ValleyCrest Landscape Companies announced the completion of a 30-acre landscaping project at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland, the cornerstone of the new National Harbor mixed-use project on the banks of the historic Potomac River. The site was unveiled in conjunction with the resort’s grand opening.
The one-of-a-kind landscape project, budgeted in excess of $12 million, features a colonial garden, a tree-lined river walk promenade, an 18,000 square-foot green roof and a great lawn dotted with 1,200 oak, cherry and chestnut trees, and more than 40,000 vibrant flowers.
Project General Contractor Perini/Thompkins J.V. selected ValleyCrest’s construction division, ValleyCrest Landscape Development, to bring the vision of landscape architect, Chip Trageser, Offices of James Burnett, Houston, Texas, to life. “We chose ValleyCrest because we knew from past experience that they have the expertise to tackle the large number of challenges that this job presented,” said Mark Makary, Perini/Thompkins’ vice president and project executive.
For an effort of this scope and magnitude, ValleyCrest supplemented its local Maryland crews, bringing in ValleyCrest technical specialists and employees from its offices in Atlanta, California, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. A total of 150 workers converged on the site in March of 2007 to begin work.
ValleyCrest was responsible for total site development including drainage, irrigation, hardscape, and landscape, and oversaw sub-contracting teams who performed specialized site work for masonry carpentry, and ornamental metal.
In addition to building the park-like exterior gardens, ValleyCrest also built the resort’s multiple indoor botanical gardens within an all glass, 1-1/2 acre, 3-level indoor atrium. The atrium gardens, collaboratively designed by the Offices of James Burnett, Tim McColgan, Gaylord’s horticulture management team, and Joe Parinella, landscape architect, serve as a key focal point for the resort and hold 1,500 cubic yards of soil, 140 exotic trees, including fishtail palm and ficus, seasonal color, 5,000 flowering shrubs and other plants.
The atrium’s plant palette and historically-themed environment stand in stark contrast to the exterior grounds. While the resort’s exterior hosts plants and trees familiar to the surrounding locale, only exotic plants are used within its interior gardens. Non-native trees were sourced from Oregon and Florida by Purchasing Agent, Scott Offen, of ValleyCrest’s office in Atlanta, Georgia, and delivered to the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in climate-controlled trucks. The trees, stand between 15 and 40 feet high and help transform the interior into a tropical oasis.
When complete, ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance, the company’s horticultural services division, will assume responsibility for long-term maintenance of the property’s exterior landscape, gardens and trees.