FRED (Frederick Riverside Education Design), a three-day, Frederick Law Olmsted-inspired educational and networking landscape design event in Riverside, is still a month away.
But on Wednesday, July 18 at 7 p.m. at the Riverside Public Library, residents can get a glimpse of what kinds of ideas that event will showcase. On display at the library, beginning that evening and lasting through July 27, will be the five concepts selected as finalists for the FRED Gateway Design Competition.
The competition asked designers to come up with a landscape concept for the intersection of First Avenue and Forest Avenue/Ridgewood Road.
Designs were submitted to the FRED committee back in March, and the Landscape Advisory Commission got a preliminary look at the five finalists at a special meeting of the commission in May.
Most, though not all, of the final concepts include landscape solutions for all four corners of the intersection, though the areas east of First Avenue received the most attention from designers.
The concepts vary in complexity and style, from a simple prairie meadow to meandering paved paths through flower beds. Each includes distinctive welcome signage, ranging from individual pillars spelling out “Riverside” to a simple engraved stone monument. Several include corner signage for Riverside-Brookfield High School as well.
The final designs come from the following landscape design firms: Hinsdale Nurseries, Krogstad Land Design Limited of Crystal Lake, ecology+vision LLC of Leland, Culliton Quinn Landscape of Chicago and Terry Guen Design of Chicago.
The July 18 event is a public forum where each design firm will present its vision publicly to residents.
Afterward, the designs will remain on display in the library and members of the public can cast their votes to help determine a winning concept.
That vote will be combined with input from the FRED committee, the Frederick Law Olmsted Society, the Illinois Chapter of the American Society for Landscape Architects and the Midwest Ecological Landscaping Association, to determine a winner.
The winning design will be revealed during the FRED event in Riverside, which will run Aug. 16-18.