University of New Mexico Landscape architecture Yekaterina “Katya” Yushmanova is the recipient of a 2009 JSR Student Award for her project, Changing Perspective: Farming Habitat, that she designed for the Pat Hurley neighborhood in Albuquerque’s West side. The award comes with a $2,000 scholarship. The concept was to design a project that could act as a catalyst for quality of life improvement for residents.
Yushmanova’s design came out of a studio assignment for graduate students in UNM Landscape Architecture Studio 3 last fall. Taught by Adjunct Professor and Landscape Architect John Barney, the students worked on visioning projects for the Pat Hurley Neighborhood.
Barney said that the area was selected because of its interesting geography and history. “Pat Hurley, for whom the park is named, is the son of the famous Western artist Wilson Hurley,” he said. The students researched the area and discovered the remnants of agricultural patterns along the ditches and evidence that Atrisco Plaza was an actual plaza at one time.
Yushmanova’s winning design looked at the abandoned canal in the bosque. “It was poorly engineered. It still floods and has created an unintentional habitat, or wildlife corridor,” she said.
Yushmanova wrote, “The Pat Hurley neighborhood is a historically agricultural community on the west bank of the Rio Grande, but in recent years, most agricultural land was sold to developers despite the neighborhood’s proximity to the river – a definite amenity in the desert southwest. The quality of the new developments is low and there is a lack of parks and recreational facilities. The riverside trail along the levee is under-used and poorly maintained. The residents prefer to use well-maintained trails and recreational facilities on the east bank of the river instead.
Yushmanova earned her bachelor’s in art history from the University of Culture and Art in St. Petersburg, Russia. “Living in the American Southwest has given her an appreciation for the “stark and fragile beauty of the desert – so different from my native Siberia.”
The JSR Foundation awards scholarships to students who demonstrate a passion for preserving, improving and enhancing public spaces through responsible and innovative land use and design. The foundation and scholarship are named in honor of Jane Silverstein Ries, FASLA; the first woman to pursue a career in landscape architecture in Colorado.
SOURCE: UNM Today
PROJECT IMAGES CREDIT: Katya Yushmanova