Park 526 Ground Breaking

Park 526 Groundbreaking

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was onsite at Park 526 along with Chicago Park District Superintendent, Michael Kelly, and Ward Alderman Debra Silverstein to break ground at the new renovation project. This former parking lot is getting a full makeover to provide seating, drinking fountain, fitness equipment and native plantings. It is bordered by the North Channel Multi-use Trail and Devon Avenue.  The earthwork will introduce small rolling hills to the formerly flat site near the Chicago River. Upland Design worked with the Chicago Park District to design the new park site. Construction is now underway and will be completed in late spring. Photo credit… Find Out More Details…

2017 IPRA IAPD Soaring to New Heights Conference

Exhibit Hall Map 2017

Come visit the Upland Design Team on  Thursday, January 19th and Friday, January 20th. We will be in Booth #920! Michelle Kelly along with Mary Kay Ludeman and Maureen Nugent will also be presenting: Turmoil to Stability IAPD / IPRA Session #144, 0.1 CEUs Friday, January 20 from 9:45 – 11:00 am Lake Huron, Eighth Floor In 2013-2014 the Plainfield Park District’s Board majority shifted into a direction never seen or experienced before causing turmoil and community outrage as the Board voted for sweeping changes from staffing to operations. Today the park district is moving in a positive direction due… Find Out More Details…

Thank You M.I.P.E .! 

MIPE Award-2016

On January 12, 2017, the Midwest Institute of Park Executives (M.I.P.E.) announced that firm principals Michelle Kelly and Heath Wright are their 2016 Outstanding Associates.  This award is presented to a vendor member who has made exceptional contributions to the organization throughout the year. Upland Design staff continues to enjoy supporting M.I.P.E. while attending workshops as well as facility and park tours.  Meeting new parkies and learning firsthand from planning and maintenance staff is a benefit that keeps us coming back. Thanks for providing us with this honor.

Upland Design featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine

Upland Office

Firm principal Michelle Kelly was interviewed for an article by Wendy Gilmartin in the October issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM).   Michelle was called upon to share some of her knowledge of operating a design office.  In addition, award winning photographer (and principal landscape architect) Heath Wright provided photos for the same edition.

Engstrom Park Grand Opening

Engstrom Playground_2

This past weekend, the Batavia Park District celebrated the re-dedication of its 14 acre Engstrom Park.  Upland Design led the multi-phase renovation and is pleased to be involved in another great project in Batavia.  In order to accommodate a summer full of festivals and the soccer season schedule, the site improvements were designed and constructed over multiple years. To celebrate the completion of the final phase, the Batavia Park District hosted refreshments and a series of fun games under the newly updated shelter. Kids enjoyed the new playground which features a new structure, zip line and poured-in-place rubber surfacing. Residents  are… Find Out More Details…

Houston Street Planters

Houston Street 03

This week the City of Batavia, Batavia Park District, Batavia MainStreet, and other local volunteers came together to install new plantings along Houston Street in Batavia. The City of Batavia saved approximately $33,000 by using volunteers rather than hiring a crew. The planter updates now include Boxwood, Roses, Catmint, Alliums, and Daylilies to add pops of color all season. This fall bulbs are scheduled to be installed to extend the seasonal floral display. Check out more photos on Batavia Park District’s facebook page. This streetscape work was part of two planting plans that Upland Design assisted the City with in… Find Out More Details…

ILASLA Merit Award Winners

Park 566 Plan

Congratulations to Hey and Associates, Inc. and Upland Design Ltd who worked closely together to complete two projects that received Merit Awards from Illinois Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architecture (ILASLA). Winners were presented with awards Friday, April 29 at the annual Awards Dinner, Celebration+. Park 556 Framework Plan won a Merit Award in the Burnham Awards for Planning and Analysis category. Working closely with the Chicago Park District, the design team created a plan that played homage to the sites industrial past while providing much needed access to the lakefront. The plan creates many recreational and educational opportunities and highlights… Find Out More Details…

National Park Week is Coming Up!

Shawnee national Forest

Check out some of these great events coming up at a park near you. Here is a list of sites in Illinois. April 16–24: Visit for free! Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission! April 16: National Junior Ranger Day Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger. April 22: Earth Day On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out. April… Find Out More Details…

Landscape Architecture Month


Celebrate Landscape Architecture month with PBS. Their new hit 10 that Changed America hosted by Geoffrey Baer will continue next week with 10 Parks that Changed America. It airs Tuesday April 12, 2016 at 8pm Central time.

Building Dynamic Playgrounds


Check out Michelle’s great article about Dynamic Play featured in March’s issue of Parks and Recreation Magazine! It features Hiawatha Park as a great example of utilizing the some of the nine key elements highlighted for building dynamic playgrounds.