an overall plan by the city to attract new and different kinds of tourists to North Houston. Any time we get to be a part of something that helps to better the communities where we work and live, it’s always special.”

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

The bike park contains a BMX racetrack, concrete bowls, dirt jumps, pump tracks for all ages, a flatland freestyle area and an amphitheater in the middle of the park. This creates a destination for BMX riders of all levels and skills across the world.

Yellowstone installed everything from the trees and shrubs to the turf and irrigations system. The greenery helps soften the paving, tracks and BMX elements. The landscape complements the competition areas and moves spectators along paved pathways.

The company installed over 700 trees in the park including live oaks, bald cypress, sycamore, Parkinsonia, overcup oaks and Shumard oaks. Previously, the site was overrun by invasive Chinese tallow trees before development began. The company removed these trees and ground the stumps.

While the site was formerly just a wastewater site, it now serves as a public amenity. The wastewater is detained and diverted effectively with detention ponds installed at each end of the property.

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Yellowstone Landscape worked alongside other specialty trades to ensure the project was ready in time for the hard set opening day.

“The hardest component was working with all the other trades that were all trying to get their pieces of the project done at the same time,” Barnes says. “Especially with so many specialized components to the tracks and BMX freestyle areas, there were a number of different specialty contractors who we don’t usually interact with.”

In order to stay on schedule with the tight timeline, Yellowstone worked closely behind the other trades as they finished. They also increased the number of team members on their crews over the last few weeks.

“In the final two weeks before the grand opening, we had over 65 Yellowstone employees on-site daily,” Barnes says.

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Yellowstone also has a two-year maintenance contract with the park and visits the site weekly when the park is closed to mow the grass, trim trees and shrubs and ensure the irrigation system is running optimally.

Since the park has opened it has been recognized internationally as a premier BMX sports venue. It was also set to host the 2020 UCI BMX World Championship, but this was postponed due to the pandemic.

Interested in participating in the Awards of Excellence? Submit your entries by Aug. 24, 2021.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.